The EFM Donates over $20k Back to Englewood Community

(ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – December 5, 2016) – The Englewood Farmers Market, as a chapter of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, operates as a non-profit enterprise serving the local Englewood community.

Each season, proceeds above operating costs are donated back to local community organizations that provide services to local residents that need support and assistance.

The Englewood Farmers Market donated over $20,000 to our local food pantries, St. David’s and Helping Hand, Englewood Meals on Wheels, FOSCP and the Englewood Care Clinic.

Pictured standing left to right: Tom and Amy Stone , Marie Laforge, Rose Hutchinson, Ricardo Ruggiero, Mike Hutchinson, Jim Baines and Howard Goodrich, Administrator from Helping Hand, and Bill Lavriha, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels. Kneeling, Lee A. Perron.

Englewood Farmers Market (by Mary Alampi)

The Englewood Farmers Market kicked off its sixth season this past Thursday morning. If you have never been, you are missing out. Although forecasts for Hurricane Matthew cast a little uncertainty as to how the day would play out, the weather was more than cooperative and attendance was up from last year’s first market of the season. The market is open from 9AM to 2PM, so I had not been able to attend in the past. This was my first time and I was so impressed! I will be returning frequently in the future.

I asked guests how they knew about the market’s opening today. Some saw it on Facebook, others mentioned the banners draped across Indiana (SR 776), some said they saw flyers posted locally, and one lady said she wrote it on her calendar last year to make sure she would not miss it.

I spoke with both attendees and vendors, asking about the market experience. One first-time guest was a gentleman visiting from South Carolina. His family evacuated here to stay with his brother, who brought them to the Englewood Farmers Market “for something positive to do together.” Another woman said she attended every week last year and makes a morning of it. She starts with Chai at the Mermaid Café down the street, walks through the market, then sometimes grabs another Chai.

Nearly everyone commented on the atmosphere. I spoke with one group of ladies, perhaps three generations. The toddler danced, mesmerized by music performed by a stringed duo. “We love it here,” said one of the women, citing how warm and friendly the vendors and guests were. “We came here looking for pickles, they have the best pickles, and popcorn…We love it here. There’s something for everyone.” “This is THE BEST farmers market ANYWHERE,” insisted another woman who explained that she has travelled and attended farmers markets all over. She and her husband are centered in Venice but will always come to the Englewood Farmers Market “because it is different. It has great products and the best feel. It really gives you a sense of community.”

When asked about market favorites, besides repeated mentions of the friendly environment, answers were as diverse as the guests. I overheard the vendor at Leah’s Lemonade really raving to a customer about the quality of Joshua Citrus’ fruit. Some guests said the exotic mushroom stand was the most unique. Others listed baked goods from the variety of vendors including BAM German Bakery, Daily Bread, bagels and Island Gluten Free Bakery. Maggie’s Seafood came up most frequently as “must visit” stop for shoppers. Perry’s Original BBQ was said to have the best brisket around. The large paella pan caught the eyes and taste buds of many and Jason’s Fire Fusions made a few eyes water. Furthermore, a number of people told me they preferred to shop here for organic produce, baked goods, and honey, explaining the quality was better and the organic label more reliable. Smiling people purchased vibrant orchids, fruit, and vegetables. It was an explosion of color.

The Englewood Farmers Market started back in 2011 with around 25 vendors and has grown into the thriving market/event it is today. It is a non-profit organization that donates all of its profit to local charities including Meals on Wheels, local food banks, the kids backpack program, Englewood Community Care Clinic, and others. A committee oversees vendor selection to ensure the products are high quality and that duplication and competition with local merchants is limited. For a list of current vendors or for information on becoming a vendor, email them at info@englewoodfarmersmarket.org, visit their website http://englewoodfarmersmarket.org or @englewoodfarmersmarket page on Facebook.

Again, if you’ve never been, you are missing out. The Englewood Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 9 AM until 2 PM, October through May. Support the community and make plans to attend. You will not be disappointed.

Englewood Farmers Market – article written by Mary Alampi, extracted from her blog [click here]

Cooking Demo by Cristina Babiak MD

roasted_vegetablesHere are the recipes that Cristina will be demonstrating live at the Market tomorrow!!

Englewood Farmer Market Cooking Class 4/16

GARDEN PESTO: soak 1 cup pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans or other shelled nuts until soft. Drain. Put in food processor. Blend with 2-3 garlic cloves, about 1/2 cup olive oil and as much fresh green herbs as you have: any combo mints, cilantro, basil, parsley, chives, tarragon, arugala, spinach, beet greens, dandelion …Add avocado, asagio or parmesan cheese and lemon zest or juice to taste and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve on fish, fowl, veg. Can be formed into balls and frozen for future use.

BEET PATE: In food processor put 3-4 chopped raw washed beets with 1/4 cup olive oil and pulverize smooth. Add 1/2-1 cup of shelled ground pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds, 2- 3 cloves garlic, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp of dry herbs, 1 whole lemon squeezed plus zest. Process until creamy paste. Use this on salad, roasted vegetables or as dip with chopped jicama chips or crackers. Refrigerate.

