Market News!

street scene June 13, 2015: A sunny day downtown!

The second Sustainable Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market of the season fell on a much-needed weekend full of sunshine. We saw the return of many favorite vendors from years past, such as Pumpkin Pond Farm, and welcomed new farmers, artists and crafters alike.

 

 

We’re Loco for Local Food!

The phrase “eat local” is ubiquitous these days, whether it’s on a bumper sticker, water bottle, or healthy lifestyle blog. But what does it really mean to be a “locavore” and why is it important?

carrots and radishes close up Lazy Man

Spring radishes & carrots from Lazy Man Gardens, SN Community Farm Institute on Hummock Pond Road.

“Eat local” isn’t just a catchy saying, but an important reminder that our food choices matter. Eating local entails buying food that is sourced within a close geographic distance (well, duh!). On our little island 30 miles out to sea, we face greater obstacles than our mainland friends do obtaining food. This means that it is even more important to buy food grown on island!

There are numerous benefits to choosing locally sourced food over commercially processed food. Firstly, there are the nutritional advantages. Local food is almost guaranteed to be fresher, for there is less time it is being held, processed, chilled and transported. To put it simply: the fresher the food, the more nutrients you are getting. Many micronutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients in plant products diminish as soon as the fruit or vegetable is picked. At the Sustainable Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market, you can pick up produce at its peak for nutrition and taste, often within hours of being harvested.

Cheryl Emery at her table

Cheryl Emery of ACK Sweet Water Farm, Community Farm Institute grower, at the Market with her organically-grown produce and herbs.

A “locavore” lifestyle not only promotes a healthy diet, but a healthy economy as well! By purchasing local products, you are supporting the local economy and allowing small businesses and farms to thrive. Agriculture is a huge aspect of Nantucket’s history, and supporting Nantucket’s growers means perpetuating this integral part of our past and present culture.

It is of little surprise that eating local reduces the harmful greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption associated with transportation. What many people do not often think about though, is just how far our food has to travel! Some of the products people buy from California or Central America, such as strawberries and spinach, could be purchased from Nantucket growers.

Another important benefit to eating local food is the connection you create between you and your food. At the market, you can speak directly with the growers and ask questions about how the produce is grown and uses for each item. You can forge relationships with the farmers themselves and benefit from the knowledge they have to share.

Pumpkin Pond lettuces

Organic greens from Pumpkin Pond Farm at the Market.

Last but not least, local food is delicious! Why bite into limp, tasteless lettuce when you can have it fresh, crispy, juicy (and maybe just a little sandy). Small growers also have a great deal of freedom to experiment with unique crops, so you will find much more variety of specialty produce in the farmers market spread than on the grocery store shelves. You are certain to find crops you’ve never heard of before! Whether it’s amethyst radishes, yellow watermelon, chocolate bell peppers, or green zebra tomatoes, your island farmers can expand your palate and bring wild colors and fun flavors to your plate.

While Nantucket probably won’t be supplying your bananas, avocados or quinoa anytime soon, it is easy to supplement your regular grocery haul with island-grown produce. Stop by the market every Saturday to pick up the freshest bounty from any of our increasing number of island farmers.

Nantucketgrown_transparency

Vegetable of the week: pea shoots

A staple in some Asian cuisines, Pea shoots have officially made their way to the Nantucket table. The crisp stems and tender leaves provide verdant hues and a sweet crunch to your spring dishes. This little green veggie contains a boatload of nutrients. Pea shoots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. Pea shoots are delicious in salads and sandwiches or can be thrown in a stir fry or wilted on top of risotto or pasta. Try them rolled up in a refreshing veggie wrap with hummus, spinach, carrots and other spring vegetables of your liking. Get your fresh pea shoots this Saturday at the table of ACKFresh organically grown in their plot at the new Sustainable Nantucket Community Farm Institute at 168 Hummock Pond Road!

Pea Shoots - we used them for everything from salads to stir fries!

Check out some of our new and returning vendors!

Kate Ortega

Kate Ortega smilingMarket newcomer, Kate Ortega, has already wowed visitors with her eclectic “Crafterinka” pieces. Her multi media crafts all have an island flair. She creates handprinted houseware that would be great for decorating your island home including hand-sewn dinner napkins, napkin rings, pillows and placemats. Kate also makes cards, burlap notebooks, baby clothes, and knit items. Her table is filled with creative goodies that would make one-of-a-kind gifts for your friends and loved ones!

 

 

 

 

See Kate and her Nantucket crafts downtown at the market this Saturday!

Kate Ortega knitwear

Pumpkin Pond FarmKelsea from Pumpkin Pond Farm

A staple among Nantucket growers, Pumpkin Pond Farm offers some of the best organic produce and plants on island. They sell countless edible crops as well as flowers, potted plants and succulent gardens. The organic farm, farm stand and nursery is located on Millbrook Road by Hummock Pond and is open 7 days a week. Their gorgeous greenhouses and gardens are worth a trip out there! Pumpkin Pond will be selling their produce at the Sustainable Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market this Saturday and more throughout our market season. Come visit Kelsea at the market and ask her about PPF’s latest crops!

To learn more about Pumpkin Pond Farm, check out their website: http://pumpkinpondfarm.com/Organic_Farm.html

 

 

Nancy Jakubik

If you’re looking for a sweet fix, Nancy Jakubik’s toffee will hit the spot! This crunchy, nutty treat is homemade by Nancy on island with simple, natural ingredients. They come in boxes or bags of toffee pieces and make a great Nantucket souvenir or host gift. Nancy sells her toffee alongside her “Wonderful Things” jewelry, quilts and other crafts. Her jewelry includes wrap bracelets, beaded cuffs and delicate gold necklaces. Nancy will be at the market this Saturday with her delicious toffee and “Wonderful Things”!Nancy Jakubik stringing a necklace

 

 

 

Check out Nancy’s website and online store: https://squareup.com/market/wonderfulthings

 

 

 

SNAP

New SNAP ImageDid you know that we accept SNAP at the Sustainable Nantucket Farmers and Artisans Market?? SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a federal food assistance program that allows people of limited income to enjoy the amazing, locally produced fruit, vegetables and other food products our island farmers, foragers, and cooks provide. Last year we started our double dollars program, so for the first $10 you redeem, we give you $20 to spend on food! Come to the Sustainable Nantucket SNAP table under the yellow tent to get your SNAP dollars and learn more about this program.

For more information on SNAP and how to apply: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dta/food-assistance.html