The countdown for Farmers Market opening day — only 10 more days. We look forward to seeing everyone again on May 7. As we will be opening on Derby Day, fresh mint for the customary mint juleps will be available.
I will begin to list the first offerings of the season next week. Cool-weather crops such as lettuce, onions, spinach, kale, collard greens and asparagus are doing well. As the weather warms, our variety of products will increase.
Your favorite vendors will be returning along with a few new faces. The Boyle County High School FFA will be selling flowers and plants as a fundraiser. The proceeds will go toward travel to and expenses at their annual convention.
The Boyle County Farmers’ Market has been approved to accept WIC vouchers this year. We also have EBT and Debit Card capabilities for your convenience.
Boyle County Farmers’ Market Cookbook update: The cover and content have been proofed and approved. We received confirmation that it will go into production this week. I will post in this column when they become available.
We had another stormy week. We were awakened several times by the tornado warning sirens in the wee hours like everyone else. Thankfully, the worst weather tracked north of us.
The abundance of rain has kept the farmers from getting into their fields and gardens. Our crops, in particular, will be late this year. However, the pastures are growing beautifully. The grasses are lush and green. I’m sure the cattle are appreciative after a long winter’s diet of dried, brown hay.
Royalty arrived at our farm Friday. A new shipment of queen bees came in via the Postal Service. As I write this, Barrie has been unable to re-queen the hives due to rainy weather. As I mentioned before, bees don’t like to be disturbed when the weather is cold and/or rainy. So we have six tiny cages of buzzing bees sitting in the kitchen waiting to meet their subjects. Barrie is giving them food and water with an eyedropper.
Earlier in the week while mowing the grass, Barrie noticed a bee swarm on one of the fence posts. He captured them, thinking maybe one of our hives had swarmed. Upon checking our hives, it doesn’t appear that any of ours had left. He already had some hives prepared for doing splits so he put them in. So far, they are still here, so we are hoping they have decided to stay.
Honey bees are so important for pollination. We depend on them for pollinating our vineyard, orchard and gardens. Their honey is a wonderful by-product. We were fortunate enough to have most of our bees winter over. We did lose one hive that had been weak. The stronger hives have increased well enough for Barrie to do some splits. If all goes well, we will increase our honey yield this year.
Once the weather clears, you may want to try this recipe using honey:
Honey-Glazed Pork Ribs
4 pounds pork spareribs
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1⁄2 teaspoon each ground ginger, garlic powder & onion powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
Cut ribs into serving-size pieces and place in a large zip-lock bag.
In a bowl, combine honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, ginger, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Whisk to blend.
Pour half of the marinade over ribs in the bag. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade to use for basting.
Drain and discard marinade from bag containing ribs. Place ribs on a rack in a greased shallow baking pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Drain.
At this point, you can finish the ribs in the oven or on the grill.
Oven: Pour reserved marinade over ribs. Bake, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes or until meat is tender. Baste occasionally while baking.
Grill: Place ribs on grill over medium coals. Baste with reserved marinade. Turn and baste often until meat is tender.
The Boyle County Farmers Market is located at the Boyle County Fairgrounds in Danville. We are accepting applications to join our growing market for 2011. If you are interested, call market manager Gary Taylor, of Knobview Farms, at (859) 332-2539.