Tag Archives: Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Ann Arbor Bagels

Ann Arbor Food

I have been looking for a great bagel ever since I moved from New Jersey. It has been a kind of obsession for me, which peaked when I moved in Portland Oregon and I could not find a good bagel.

For a few years, I  wondered in a bagel dessert that was Portland until Kettlemans opened up. They bagels were good, and boiled they way they should.

During my wonderings, I attempted to make bagels at home. I am still working on recreating the bagels of my homeland.

Now living in Ann Arbor there are a few bagels to choose from.

There is Barry’s bagels. They are right near my house and next to the library, so they are my go to. I like their vanilla cinnamon. I am not a raisin fan but like cinnamon on a bagel.

I give Barry props for cinnamon vanilla.

No Ann Arbor Bagel conversation is complete without talking about Zingermans. People love their bagels and they have their own appeal as “traditional” style bagels, but for myself who grew up on the New Jersey (and NYC for that matter) super puffy bagels Zings are not my thing.

The best bagel in town, the one closest to my favorite, Hot Bagels of Fairfield, in Fairfield NJ is Elaine’s out of Detroit.

The are sold at Kerrytown, Produce Station and Morgan and York.

With that said, I am still working towards making bagels myself.

Here is my latest attempt.

I used the bagel recipe from Best Recipes. They were good, but I still think they need some work. I might add a little sour dough starter for a little kick and use sugar in the boiling water.

Best Recipes technique (and other sources) requires rolling out the bagel and placing them on a sprayed baking sheet covered with plastic for 13-18 hours in the frig to create a slow, flavor creating rise.

The problem is that my frig is only so big and if I wanted to make more than 6 bagels (one sheet pan) I would kind of be out of luck.

So I took the dough and put it in a plastic tub to rise over night then I rolled them out the next day to rise.

This solved for the space issue, but the dough was cold and hard to form and it would take hours to poof up again, but I went with it anyway.

I let the dough poof up at room temp for two hours and boiled and baked them. I think they could have benefited from a little more proofing. Maybe next time I will proof them in the oven with a pilot light on, or let them rise longer.

The idea here is to make bagels to offer for sale at the Westside Farmers Market and for special orders in town.

Ann Arbor Food

Rolled Bagel Dough

Ann Arbor Food

Proofing after 2 hours

Ann Arbor Food

boiling bagels 30 seconds

Ann Arbor Food

draining bagels

Ann Arbor Food

baked bagels

Inchworm Micrgreens and Pie

Today’s offerings at the Westside Farmers Market today from 3:00-7:00PM are:

Cinnamon Cake: A coffee cake with a cinnamon and sugar swirled inside

Rhubarb Pie: Local rhubarb, all butter crust

Both made with organic sugar, org flour, org eggs, rbgh free butter (tilimook)

Pea Shoots and Sunflower Shoots

Grown in organic soil

Sunflower seeds are organic pea are natural from Johnny Seeds

Growers vs Resellers at Farmers Market

There has been an ongoing debate on the Michigan Farmers Market Association Listserv about what type of vendor should be allowed at a Farmers Market.

Among the issues discussed are whether to allow vendors from out of state and whether to allow resellers, people who do not grow their own produce/meat/cheese/artisan products etc. to sell at the market.

I have provided a small sample of the responses to this passionate debate below.

How do I weigh in on the subject?

I have no problem with vendors coming in from bordering states. The Ohio border is closer for example than many towns in Michigan with farmers who might come to sell at an Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

As some will know, I sell microgreens at the Westside Farmers Market. I grow them in a small backyard garden and I am pretty sure that the Westside only allows grower/producers to sell there. I like the policy.

By contrast, I have been to markets with vendors who sold out of the region fruits like grapefruit at their booth. The fruit was no even organic, and I felt that it did not fit in at the market. What made the grapefruit at a farmers market any different from buy it at the grocery store?

I felt if too many of the vendors were resellers it would make customers question the difference between a farmers market and the produce section of a chain grocery store.

So where do I stand on the reseller question?

Ideally, I think that a farmers market should strive to try to have only growers/producers.

Customers who come to a farmers market assume that they are buying from the farmer and come to the market in part to by local.

Buy locally and Meet Your Farmer/Artisan is a huge marketing slogan for Farmers Market and having too many resellers may weaken a Farmers Market Brand.

It may be hard to find the variety of farmers and artisans to make a well rounded market with a grower/producer only policy, but I feel that sticking by that policy will support new upstart local growers (like myself) who will be vendors at your Farmers Market.

Customers will appreciate it and the Market would have created a great Brand.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Fay,

Yes there is reason!!  I live 2 miles from the INDIANA state line and in our market we have some growers that live on the other side of the line.   Yes we do know they grow the produce but they are from out of the state making there produce from another state.  My sister brings here sweet corn and that is 7 miles from our market in Indiana, what you are saying is we should cut our market in half because we should not have out of state produce.  In the reverse I should not be able to sell in the markets in Indiana we sell in because we are out of the state?  We feel that the local is within 50 miles but our venders are with in 30 miles.

