Meal at the Market
July 11, 2008
It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a farmers’ market to make a meal that uses fresh ingredients. Buying locally grown food is not just about taste and quality, experts say, but also about reducing energy consumption.
Food and energy conservation is the scheduled topic of The Utah Farm Bureau Federation’s mid-year conference held July 17-18 at the Park City Marriott hotel.
Ranchers, farmers and policy makers are slated to discuss issues ranging from the price of fertilizer, which has increased more than 200 percent in the past few years, and the cost of diesel fuel in the state, which recently surpassed the $4 doomsday mark, according to a Farm Bureau press release.
"As American consumers, we need to recognize that the food we enjoy, and often take for granted in our corner grocery store, travels more than 1,200 miles on average before it reaches our kitchen table," Leland Hogan, Utah Farm Bureau President, said in the release.
Many of the 85 vendors at the Park City Farmers’ Market live within 50 miles of the Cabriolet parking lot at The Canyons resort, where the Park City Farmers’ Market is held every Wednesday.
Park City’s strength is in its local farmers, ranchers and producers, said Volker Ritzinger, the organizer and manager of Park City’s market.
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Examples at the farmer’s market abound.
Sue Post’s five-acre bio-dynamic farm is just off Interstate 80 in Hoytsville. She grows fresh produce, lettuce, legumes and flowers at Ranui Garden.
Rose Kaszuba bakes cakes, Danishes, bread and pastries using organic flour, free- range eggs and locally-made honey instead of sugar.
Volker Ritzinger, who owns Volker’s Bakery with his family, operates his business out of Kamas. He uses basil grown in nearby fields. "The difference with a farmer’s market is that the people behind the counter are the ones who made the stuff," he explained.
Ritzinger sells artisan bread at 20 regional markets as close as Salt Lake City and as far away as Pocatello, Idaho. He decided to expand the Park City Farmers’ Market from last year and has about 3,000 people visit the 85 vendors selling furniture, fresh fruit and produce every week from noon to seven.
The Park Record decided to take on the fresh food challenge: To make a meal using only ingredients produced in Summit and neighboring Morgan Counties.
Salad and vegetables
Grab a freshly picked bag of mixed greens ($5.50) or lettuce ($4.50) from Ranui Gardens to make a dinner salad. Add a handful of branch-like legumes called garlic scapes ($1 per handful) to turn a more standard vegetable dish into an asian delicacy.
The five-acre plot in Hoytsville is one of the only biodynamic farms in Summit County, says Sue Post. That means the farm operates on a lunar calendar and is pesticide-free.
Adventurous diners can bunch the scapes into a vase to make a bouquet for the center of the table. More traditional diners can buy a handful of Sweet Williams ($8) to adorn the table.
The pink, fuchsia and magenta flowers may not be edible, but they can add to the visual splendor of a meal, Post says.
Volker’s Bakery produces 20 different kinds of artisan breads and pastries. Owner Volker Ritzinger suggested starting a meal with a loaf of Garlic Country bread ($6).
Bakers use organic rosemary grown near Zion National Park and whole garlic cloves to give the sourdough bread its tasty and restorative zing.
A small jar of made-from-scratch Smoking Viablo dipping sauce ($6) will have your taste buds singing, Ritzinger said.
Some jam with that
Find the perfect specialty jalapeno preserve with Pepperlane Products’ array of canned jams made in Coalville. "The universal use of the jams is over cream creese or on artisan bread," said owner and canner Michele Trover, who operates Pepperlane Products out of Wanship.
Trover recommended a 9-ounce jar of Sweet Heat Jalepeno jam ($7) to slather on Volker's bread. "It gives bread a little kick," she said, and added that a cranberry jalepeno jam dresses a turkey sandwich nicely for a lunch treat.
Lamb with that?
Perhaps no sheep-to-eat are as free to roam as the wooly inhabitants of Morgan Valley Lamb. They wander a 35,000 acre plot outside Porterville, Utah, in Morgan County. "Lamb is more tender than beef," owner James Gillmor boasts.
The lamb is processed in Salt Lake City every week before it is packaged and ready for sale at the Park City Farmer’s Market.
Gillmor’s stock is hormone-free and all natural, Gillmor said. He recommended a four-pound boneless butterfly leg of lamb ($30) marinated in balsamic oil, garlic and rosemary.
The roast can serve eight to 10 people and can be barbecued or baked in the oven.
Ambitious chefs can mix the marinade themselves. The rest of us can use Sunny Bay Marinade by Mark Stevens ($12).
The marinade has extra virgin olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and some herbs and species, the marinade’s secret ingredients.
The Stephenses first sold their sauce at Tony Caputo’s Deli & Market in Salt Lake City. Then they started selling the sauce at the Salt Lake City and Park City farmers markets.
The family lives in Park City.
Save room for dessert
Rose Kaszuba of Silver Rose Gourmet Mercantile has been baking specialty breads and desserts for more than 10 years in Park City. True to her Polish heritage, Kasbuza describes her pastries as having an Eastern-European influence.
She recommended her Honey Lemon Cake ($20) for dessert. The beehive-shaped cake uses locally produced Knight Honey, organic flour, organic lemons, free-range eggs and hormone-free butter and dairy. The result is delicious. "The cake moist without being sweet," she explained. Plus, it has health benefits. "Honey has so many more nutrients than sugar. It's savory and sweet."
The pound cake is finished with a citrus glaze.
Kaszuba bakes 39 different European danishes gushing with fresh raspberries, strawberries and, soon, peaches. "Someone asked me today if we had anything with apples," she said as a matter of fact. "Apples aren’t in season."