What’s the story with Thanksgiving this year? Is there or is there not a turkey shortage? One report says there is and then the next one comes out and says there isn’t. We know this for a fact: We don’t have a turkey shortage on this farm!
There are plenty of supply chain issues to see right at the grocery store. Suddenly a favorite product you’ve been buying for years is just missing with no warning. Currently in major port cities like New York and Seattle, there are cargo ships just waiting to dock, filled to the brim with supplies that consumers and businesses need.
Our team of experts taking care of your bird!
What reports are saying about thanksgiving turkeys is that there could be a shortage of smaller birds, 20lbs and under. With the pandemic still lingering, smaller birds may be in more demand as smaller groups get together for the holiday.
Go local this year if you haven’t before! We have conventional and organic birds to choose from. If you get your deposit in early ($20) we can get you close to the size of the bird you are looking for. Our ranges for weights are:
We see the color difference and the occasional difference in price but what does it really mean?
On our farm, Purple and Yellow peppers start and end the same color. They do have a slightly different flavor profile and might be used slightly differently depending on what you are cooking that evening. Purple peppers are green underneath and that purple skin and can turn a little green depending on how you cook them and for how long.
Yellow Peppers (Also called Lemon) – Mild and sweet flavor, but not quite as sweet as reds. They still have a slightly bitter taste, but not much grass flavor. They certainly will brighten up a veggie tray or salad. There is only a few yellow veggies that are normally eaten raw!
Purple Peppers – Semi-sweet and semi bitter flavor. They have a bit of grass to them as they are somewhat green as well. They can easily be eaten raw or cooked in any dish. They look really cool as a stuffed pepper!
Green Peppers – Slightly bitter flavor raw, but sweeten up as they cook. A green pepper is a red pepper that hasn’t been able to completely ripen on the plant! They have a grassy flavor that lends itself to combining with onions, garlic, celery, and carrots! Their flesh remains stable under heat and makes a great stuffed pepper.
Orange Peppers – Semi sweet flavor in between a green and red. An orange pepper is a green pepper that has not fully ripened yet. They go good with just about anything and can be easily eaten raw or cooked. Since they are more ripe than a green they can overcook easy.
Red Peppers – A green pepper that has been left to fully ripen on the vine. This is the reason the cost is usually more than a green pepper. They are the sweetest and have very little of the grassy flavor left of a green pepper. Much like the orange pepper, they can overcook easily because they are so ripe, but can lend themselves to a delicious stuffed pepper, especially if the stuffing is a little more savory.
This is not to say that you can’t use these interchangeably. These flavors are mostly nuances and probably won’t be detected easily. But there are differences and someone with a discernable pallet (like a farmer!) will be able to taste it.
Most people don’t realize that a pepper turns from green, to orange, and finally to red on the vine and that it’s the same seed. On our farm the Lemons and Purples are a different varietal.
The Rochester Public Market is known for being one of the best markets in the area. There are very few cities and states lucky enough to have a market as robust.
Every week at the market, there are always a few people who let us know that they have just started coming to the market regularly. Sometimes it’s their first time! It’s great to see people discovering a treasure of local goods and services right in their backyard.
But if you’ve never been to the market, or if it’s been years, here are a few tips that can help you navigate unfamiliar territory. It can be a little overwhelming and we know it! It can get pretty busy during peak hours, so if you’re not one for crowds then the earlier the better. Thursdays are usually a lot less busy and if you are near downtown at all for work or otherwise, it can be a productive shopping event. We’re there on Thursdays from June through October. Click here to see our full market schedule.
Here are our top 5 tips for shopping at the Rochester Public Market:
#1 – Parking
This is by the far the thing that we hear the most about the market. Parking is difficult. It is downtown and parking is always at a premium. There are 5 city owned lots for parking. The largest is between Scio and Union. The second largest is between Pennsylvania and Railroad.
There are also 3 smaller lots. Here’s the information from the Rochester Public Market website on the location of all the lots and where to access:
Another option is to park near by and bike in. If you can’t get there early (before 10am) to get a prime parking spot in one of the free lots this can be a great and healthy option. We are seeing more and more people do this recently. There are some paid for parking areas too.
Now you’ve made it there but what the heck can you do about carrying all your great stuff? There are some great cart options out there and some stores sell them locally. But the best option is a good back pack. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest, but just something comfortable that you won’t mind walking with. Bring a lunchbox inside with a cold pack in it for meats and maybe an extra bag in case you find a watermelon or pumpkin that you can’t live without.
Look for a “Day Trip” backpack that is meant for hiking. They have lots of compartments and are meant to be comfortable on your back with weight in it. People also refer to them as rucksacks. An outdoor store like REI has them, as does Walmart. Find something comfortable and then you won’t mind wearing it.
There is at least one cash machine that we know of, but most vendors accept a card. But just to be on the safe side, bring some cash with you in case the vendor doesn’t accept a card. We do with no minimum, but we can’t speak for all vendors. Prices are usually clearly marked on the baskets. Cash or charge there probably won’t be any breaks. You make one break you gotta break for em all!
