December 11, 2017
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Local Entrepeneur Wins Good Food Award

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Chef Jenn Legnini after receiving Good Food Award medal

Turtle Rock Farm receives medal for garlic scape relish

On January 15, 2016, at a gala awards ceremony in San Francisco, Chef Jenn Legnini, owner of Turtle Rock Farm, received a Good Food Award medal for her garlic scape relish from chef and food activist Alice Waters.

Chef Jenn is a member of the Midcoast Winter Farmers’ Market, which meets every Friday 1-5 in the Exhibition Hall at the Topsham Fairgrounds. There, she operates the Midcoast Market Café, serving lunch made from locally grown ingredients, in addition to selling her Turtle Rock Farm preserves.

Good Food Award finalists were selected from almost two thousand entries by using a blind tasting as well as by examining the sustainability of the products and how connected they were to communities and cultural traditions. American craft food producers such as Turtle Rock Farm have competed for Good Food Awards since 2012.

Garlic scape relish was developed by Chef Jenn on a small vegetable farm after an abundant harvest of scapes, the tender stems and flower buds found on a garlic plant. These are usually removed to focus the garlic plant’s energy on bulb growth. Chef Jenn made garlic scape relish for the farm’s CSA members after a few trial batches. Then, as Jenn relates: “We loved the relish and I started to buy in scapes from other small farms in the same position (too many scapes on hand!!). The relish became a hit at farmers’ markets and on the grocery shelves. It is a great locally produced substitute for classic relish on sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs.” Combining garlic scape relish with mayonnaise (preferably home made) leads to a tasty tartar sauce as well as an easily prepared potato salad.

The Midcoast Winter Farmers’ Market is open from 1 PM to 5 PM on Friday afternoons through April. The market is accessed from the Topsham Bypass (Route 196) or from Elm Street (Route 24) using the Topsham Fair entrances. There is plenty of parking and the Exhibition Hall entrances are at ground level, making it easy for handicapped access.

Market President Cathy Karonis adds, “We are a producer’s market – everything sold here is grown or processed or handmade by our members. You will discover many items here that are simply not available in supermarkets. Our members bring their finest quality to each weekly market.”

Market visitors enjoy live music while tasting delicious, locally produced food and supporting the local farmers and artisans who make up this farmers market community.