Farmers markets are a way for farmers to sell their products directly to the consumers. It is a great way for consumers to get fresh, locally grown food. Farmers markets can be easily found using the USDA Farmers Market Search and other directories. They are the perfect place to try new foods that are not commonly found in supermarkets and a great way to support local farmers. In addition, WIC and SNAP cards are accepted at most farmers markets.
While perusing the seasonal produce at the Farmers’ Market, my basket brimming with orange tiger eggplants, radishes straight from the earth, beautifully misshapen shishito peppers, and freshly-baked hearth bread, it occurred to me: Farmers’ markets make people happy.
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You can’t get more country than this homemade pumpkin pie recipe. It was adapted from the Iowa Farm Bureau’s 1929 Farm Cookbook. This holiday pumpkin pie recipe has graced Thanksgiving tables for over 50 years.
Modern touches have been added to this historic holiday recipe. The original recipe calls for a real pumpkin and doesn’t specify an oven temperature because cook stoves back then didn’t have anything to measure temperature with.
The original pie recipe also called for “sweet” milk. This was a common ingredient in old recipes but simply refers to whole milk, which contains all the original fat and is therefore “sweeter.” Whole milk would be the most readily available on an Iowa farm.
Homemade Country Style Pumpkin Pie – Fresh from the Iowa Farm
3 cups pumpkin fresh or canned
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs flour
4 eggs beaten separately and added last
Mix pumpkin, sugar and spice and beat well.
Add Spices, flour and butter and continue to mix well.
Beat eggs separately and add last, blending in.
Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 about one hour or until knife comes out clean from center.
Cool and serve with whipped cream.
We’ve been enjoying this pumpkin pie recipe every Thanksgiving since I was a child on the farm myself.
The Maremma Sheepdog is native to the Italian Alps. This is a breed that has an extraordinary capability of working in the higher altitudes. For many hundreds of years, the life of the sheep, the shepherds and the Maremma dog that guarded the flock was structured on the seasons. From June to October the flocks would be moved to the high country in the mountains of Abruzzi and from October to June they would go down to the plains and rolling pastures of Maremma. The job of the Maremma historically has been that of a livestock protector and herding dog, being of great value to the Italian peasants as they moved their flocks of mountain goats and sheep through the high alpine pastures, not only herding but also protecting the flock from predators. The Maremma has the capability of working independently as a flock protector and is noted for its high intelligence. A few of the dogs stayed behind as farm protectors and gradually the Maremma also became known as the large white dog who frequented the fine homes of Tuscany as a companion and watchdog.
The Maremma is a large white dog with profuse and abundant coat. One might confuse the dog with the Pyrenees or the Kuvasz, excerpt that the head of the Maremma is much larger in proportion to the body and in fact is very like that of the Polar bear, conical in shape and massive. In general, of the large white dogs that are the herding dogs of central Europe and the Alps, the Maremma is probably the breed that exhibits the most independent thinking and is one of the dogs considered to be a very protective dog, working in the dual role as flock guard and herder. The Maremma is a large breed, standing 24 inches at the withers, with a heavy coat that is all white with perhaps a shade of ivory or biscuit on the ears. The coat needs to be regularly groomed. The correct coat should be weather resistant, providing protection from the sun and the cold, this is a dog that should not be shaved.
The Maremma has always been around people, though its existence has been solitary it is a breed that will not do well without a human to protect or work alongside. This is a dog that strives to work for its master but also can be a difficult dog for simple obedience commands, since it is a “thinker” and will become bored with repetition. They are extremely loyal, considered to be a one person dog, devoted and protective yet proud and dignified. This is a dog that requires a knowledgeable owner, since it is not inclined to be subservient but is more likely to be somewhat stubborn and strong willed.
The fertile soils of the London countryside provide nutrients to some of the tastiest produce you will ever want to taste. Add to this the unpretentious honesty of a good farming attitude that relies on family traditions rather than the latest chemicals to enhance size, shape or taste of products, and you have a recipe for the most mouthwatering nuggets you can hope to find.
Of course, unless you are granted direct access to one of the many produce generating farms in the country, you will have to become hip to London’s best kept secret: famers markets. It is there that autumn raspberries mingle with new season pears, freshly gathered wild mushrooms and borlotti beans. Ducks, geese, fresh eggs and hares rub elbows with oysters.
It is true: while run of the mill tourists head out in search for the most photographed landmarks the city has to offer, the insider traveling to London on holiday seeks out local farmers markets. So where does s/he head to?
o Find the coveted contributions of Kingcup Farm and the Lincolnshire Poachers at the Pimlico Road Farmer’s Market. The Poachers only show up on the fourth Saturday of the month, so make sure you are there! This market is located on the corner of Pimlico Road and Ebury Street, and if you stay at one of the London hotels in central London, this is a hop, skip and a jump for you.
o A newcomer is the Whitecross Street Food Market – it is uncertain if this locale should not be double listed as an adventure in gluttony as well as a farmer’s market – where fresh made burritos jostle for space with fresh picked fruits and veggies.
o Visitors on holiday booking hotels in London close to King Street and Kensington Place might want to explore Acton or Notting Hill Farmers Markets. Unfortunately they both only operate on Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM, so get ready for a whirlwind tour of unbelievably fresh produce.
o London hotels in the north western portion of the city accommodate visitors to the organic Queens Park Farmers Market while hotels on London’s eastside accommodate holiday travelers with a penchant for the widely popular Billingsgate Fish Market on Trafalgar Way. No matter where you stay in the city, put this locale on your list of “must visit” venues.
Do you have to stay at one of the London hotels while shopping the bargains at farmers markets? Not if you travel with a refrigerator or cooler; if you plan on sightseeing and a leisurely day and night on the town, the availability of a fridge is an absolute must.
Roo Sadegi is a travel writer based in London’s East End, although he spends much of his time travelling around Europe’s travel hotspots.