Mt. Horeb Farmer’s mini-Market

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Yesterday I needed a field trip. My summer has been chores and errands. I spent the day doing laundry and dishes and picking up bits. I took a bath about 3 p.m. and I got a burr under my saddle to take a road trip.

I love Farmer’s Markets! Des Moines and Madison are my favorites! I don’t want to burn a day or schlep the family and fight the crowds this week.

Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin is a beautiful, picturesque and peaceful little Norse community 20 miles from here. They have a Thursday evening market and it seems like the perfect family field trip.

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We strap Monster Baby into the red wagon, hand out the allowance to the boys and take a stroll. We meet the nicest people. The handful of vendors are all so friendly and eager to visit.

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We met a woman whose son Franke has a severe seizure disorder and autism, he is unable to speak. Franke has a worm casting  business–What is that you ask? He sells vermi-compost. What is that? Worm Poop! Worm Works by Franke, he calls it. Check it out. His Mother was manning his booth and was so kind and patient with my boys! Fascinating!

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We went over to Farmerjohn’s next. Cheese…free samples! We tasted many and picked this to bring home. Mild, soft, salty gorgonzola with a bit of wang! I can’t wait to create something with this.

The boys had their monies burning a hole in their pocket. Noah bought a green pepper and ate it like an apple, he bought carrots fit for Bugs Bunny himself, an Anaheim pepper, and a zucchini too.  Jonah got a cucumber and potato. They played a little bean bean bag toss and snacked on their treasures.

There was a sassy Kettle Corn vendor. He gave us a deal, lots of free samples and teased the boys. Mmmm–Kettle Corn, perfect movie night snack.

Fresh, fermented and homemade Kimchi–in Mt Horeb! Blind Giant Farms! We inquired about the name; the man’s son is super tall with coke-bottle lenses. Kimchi!  Here! That is amazing! Look at the ingredient list. Crazy Good! He also had like a zillion kinds of beets, well 4 anyway. I don’t really like beets, but they were so pretty I almost tried some.

We got home at 7 p.m.. That is late for us. The boys enjoyed a little amuse-bouche.  I race to the kitchen to whip up some dinner.  I thawed some pork and beef. I notice the pork is “reduced fat” and the beef is” 95% lean”. We buy the meat with the yellow sale tags at WalMart. Who gets all the fat these days? Are they feeding the livestock Slim-fast? I digress….

I use the veggies we got at market along with our own garden goods. Something from the fridge and something from the cupboard. It took 12 minutes to boil the water and 10 minutes to cook the Ziti…dinner was served.

Farmers Market Primavera with Ziti

8 oz “Reduced Fat” ground pork

1 lb 95% lean Ground Beef

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

2 carrots, grated

Fresh Basil, Parsley and Oregano Chopped

1  16 oz can crushed or whole tomatoes

Brown it all together-you won’t need to drain it–this stuff is skinny. Add Salt and Pepper. Add 1 can of crushed tomato. Simmer til your Ziti comes to a boil.  I added a healthy amount of delicious Trader Joe’s  Peppercorn Parm and some chopped herbs. Every plate was clean and no left overs.

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Go visit a Farmer’s Market–big or small. Let your kids buy some veggies. Try something you never tried before. Chat with the vendors and learn something. You’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely, Sara

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