A Weekend Bounty: Upper East Side Farmers Market

When I was a child, I said to my mother "why can't we eat our meals backwards"?  You know, dessert first and then....  I loved cookies, candies, cake, just about anything sweet.  Who knew many (ahem) years later that I would feel that way about vegetables and not so much about sweet stuff.  I mean I still like dessert but I really swoon over vegetables and especially at a farmers market where I know they are fresh, right from the ground, transported only a few miles from their source not hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

This weekend I decided to check out the Upper East Side Farmers Market presented by non-profit, Urban Oasis Project at Legion Park and visit Verde Farms and all of the other farmers who might be there.  My heart quickens at the sight as I drive up!  There is so much produce to choose from and when this happens I do not even know what to purchase.  While visiting Verde Community Farm and Market, I purchased some Kohlrabi, the new "in" vegetable, black radishes, duck eggs, red leaf lettuce and some organic brown rice and all of this for $17.00 which I think is a bargain. I asked Art Freidrich at Verde how do I cook the Kohlrabi and what is it really?

Kohlrabi is a root vegetable with big leafy greens.  The root has a texture similar to that of a broccoli stem but with a flavor that is sweeter.  The kohlrabi leaves are also edible and can be used interchangeably with collard greens and kale. I.e. smoothie!  Art, who is also President of Urban Oasis Project, explained the preparation of kohlrabi.  This vegetable does need a little prep by peeling off the tough outermost layer of the bulb with a vegetable peeler.  Kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in a salad, added to a soup recipe, shredded and made into fritters, roasted or steamed.  I even found a recipe for empanadas!  I decided to enjoy the fresh flavor by roasting the kohlrabi at 450 degrees in the oven cut up with minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper for 15 minutes and then adding a little parmesan cheese at the end.

Verde Farm is a certified organic farm that is a supportive housing community for more than 500 people in Homestead providing experience and job opportunities for people transitioning out of homelessness.  So not only am I helping myself with delicious, fresh vegetables but I am helping others as well.  A win-win for everyone.

I then wandered over to another farm at this market called Empower Farm.  Empower also had an impressive array of fresh vegetables plus some freshly made wheat grass juice. Empower farm is another farm that helps people.  I learn from Nicolas, the manager of this farm, that the owner, Juan Carlos Mas, has a child with disabilities and wanted to provide his child an opportunity to turn his disabilities into abilities. Mr. Mas decided to purchase a 9 acre farm in Homestead to give his child and other people the farm experience and now this farm is thriving.

There were many other vendors offering either food, juices, clothing, soaps and even a capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) demonstration too!

With my basket of fresh goodies I created this delicious salad:

Deanna's quick dinner or lunch:

Pile on fresh greens, leftover roasted or steam vegetables, beans with a poached duck egg!

Upper East Side Farmers Market

Legion Park- 6599 Biscayne Blvd. 

Biscayne Blvd and 66th Street.( Parking from 64th street)

Saturdays 9-2 pm

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/UpperEastSideFarmersMarket/