A very typical question is “Which ones are farmers and which ones are wholesalers?” That can be a tricky one, but there are a few tell tale signs your dealing with a farmer.
-They have a logo. You see a logo, it’s probably a farm. They probably have ‘farm’ in the name. Maybe on T-Shirts or the side of the truck.
-They have dirt. Could be on their hands, shoes, the truck, the boxes… somewhere there is dirt. We grow stuff. It grows in dirt. It’s hard to get it off everything.
-They tell you. When all else fails…ASK! Farmers will tell you if they grew it or not, if it’s on consignment from another farm, or if they traded with a farm, or who’s farm it’s from. Just ask.
Get to know your farmer and your favorite stop at the market and follow them on social media. You’ll know what’s coming out and what’s in season and what other markets they’ll be at.
The wholesalers can have some great stuff and you shouldn’t count them out! But since we’re a local farm we like to see local farms get most of the business!
There are public restrooms in the updated indoor B shed. It’s the main building with the Public Market sign on the front. There are also restrooms in the middle brick building as well. Some businesses may have restrooms but we can’t endorse whether they are open to the public or not. The best option is the B shed. The new bathrooms are updated and very nice. The staff keep them clean even on the busiest days. Thank you very much to the hard workers at the market.
These are probably the most common questions that come up. We hope your market experience is excellent. Getting the freshest local ingredients leads to the best meals.
Turnip cakes have a fresh and spicy taste and goes well with everything.
Some of our customers have been asking about turnips lately. We have some fresh turnips that we have been bringing with us to the market and there’s a number of people who have never had them before. The easiest thing to do with them is cut them up and eat them with a pinch of salt!
They can be roasted, sautéed, or steamed just as easily too. But in the past, we have made turnip cakes with them, or maybe one giant turnip pancake and split it up with a pizza cutter. It’s not too much work and can be a side, a main dish, or an appetizer.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
A bunch of turnips (its usually between 3 and 6 depending on size)
Couple cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of flour (maybe a little more)
Salt and pepper to your liking
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
Shred the turnips. We used a Cuisinart but you can do it by hand with a grater. After you’ve got them shredded up, squeeze out as much water as you can. Just using your hands should be good enough. Chop the garlic and throw it in there along with the shredded turnips. Add the 2 eggs and mix well with salt and pepper. Then add the flour (depending on how much water you were able to squeeze out you may need more) and mix well.
It shouldn’t stick together in a tight ball, but add just enough flour for the mixutre to stay together without completely coming apart. Grease a pan and flatten it into a pancake. We have a big non stick frying pan so we could fit all of ours in one pan to make one giant pancake. You can easily cook them in batches. Or really however you like. The thickness of a regular pancake you’d get at the diner is perfect.
Once they’re browned on both sides, they’re done, about 6 minutes on each side with medium high heat. You can serve them up immediately hot. We had ours with a bit of arugula, some sour cream, and some radish relish. But they’re really good cold too, dipped in a little ranch dressing!
Turnips are versatile veggies that don’t get enough attention. As great as this recipe is and as awesome as so many recipes can be, we still think that a fresh turnip with a pinch of salt is still the best way to eat them!
One of the great things about the summer months is getting a good barbecue going. We wanted an easy way to get smokehouse chicken without worrying about burning our dinner.
There’s actually two ways you can use this Smoke Box. You can load it up and put it directly on your gas grill or you can get some hot coals and place it on them. We chose to try it that way because it was slightly more adventurous for a blog post! But putting the box on the grill makes it even easier and allows you to choose a temperature.
The first step is to prepare the raw chicken. We used a store bought barbecue dry rub for the legs. We coated them in the morning and put them in a plastic bag in the fridge. For the breast, we poured a little Italian dressing over it and put it in the fridge. Simple preparation is often times the best!
We got our fire going and let it die down to just some hot coals. If you choose to use your grill make sure you preheat it to the desired temp you want to smoke at.
To load the smoke box you soak the wood chips in water about 30 minutes before loading them in the box. Place the wood chips down and then the tray with the meat on it, then close the box up.
The legs are smaller so they were going to be done a lot sooner. Make sure you use a thermometer to get the cooking temp right. Chicken should be at 180. The legs did cook a bit quicker, but they only took about 45 minutes on the fire before they were done. You could actually smell that they were done and boy oh boy did it smell delicious!
We brushed on a little bit of barbecue sauce at the end and let it dry up a little on the leg before taking them off. They were incredible, soaking up a good amount of the smoke flavor without masking the dry rub. The sweet sauce was a nice little addition and added the right amount of sugar to it.
The breast took a bit longer. But we were really thinking that it was going to make excellent sandwiches after it was cold. We were right. It was. But we couldn’t help cutting into it when it was still hot.
Overall this was a tasty experiment. It might be easier to just put the box on the grill and smoke it that way, but it was fun to have a fire and make a bigger even out of it. The chicken was delicious.
We’ll have fresh chicken all summer long for all your grilling and smoking needs!