Hankering for fresh, in-season farmers' market food?
Just because it's wicked cold outside and thoughts of the growing and harvesting season seem out of reach, doesn't mean access to locally grown and organic fruits, vegetables and legumes are also out of reach right now.
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, among others, are here to remind us that there are active and thriving farmers in the Midcoast during the winter months, and their bounty can be found at two locations in Knox County and one in Waldo County.
What's in season in Maine from January to April?
Apples, dry beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, garlic, leeks, onions, parsnip, potatoes, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, turnip, and winter squash.
In addition, MOFGA lists 20 foods Maine has the capacity to produce to enjoy all year. They include:
Fruits: Blueberries and apples.
Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, beets and beet greens, garlic, salad and braising greens, tomatoes, winter squash, cabbage and onions.
Dairy: Milk and cheese.
Protein: Eggs, ground meat, seafood and dry beans.
Sweets: Maple syrup and honey.
Where to find farmers' markets in Knox and Waldo counties this winter:
State of Maine Cheese Farmers' Market – Year-round, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, 461 Commercial St., Rockport. FMI: State of Maine Cheese Company, 236-8895.
Evening Star Grange Farmers' Market – Winter (Jan/Feb/March), second Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Summer (mid-April to Mid-December), weekly, 10 a.m.-1p.m., 31 Old Union Rd., Washington (off Route 220 in the parking lot). FMI: Washington Grange Farmer's Market, 845-2140.
Lincolnville Farmers' Market – Winter, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon; Year-round, Wednesdays 2-5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon, Lincolnville Center in the former Grampa Hall's antiques space at the corner of Heal Road (Route 173) and Route 52. FMI: Lincolnville Farmers' Market, 877-1705
For more information on statewide local, seasonal, organic eating and (farmers' market shopping), visit www.mofga.org or call 568-4142.
MOFGA Seasonal Maine Recipe
Secret Chocolate Cake
Adapted from a recipe in "Simply in Season," courtesy MOFGA
Puree in food processer until smooth; set aside.
2 cups cooked Beets
1/2 cup Applesauce (no sugar, no spice)
1/2 cup baking Cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar; beat in the eggs, maple syrup and yogurt; add the pureed beet mixture; beat for about 90 seconds.
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon and gently mix into the beet/sugar mixture; stir in chocolate chips.
2-1/2 cups Whole Meal Flour (or Whole Wheat Flour)
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Spoon mixture into a greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Bake in preheated 350 F oven about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.
Makes 24 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 172 calories, 3.5 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat (0 g trans fat), 132 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.