Some quick things:
- Want to receive this list via email each week? Sign up here. (Especially recommended for when Facebook is weird.)
- We will be open on Thursday, July 4th, 7am-3pm. Normal hours return Friday (7am-6pm) and Saturday (7am-4pm). (Note that not all Market vendors will be open on Thursday.)
- FRESH MEAT available Thursday and Friday! We’ve got fresh chicken legs and thighs, fresh pork chops, tenderloins, ground pork, and pork sausages (see text for more on the pork!).
- Fava beans are back, and I’m extra excited about this week’s Romano beans.
- PEACHES of course, are probably more exciting than any bean. (Naw, beans are great!). Also there are PEPPERS — jalapeno, shishito, padron, sweet banana, chilaca……….augh!
- Also crazy exciting — limited quantities of red raspberries, mixed cherry tomatoes, and some really stellar heirloom tomatoes.
Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week!
There’s a lot going on here today. Due to the holiday on Thursday, many of our deliveries have arrived today, Wednesday. Wednesday afternoons are often a little hectic, but add an extra three or four deliveries to the mix, and well, I’m a little worried about whether or not Dusty is remembering to breathe. And it’s not just the deliveries — it’s the VOLUME. THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD STUFF RIGHT NOW.
Dusty’s like, “Do you know how much stuff is in the walk-in right now?” And I’m like, “Which thing is it you think we don’t need to have?” He has no good answer for that.
One of the “all the things” things I’m feeling right now is that I really want to tell you everything I’ve read about Chilaca peppers, and about all the delicious things we’ve been making with Romano beans, and also about how revelatory it was to eat a tomato today, but… I don’t have the time or space to tell you All The Things I want to talk about right now.
The real thing to talk about here is Rettland Farm, The Farmstead Butcher, and Beau Ramsburg. As many of you know, we’ve carried pork sausages from North Mountain Pastures for years, and for the past year or so have somewhat sporadically had various pork cuts from Pecan Meadow Farm. We really appreciate and admire both farms, but wholesale isn’t a primary business for either of them, so supplying us just isn’t part of the infrastructure they’ve built for themselves.
Over the past couple of years the name Rettland Farm has come up in more and more places, always in the context of chefs, butchers, and even home cooks we respect. We started thinking maybe this was something we should explore — and so last week, we finally did. I’ll be honest, after some of Dusty’s initial conversations with Beau, I was a little worried that we might be in too-good-to-be-true territory. I worried we’d get to the farm and realize that we weren’t going to be comfortable selling the meat, or that we’d taste it and think it wasn’t as good as what we’ve grown accustomed to, or…something else? I don’t know, but it was giving me a little bit of anxiety.
So we (Dusty, Veronica, and I) pulled into the farm last Wednesday morning, and I almost immediately felt better. It’s beautiful. Beau and his sons met us and took us for a little tour, pointing out the chickens in lush green grass, the sheep (and little baby lambs!), and then, finally, the pigs, a Tamworth/Berkshire cross. In the foreground, some wallowing under shade structures, in the background (and I’m afraid barely visible in the photos I took), wandering out to the pasture they have continuous access to (except in the coldest months, when they live in a roomy barn). To the extent that pigs and all their mud can be idyllic, it was pretty idyllic.
The more we talked, the more it became clear that we had no qualms about how Beau was raising his animals, so all that remained was to try it for ourselves.
One of the very cool things about Rettland Farm is that a couple of years ago, they actually built their own on-farm butcher shop and store. Beau takes his pigs to a local abattoir for slaughter, but then brings the animals back to his shop to be broken down into roasts and chops and sausages. Butcher shop capacity is a major struggle for many farmers, so this is a significant edge that Beau has. In addition, there just (unfortunately) aren’t all that many really artisan butchers around, perhaps mostly because USDA inspection is a major obstacle, and going through the process might not seem worth it for a very small scale operation. The advantage that having his own shop offers is that not only does Beau not have to worry about getting on someone’s else’s butchering schedule, he’s also able to completely control the quality of the final product. His chops are cut by hand, so they’re a little thicker than you often see, and, well, they’re gorgeous. He’s also able to develop cool sausage recipes, and is able to customize recipes for different outlets (like, I asked for some of them that would usually contain sugar to be made without it).
The retail shop — operating as The Farmstead Butcher — is open on Fridays and Saturdays, so we didn’t get to see it in full swing, but they have pork and chicken from Rettland Farm, as well as grass-fed beef from other local farms. They also carry Apple Valley Creamery milk, a small selection of local cheeses (including some we don’t have!), and a smattering of other well-curated local products (no produce, I think). We picked up several kinds of sausage, plus a pack of crazy thick cut, crazy fatty pork chops. Also, Beau was nice enough to grind some pork for me to give to my mom for her birthday. (When we got back in the car, Vero said, “He’s the nicest person I’ve ever met.” I don’t think she’s wrong.)
When we got home, we were overdue to begin on our normal Wednesday prep work, but that was going to have to wait — we tore open the sausage packages, and started cooking up one of each kind. We hadn’t eaten lunch yet! They were all delicious, but I’m going to tell you right now that — much to my surprise, really — the Bar Brat is the one I keep thinking about. That’s what I want on my grill tomorrow.
And then…the pork chops. Vero and her boyfriend came over for dinner, and we fired up the grill for the chops and some zucchini planks. I made that super herby potato salad again. It may have been a perfect summer meal. Those pork chops! The fat melted in our mouths. The meat was tender but real (does that make sense?). The flavor was rich and satisfying. I was completely sold.
And so, here we are — today, after the veggies, before the tortillas, before the milk (all of these things happened within about an hour), Beau brought us our first order. We’re starting with three sausages — “Simply” (salt & pepper), Breakfast, and Bar Brats. Next week we’ll add a couple more varieties. This week we’ve also got ground pork, rib and loin chops, picnic and butt roasts, and tenderloins. The chops, sausages, and ground will all be available fresh on Thursday and Friday (assuming supplies last), along with the chicken legs and thighs (packed together; separated already) we picked up this morning. We figured what better day to offer fresh meat than a day many people will be planning on grilling? We don’t exactly have a setup in place for this, so it’ll be a little ad hoc display under the milk.
Of course, none of us can live by meat alone, so we’ve got all the regular stuff, too (except no pastries on Thursday) — and what good stuff “the regular stuff” is this week! (You know the deal, keep scrolling to see all that!)
- Heirloom Tomatoes (limited)
- Mixed Cherry Tomatoes (limited)
- Padron Peppers
- Shishito Peppers
- Chilaca Chile Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Poblano Peppers
- Sweet Banana Peppers
Beans & Peas
- Fava Beans
- Romano Beans (seriously delicious)
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Green Curly Kale
- Lacinato Kale
- Rainbow Chard
- Lettuce Mix
- Romaine Lettuce
- Green Head Lettuce
- Red Head Lettuce
- Fuji Apples
- PEACHES (beautiful & ugly)
- Red Raspberries (limited)
Onions & Garlic
- Garlic Scapes
- Fresh Garlic
- Fresh Onions!
- Green & Red Cabbage
- Purple Cauliflower
- Fennel Bulbs
- Mixed Beets
- Beautiful Carrots
- Ugly/Juicing Carrots
- Red New Potatoes
- McGrath’s Original
- Sesame Original
- Irish Oatmeal Pan Bread
- Sesame & Cheddar
- American Harvest
- Three Seed
- Baguettes (frozen only)