Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We have TOMATOES!!!

Sand Creek Farm in Cameron has brought us a bounty of beautiful tomatoes for your enjoyment. The fall tomato crop snuck in just before this weekend's freeze, so don't delay. Come in today to choose from celebrity red slicing tomatoes or a colorful medely of cocktail tomatoes including porters, lemon boys, sungolds and juliets. (The Juliets are from the Monument Garden).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Learn How to Grow Veggies All Winter!

It is not too late for gardening this year! Come out to the Market Saturday at 10:30am to learn what you can grow now and how to build cold frames and hoophouses - simple, cheap structures to help protect your garden through the periodic cold snaps of a Texas winter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Saturday @ The Market

Come on down to The Market and join Dr. Dave this Saturday, at 11:30a.m. for The Monument Market's second Wilco Wellness Cafe! This week Dr. Dave wil be discussing eating healthy breads and edible flowers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Local Food Creates Jobs

On this gloriously rainy day I came across a recently released USDA report that looks at trends in locally marketed food. The report talks a lot about the demographics of farmers selling local food and where these farms tend to be, but one of the most interesting factoids it contains is this:

Fruit and vegetable farms with local food sales employed 61,000 workers in 2008, or 13 full time employees per million dollars of sales, while fruit and vegetable farms not engaged in local food sales employed only 3 full time employees per million dollars of sales.

As Mother Jones' Tom Philpott puts it, "In other words, a dollar you spend at the farmers market supports four times as many workers as a dollar spent at the supermarket."

Everytime you choose to shop at the Monument Market, you can be sure your food dollars are going to create jobs right here at home!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Indoor Composting Class This Saturday!

We are so excited to host Emily Fitzgerald from Microbial Earth Farms this Saturday at 10:30am to talk to us about a couple alternative approaches to composting - both of which can be done indoors!

The focus of the talk will be on Bokashi Composting, a method that uses microbes to ferment your food scraps in a bucket in your house, providing you with both a nutrient tea to use as a liquid fertilizer and organic matter that you can then bury directly in the ground. Unlike standard backyard composting, this method also allows you to compost meat and dairy!

Emily will also talk to us about vermicomposting a.k.a using worms to make compost for us! Feel free to bring any composting questions you may have. Emily is a wealth of knowledge.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Introducing the Hakurei Salad Turnip

It was a crisp fall day a few years back when a farmer, hosting an educational workday on his lush organic farm, hopped down from his tractor to pull bunches of whited tender globes from the moist earth. "You have to try these," he said as he handed out a veggie snack to all of us eager young farmers. I had never really thought about turnips. They just never struck me as an interesting vegetable. But this Japanese salad turnip, sometimes called a Hakurei turnip, was a crisp, succulent treat, and has remained on the top of my fall veggie favorite list since that day.

So now I say to you, feeling a bit like a turnip evangelist - "You've got to try these. You'll love them, I promise." Eat them raw - sliced, diced, cubed or julienned - in a salad, with dip, or on their own. Or you can roast the roots or add them to soup, if you can get them that far - they so are good raw! And the greens can be sauteed or mixed into a salad raw as well.

Try them sliced in a salad of your favorite mixed baby greens, apple slices, and your favorite vinaigrette. Yum!

And here is a preview of a future salad - a baby cauliflower, nestled within it's leaves. This will probably appear on the market shelves near the end of the month!

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Gardening Classes

A chill came in last night, but it appears the Monument Garden stayed frost-free. In preparation of the potential freeze, we covered some of the frost sensitive plants that we weren't ready to give up on yet with a floating row cover. This spun-bound polyester lightweight cloth provides 4 degrees of frost protection while being light & water permeable. Row cover can extend the life of frost sensitive plants when temperatures take a dip. It appears we could have gotten away without it last night, but better safe than sorry! A big thanks to Clayton who helped me fight the wind while putting the covers out  yesterday afternoon.
Frost sensitive peppers hide under row cover, while cabbage & broccoli in the next row do fine in a cold snap.

This Saturday come out to the Monument Market at 10:30 am to learn more about what to expect and what tasks to plan in your garden this month.

Here is the Gardening class schedule for November. Classes are Saturdays at 10:30am in the Market:

November 5th: November in the Garden: Preparing for Winter - The first Saturday of every month is an overview of gardening tasks for the month. Learn what you can plant, harvest & plan to do in the next few weeks.

November 12th: Guest Speaker Workshop: Bokashi Indoor Composting with Emily Fitzgerald from Microbial Earth - We are excited to have Emily come in to teach us how we can get microbes to work for us in the soil and in our compost. She'll be highlighting an indoor composting system that uses microbes to ferment our food. You can even compost meat with Bokashi - come find out how it works!

November 19th: Season Extension: Cold Frames & Hoop Houses for the Home Garden - Learn what you can grow throughout the winter with just a little protection. We'll discuss simple structures and techniques for keeping frost at bay to extend your harvest!

November 26th: No Class due to Holiday Weekend

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


harvesting arugula from the Monument Garden
I wanted to share with you my favorite arugula recipes. Also known as rocket, this spicy green is high in vitamins A and C. Arugula seeds were used in aphrodisiac concoctions back in Roman times. Now the greens are more popular, giving salads a little extra kick.

If they are too much for you by themselves, try mixing them with baby lettuce or spinach. Or if you are looking for even more spice, try the purple osaka mustard greens I harvested this morning!

The sweetness of roasted beets is the perfect companion for arugula. Try substituting the Peach Infused Balsamic Vinegar that we just got into the market this morning for regular balsamic in the recipe below!

beet & goat cheese arugula salad


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 medium beets, cooked & quartered
6 cups arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 large avocado, peeled, pitted & cubed
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Whisk vinegar, shallots and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Set aside and cool.
3. Toss the arugula, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the salad atop 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.
recipe from recipegirl.com
Arugula and Bacon Quiche

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (about) ice water

  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 8 ounces arugula, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 5 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)


For crust:
Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes. Roll out dough on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang in and press, forming double-thick high-standing sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen.)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Bake crust until golden brown, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer crust to rack. Reduce temperature to 375°F.
For filling:
Cook bacon in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain. Add shallots to same skillet and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add arugula and sauté until just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar; toss to combine.
Sprinkle arugula mixture, then bacon over crust. Whisk cream, eggs, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in cheese. Pour mixture into crust.
Bake quiche until filling is slightly puffed and golden, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges.

recipe from epicurious.com