We understand local very well but every market is to understand the location of what you are talking before blanket NO reason to have produce coming from out of state.

Dana

Three Oaks Farmers Market


Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:42:53 -0500
From: bigskyfarm@GMAIL.COM
Subject: Re: growers vs resellers at a market
To: FARMMKTMI@LIST.MSU.EDU

There is absolutely NO reason for markets to have any produce coming from out of state, much less out of the country!!!!  I do feel that some reciprocity is helpful, however, among farmers with different types of produce, limited growing seasons, limited time to attend markets. Farmers markets are hard work, as we all know!  As more communities have started small neighborhood markets it becomes impossible to attend so many of them, and this invites fraud/reselling/misrepresentation.  Co-op selling is a good idea and helpful to all.  I agree that the early and late season present “volume” issues for farmers, but there are a lot of ways to plan for that and they should plan accordingly with other offerings of their own or from local collaborators. Storage crops??????

BUT the key, as Chris says, is transparency.  In my view the basics indicated by Chris are the sign of a healthy market of the type that the people really want, and anything else undermines the credibility of the entire system.  I recently found garlic from China at one of the roadside produce stands–which the average person assumes means local produce, but of course we know differently…. The recent televised scandal in Oakland county, in which a grower represented his produce as “pesticide free”, sustainably grown, etc. but was filmed purchasing it at the Eastern Mkt. has sent shock waves through our farmers market and, more importantly, organic growers communities.  ALL farmers are hurt by those who cut corners or misrepresent their produce !!!!!!!!

Unless our markets represent local, fresh produce there is no reason for people to shop there when the grocery store may be cheaper or more convenient.  HIGH STANDARDS, TRANSPARENCY are what I look for when I think about where I want to sell my produce and where I want to buy it!

Fay Hansen

On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM, Christopher Bedford <chrisbedford@charter.net> wrote: 

Stacie, 

You have raised a CORE issue that troubles many farmers’ markets and their managers.
At many West Michigan farmers markets, resellers go to a wholesale fruit/vegetable market and buy their produce to resell at the
farmers’ market. Many of this resellers simply double the wholesale price and sit there as if the produce was their own.
Some farmers buy in the wholesale market for early and late in the season, selling their own produce during peak production periods.
And there are many variations in between. So what should you do?
I believe the key concept here is TRANSPARENCY.
Consumers have a right to know what they are buying.
In my opinion, every vendor at a farmers’ market should be required to publicly display the following information.
1. Where the various fruits and vegetables were grown? Local? From some other place?
2. How were they grown? Were pesticides and herbicides used? If so, which ones?
3. When were they picked? (Michael Hamm likes to point out, the time of harvest is one of the critical elements in nutritional content.)
These three pieces of information make the reseller vs. grower controversy mute.
Resellers simply label their produce as such. If their lettuce was harvested three weeks ago in Mexico, they should reveal this information.
Transparency means everyone competes on a level playing field, building trust with customers and supporting ethical behavior in food production.
Unfortunately, there is strong resistance to all three transparency requirements.
I resigned from the Board of the Michigan Farmers Market Association over this issue.
Right now, we, as a state, permit some vendors, often big anchor vendors at farmers’ markets, to blatantly misrepresent or hide this information.
This is neither sustainable, ethical, nor economically smart.
The local food revolution must be based on integrity and transparency.
Let McDonalds call their McNuggets chicken even though half the ingredients are not chicken.
We have to be better than that.
With TRANSPARENCY and honest labeling, farmers are free to do anything they chose.
And the consumers’ rights are protected in the process.
Chris Bedford
On Jan 22, 2011, at 12:40 PM, Douglas Dubin wrote:
We are facing a conflict at our farmers market between growers and resellers.  Would like to know how people are dealing with this.  More importantly, looking for research to either show that both can be or not be supported at one market.  Thanks! 

Stacie Dubin
Co- market manager/farmer

To remove yourself from this list, email to: listserv@list.msu.edu and include the following in the text of the message: UNSUBSCRIBE FARMMKTMI. If this method does not work, then please email smalley3@msu.edu in order to be removed from the list.

Christopher Bedford
Filmmaker-Writer-Organizer
Center for Economic Security
#6543 Hancock Road
Montague, MI 49437
231-893-3937

Westside Farmers Market: The Last Day of the Market

Ann Arbor Food

Well, today was the last day of the Westside Farmers Market for the season. As you know this was Inchworm Micrgreens Farm/Bakery’s first year.

We learned a lot, meet some great people (vendors, market managers…Corrina we are talking about you, and of course our customers.

We will be back next year for sure to offer sunflower, and pea sprouts, and a spicy micro mix.

And there will be baked goods. Yes, we will have our focaccia bread, and our pocket pies, and galettes made from seasonal fruits purchased at the market. Be on the look out for strawberry rhubarb pies, the first of the season.