ROASTED FARMERS MARKET VEGETABLES: Slice rinsed sweet potato, Florida red new potatoes, beets, red peppers, eggplants, squash, ect. into small rounds. Place on olive oil sprayed parchment papered pan. Sprinkle with sage, garlic granules, curry powder, herb blends. Spray with olive oil (Misto works great), and bake in toaster oven 25-30 minutes until soft. Thinner slices make chips.

ROASTED WILD SALMON: Place salmon on parchment paper in toaster oven at 320 degrees with skin side up for 5 minutes. Flip the filet over. Spoon dollup of Garden Pesto on salmon . Continue cooking carefully for 4-5 minutes, until flesh separates with fork. Do not overcook. Serve with market fresh roast vegetables. This works for other fish or boneless skinless chicken breasts also.

Dr. Babiak is a Florida licensed MD/Herbalist, providing consultation in her home office in Englewood to help patients recognize the cause of their health problems and encourage the practice of relaxation response to enable healing. She encourages changing their diet to organic foods with low inflammation, low additives that are easy to digest along with herbs that promote optimal digestion and decrease inflammation. This involves teaching healthy food choices and preparation and support in order to make profound changes. She teaches community self-healing classes, where she shares her knowledge for current herbal and naturopath conferences, her clinical experiences since graduating from University of Louisville Med School and Family Practice residency at Florida Hospital Orlando 1982 and from her on-line research. For more information visit her website cristinababiakmd.com

It’s a Snap

its-a-snap-1BY VANESSA CAREERS | EDIBLE SARASOTA

It’s a “SNAP” to support Florida-grown produce at the Englewood Farmers’ Market.

Produce vendors at the market accept SNAP—short for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps. Now, with help from the organization Florida Organic Growers, SNAP users can stretch their food dollars with a program called Fresh Access Bucks. Under Fresh Access Bucks, SNAP participants swipe their EBT card and receive double the amount they spend, up to $20, to spend on Florida-grown fruits and vegetables.

With Fresh Access Bucks, Florida farmers get a revenue boost and SNAP participants have a more affordable way to eat healthy food. Statewide, the program is expected to boost Florida farmer revenue by $580,000 over the next two years, according to Florida Organic Growers.

The busy Englewood market has had the program since fall 2014, says Market Manager Lee Perron (see sidebar for other local farmers’ markets that accept SNAP). “We’ve been one of the top markets in the program, which shows you the percentage of need here,” he says.

Yet the market decided to ramp up its involvement with monthly cooking demonstrations that feature market-to-table recipes.

The first demonstration, held in January in partnership with the UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program (the program that administers SNAP) and Fresh Access Bucks, featured David Bearl, an American Culinary Federation—certified chef. Bearl made a fruit salad, salmon dish, and vegetarian quesadillas. “People loved it,” Perron says.

The demonstration is part of a continuing Florida Organic Growers series called Eat With the Seasons. The cooking demonstrations are taking place this year at 24 markets across the state that partner with the Family Nutrition Program to accept SNAP.

The program was so successful in Englewood that the market will continue cooking demonstrations on the third Thursday of each month through the rest of the season, Perron says.

The chefs in the program are given money to buy ingredients at the market and then prepare their item onsite. “The recipes act as a shopping list for people at the market,” Perron says.

The Englewood Farmers’ Market is held on Thursday mornings from October to May, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the 300 block of W. Dearborn Street. Learn more at englewoodfarmersmarket.org

OTHER MARKETS PARTICIPATE IN SNAP

In addition to Englewood Farmers’ Market, five other local markets are stretching food dollars for SNAP participants. Local markets that accept SNAP are Bradenton Farmers’ Market, Central Sarasota Farmers’ Market, Englewood Farmers’ Market, North Port Farmers’ Market, Punta Gorda Farmers’ Market, and Venice Farmers’ Market.

Venice Farmers’ Market Manager Linda Wilson regularly visits local nonprofit groups and food distribution centers to let people know they can come to her market and use SNAP to eat healthy food and support Florida farmers. “Our market is open year-round, and people have to eat year-round,” she says.

“SNAP is a win-win program designed to help the small Floridian farmer as well as those less fortunate on food stamps,” says Jerry Presseller, manager of both the North Port and Punta Gorda markets.

“ORZOTTO” with Ratatouille

This is another fun thing to do… Cook Orzo pasta like a “Risotto” (in half the time!)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
Serves: 4 or 6 (depending on your appetite!)

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thin slices 1 red bell pepper, cut into slivers 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups) 1/2 cup of Fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme) 1 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
1lb of Orzo pasta
1 cube of chicken/vegetarian broth diluted in 4 cups of boiling water

Preparation:
Over medium-low heat, add the oil to a large skillet with the onion, garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the eggplant has softened. Stir in the zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized. Stir in the fresh herbs and a few grinds of pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook orzo:
Sauté sweet onion in olive oil until translucid… Add orzo. Stir until well coated. Add hot chicken stock/vegetable stock a saddle full at a time and stir until absorbed. When the orzo is almost cooked (before al dente) take off fire and add fresh herbs.

Serve orzo topped with ratatouille and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I love using this “Orzotto” recipe for all different kinds of dishes. You can add saffron and serve it with shrimp or fish… Add fresh basil Pesto and serve with chicken. Possibilities are endless!

Use your imagination… And don’t be shy!

Putting ingredients together is how
great recipes are born…