Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Real Food: News from NM Farmers Markets

What lovely timing indeed for the NM Farmers' Marketing Association newsletter to appear just few weeks before #Mountainair's May 5 market opening ~ and right when I'm planning a social media blitz for the occasion. Just so you don't think you are seeing double, that blitz starts with cross-posting to both Mountainair Arts and our own page for the Mountainair Farm & Garden Market. At least I resisted the temptation to triple, quadruple, quintuple, etc post... for now (just spreading them out) ...

April 2011
News from New Mexico's  
Farmers' Markets  

Welcome, Spring! 

Spring is an excitinapple blossomg time of year. The days are longer. The trees are in bloom, showing their promise of summer fruit. Evenings and weekends are spent working in the garden. And, one by one, farmers' markets begin to open for a delicious new season.

Depending on where in the s
tate you live, most markets start to open for the regular season anywhere from mid-April to late July. Markets in the southern part of New Mexico, for example, tend to open a bit earlier than the cooler regions in the north. Be sure to check our website often, as we continue to update market schedules and new markets opening this year.  Find your area markets on our website.

New Mexico Winter  

Farmers' Markets

Markets will be opening soon for the regular season, but until then, visit these last few winter markets.

Every Wednesday through June: Red Willow Winter Farmers' Market (Taos Pueblo)

Thursday, April 14th: Los Alamos Winter Farmers' Market

Every Saturday through May: Santa Fe Farmers' Market and the Otero County Farmers' Market in Alamogordo

Click here for details! 

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New Officers Elected to NMFMA Board 

The New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association elected new officers and welcomed recently elected board members at its spring Board meeting in Albuquerque on March 15, 2011.

Elected to the position of President is Douglas Findley, owner of Heidi's Raspberry Farm in Corrales. Findley has served as Vice President of the Board for three years, and has been a member of the Board for six years. Findley replaces Michael Reed of the South Valley who served on the Board for nine years.

Robert Ardovino, manager of Sunland Park Farmers' Market was re-elected Treasurer; and Nadine Ulibarri-Keller, a Socorro farmer was elected Secretary.

Newly elected Board members include: Nora Haskins, executive director and board chair of the Permaculture Guild in Santa Fe; Shirley Holden, manager of the Le Jardin Verde Urban Growers' Market in Albuquerque; Rubina Cohen, founder and president of Firefly Innovation Group in Santa Fe; and, Jedrek Lamb, manager of the Albuquerque North East Farmers' & Artisans' Market.

Continuing to serve on the Board are: Cecilia Rosacker-McCord, El Rancho Nido Farm in Lemitar; Cindy Talamantes, Los Alamos & Pojoaque Farmers' Markets; and, Eric Montgomery, Las Cruces Farmers' & Crafts Market.

Featured Market: Red Willow Winter Farmers' Market   

Red Willow Growers' Co-op"The Red Willow Co-op set out to experiment with season extension for our area and to support a year-round market. And, like any experiment, there was a lot of trial and error involved," explained Gordon Hirsch, manager of the Red Willow Farmers' Market in Taos Pueblo.

With the help of a sophisticated and efficient wood-burning boiler called a garn, two large greenhouses, and a team of area youth working in the greenhouses as an after-school job, the Red Willow Center has been growing a variety of crops to supply their farmers' market with produce year-round. Despite a mechanical problem that put the greenhouses out of commission for a couple of months, the operation is back on track and producing a wide variety of greens, root vegetables, and even some peas and tomatoes that will be coming up soon.

"We did well until about about mid-December thanks to our stored winter squashes, onion, garlic, and cabbage," said Hirsch. "We kept the market open despite our lack of produce with the mechanical problems, and it warmed my heart to see that the community continued to trudge through the mud and snow to come out and support us through that."

Now, with the greenhouses back in operation and the crops doing well with the increased sunlight since the Winter Solstice, the market is once again bountiful. Market shoppers can expect to find a variety of products such as greens and salad mixes, carrots, radishes, turnips, Chinese cabbage, and soon, the ever-popular peas. Though the winter market is primarily supplied by the greenhouses, other vendors from the pueblo supplement the market with handmade goods such as breads, pies, soaps, tortillas, and crafts.

Hirsch noted that they learned a lot during their first winter market, and now have plans for the future. "We figured out that adequate winter storage is really advantageous," said Hirsch. "Those stored winter squashes really helped get us through when we didn't have the greenhouses." He hopes that in the future, the Red Willow Center can provide a place for winter storage and drying facilities for crops produced by pueblo residents in the summer and fall.

You can visit the Red Willow Co-op's indoor winter market every Wednesday from 10 am to 6 pm at 885 Starr Rd in Taos Pueblo. The market can be reached at

Raspberry Grower Adds a Sweet Touch to All the Seasons       Link to full story     

By Denise Miller, NMFMA Executive Director, for the Albuquerque Journal 

Shoppers who venture to local growers' markets during the off season can find a taste of summer awaiting their discovery. That's because of dedicated growers such as Madelyn Hastings of Duke's Raspberry Ranch in Edgewood. She grows enough raspberries during the season to keep the rest of us flush in raspberry delicacies all year.

Other well-known raspberry specialists in the state include Salman Raspberry Ranch near Mora in La Cueva, San Patricio Berry Farm in southern New Mexico not far from Las Cruces and Heidi's Raspberry Farm in Corrales. You also may find smaller berry growers at markets during the peak season.

"Raspberries are my favorite food, and I figured if I liked them this much, there must be other people who do, too," she says of her decision to quit teaching and start farming raspberries about a decade ago.
salad with Raspberry dressing
Hastings' five-acre farm in Edgewood has 1½ acres planted in raspberries. She can't keep up with production during the season, so many berries go to the freezer for later processing.

From these Hastings creates cooked raspberry jam, uncooked freezer jam, no sugar jam, raspberry barbecue sauce, raspberry vinegar and raspberry baked goods.


Read the full story here, including recipes! 

Spring Crop Coming Soon: Sugar Snap Peas!
The ever-popular sugasugar snapsr snap peas are a true taste of spring. Sugar snaps, a result of crossing green garden peas with snow peas, don't require shelling, which makes them an easy snack or salad topping. They are also sweeter and crisper than garden peas. Nutritionally, sugar snaps are a good source of iron, vitamin C and fiber. They are also best enjoyed fresh, as the sugars begin to convert to starch after picking. Keep your eyes out for these tasty treats coming to a market near you.

Five Ideas for Enjoying Sugar Snap Peas
  • Snack on them raw with a dip of 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/3 cup crumbled feta, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns  
  • In succotash, sautéed with corn kernels, scallions, and cherry tomatoes
  • Blanched and tossed with buttered egg noodles, parsley, and garlic (blanching means to  boil very briefly then plunge into cold ice water)
  • Roasted with olive oil and sea salt beneath the broiler until crisp-tender and lightly browned on the edges; drizzle with a few drops of toasted sesame oil before serving.
  • Tossed warm with fresh pesto and toasted pine nuts

Recipe ideas adapted from

NMFMA logo The New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association (NMFMA) is committed to 
 supporting our state's farmers
' and growers' markets. These markets are the
 most important survival line for smal
l farmers today, offering them direct
 access to consumers, enabling them to make a profit and stay on their farms.
 For more information, visit our website at
New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association | 320 Aztec St. | Suite B | Santa Fe | NM | 87501

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