And Emily has big plans for shortbread cookies.

We are also starting mushrooms logs this fall which should be ready for sale mid summer at the market.

And…….wait for it……

Ann Arbor Food

Bagels!!!!

We will be testing recipes this winter to create the perfect bagel like the kinds I grew up with in NJ/NY.

Thanks again for your support.

Please stay in Touch, and follow us on this blog for updates about what we are going

Thanks

Brian Steinberg
Inchworm Microgreens Farms/Bakery
Ann Arbor, MI

chefbrian1@yahoo.com

Real Time Farms.com

The gang from RealTimeFarms.com Proudly showing off their first Dollar Earned

Karl and Cara Rosaen and Lindsay Jean Hard sit around a sunny living room on the west side of Ann Arbor manning laptops. They are busy working on their local farm-and-food portal, RealTimeFarms.com. The website was launched on April 30 and features photos of fruits, vegetables and baked goods that are available at local farmers’ markets and restaurants in real time.

I wanted to create a website that helped local farmers to market and distribute their produce at the market and to restaurants. The site makes it easier for farmers and restaurants who want to source food locally to connect,” said Karl.

There are over 6,000 farmers’ markets in the US alone, and 5,000 restaurants sourcing produce locally. Realtimefarms.com hopes to eventually have photos posted for every farmers’ market during the season and have menus listed from restaurants that locally-source food.

Farmers have their photos posted for free. Restaurants are charged a fee for the service to post an interactive menu that links menu items with the pictures and stories of the local farmers who grow and raise the food.

Corrina Parker, manager of the Westside Farmers’ Market in Ann Arbor, has been using Real Time Farms to feature the farmers and produce variety at the market.

The reason why people come to farmers’ markets is to know the story of where the food comes from,” said Parker.

Realtimefarms.com provides a story section where farmers can share information about what they offer and the farming methods.

It can be a little awkward asking a farmer at a market if they use pesticides,” said Cara. “Especially if they do, and you don’t buy and walk away.”

Information about a farmers growing practices, such as non-spray, certified organic or use of organic practices, is listed on the site, which provides users more insight into the food they buy.

The real-time aspect of the site is a unique feature.

Most farmers’ markets provide a seasonal chart of fruits and vegetable,” said Karl. “But that does not provide information about what is at the market right now. For example, in Michigan, cherries were out early this year.”

The website works by having people take pictures at a market from a cell phone or digital camera. It is then sent from the phone or in an e-mail and posted instantly. A picture is attached into the e-mail, and the name of the farmers’ market is provided in the subject line. A listing of what is in the photo is posted in the body of the e-mail.

We are working on an iPhone app, which is scheduled to be out in the fall,” said Karl. The iPhone application will allow users of the site to see real-time updates of what is available at their local markets or while traveling.

The photos go into a directory for a particular farmers’ market and a slide-show is generated.

I post the slide show on our website,” said Parker. The slide show can be embedded into farmers’ market websites to provide real-time photo updates automatically.

The site depends largely on the market manager and customers to take the photos and post them to the site. More farmers’ markets are being added all of the time, with even a few from as far away as England.

Our numbers have gone up 50 percent this year compared to last year, and I am sure realtimefarms.com has helped,” said Parker. “Once farmers’ market managers see what [realtimefarms.com] can do…it is exciting.”

Most farmers are open to having pictures taken of their food and to have it posted online. Amish farmers do not allow having their pictures taken, but let people take pictures of their produce.
“Lots of farmers don’t have a website,” said Parker. Sites like realtimefarms.com basically do the work of giving a farmer a web presence.
“We have mostly focused on getting this site going locally, but we plan to have a national push for spring,” said Karl.

Cottage Food Bill: Instantly Turns a Profit

Ann Arbor Food

My Peach Pocket Pie, Picture from RealTimeFarms.com

Just a few days out from Jennifer Granholm signing the Cottage Food Operation Bill, Inchworm Bakery (That’s me) is happy to announce that we sold out of our local peach pocket pies at the Westside Farmers Market. Many were amazed that this bill became a law so quickly. There was a buzz with other farmers, and venders about food products they would like to make and offer at the market. I was the first one out of the gate, but more will soon follow, and thanks to this new law, a diverse and exciting range of Michigan Made food products will be available.

We plan to use as many Michigan ingredients as we can. All of our baked goods will use organic Michigan Flour.

Next weeks offerings will feature Michigan peaches, cherries, a chocolate pie, and local apricot pocket pies. And Emily will be featuring shortbread cookies.

Ann Arbor Farmers Market: Sat April 10

Organic Popcorn and Wheat

It is still pretty early in the season. There seemed to be more people selling crafts and plants than actual food to eat. A quick list of what I noticed: Spinach, shittake mushrooms, salad greens, eggs, beef/buffalo, wheat, popcorn, cider, potatoes, and jams.

Frog Holler Plant Starts

Frog Holler Plant Starts

Red Velvet Cupcakes Minis

Lemongrass Starts