Farmer's Market Friday

With this post, I'm kicking off a new series called "Farmer's Market Fridays". I love to go to Farmer's Markets and thought that I would share with you a little about what I learn each time I visit. I honestly didn't think I would learn anything earth shattering during my visit this morning to the new Friday morning farmer's market at Reynolda Village. I was wrong!

The Farmers Market at Reynolda Village is open from 9:00 ~ 1:00 every Friday morning from now until October. For those of you that are not locals:

The shops of Reynolda Village are housed in buildings, which supported the 1,067 acre estate of R.J. Reynolds family. These buildings modeled after an English Village included dairy barns, a cattle shed, school, post office, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, carriage house, central power and heating plant and cottages to house the family's chauffeur and stenographer, the village's school master and the farm's head dairyman and horticulturist. The buildings now house stores, restaurants, services, and offices.

After talking with Daddy's Girl about the selection of Goat Cheeses she brought to the market this morning, I couldn't resist trying the Vanilla and Lavender, a James Beard Award winning cheese recently chosen for the "Farmer's Feast" event celebrating the upcoming release of the new cookbook One Big Table.  I also brought home one of the Friday-night-appetizer-worthy Tortas, her last one, a creamy goat cheese layered with pesto and sundried tomato pesto. I have already sampled both...I know, I know, at least I am not selecting the wine parinings {yet}. The Vanilla Lavender is Incredible! Really! The Torta is also wonderful and will be a regular Friday purchase.


The next thing I purchased was a Shiitake Mushroom Log for $10. Apparrently, I immerse my pet log in cold, non-chlorinated water for 24-48 hours which shocks my log and triggers the fruiting cycle. Leaving it out of direct sunlight at room temperature, the log will begin to sprout mushrooms in 6 to 10 days. You then let the log "rest" for two months and start over. My pet log should last up to four years!

So easy a cave man can do it? I'll keep you posted!

Plum Granny Farm was selling something I have never seen or heard of before called Garlic "Scapes". These are the sprouts from the top of the garlic cloves. I didn't buy them but probably should have. They are only in season for a very short time. I visited The Plum Granny Farm website to discover three enticing recipes: Grilled garlic Scapes, Garlic Scape Pesto from Honeyhill Farm and Sauteed Garlic Scapes.

Have you ever tried Garlic Scapes?

I also didn't buy any of these colorful fresh eggs. The picture doesn't really show how beautiful each of these eggs truly is. The owners said they had to be put on a waiting list for over a year to get the chickens that lay the golden blue eggs. They also sell a nice selection of farm fresh beef, pork and poultry products. I plan to try some on my next visit.

Truffles NC Keep Your Fork Farm

My last purchase of the day was a small jar of all natural Truffle Butter made with black winter truffles and pure creamery butter. For dinner, I plan to mix my little jar of truffle magic with some cracked black pepper pasta and grated Parmesan paired with a baby greens salad and bottle of red.  Although it is a tiny, little jar, she assures me it is all I need for pasta for four.

Martha Stewart actually visited the Keep Your Fork Truffle Farm in 2008 for a special day of truffle hunting. Here is what she has to say about truffles and her NC farm visit, found on her blog here:

 "Once, only found in the Perigord province of France, truffles are now successfully cultivated and harvested in North Carolina thanks to Franklin Garland. Franklin traveled to France to learn about truffles and became confident that he could produce them in the North Carolina climate. These fungi need a host plant in order to grow and survive, and in this country, those hosts are hazelnut trees. Franklin begins by sprouting hazelnuts. When the saplings are six weeks old, using a trade secret, he inoculates them with the fungus called tuber melano sporum. The trees are planted in the ground and grow for five to six years before the first truffles appear amidst their roots. Specially trained dogs are used to sniff for truffles, at which point the prize is carefully dug up. More truffles continue to grow year after year. Franklin also sells his inoculated trees to anyone who wants to start a truffle farm. With the tobacco industry in decline, he hopes that North Carolina will evolve into a truffle capital. The season for fresh truffles is December through February and Franklin and his wife, Betty, would be happy to send them to you mail order. You can visit them at"

Have a nice weekend!

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