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Farmers Market Corner for 8/27/16

Union Station Farmers Market

Denverites, if you are yearning for fresh produce and delicious heritage pork, come on down this Saturday at the Union Station Farmers Market (located at the Union Station transportation hub in downtown Denver, 1701 Wynkoop street). From 9am to 2pm, you can sample our fresh greens and other produce and take home ingredients for your dinner or something tasty prepared by our restaurants.

Black Cat Farm market produce

The Black Cat Farm booths at the Boulder and Denver markets will include the following produce on August 27, 2016:
  • Basil (lemon, Genovese, purple)
  • Beans (green, purple, yellow)
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Chrysanthemum mix (Boulder-only)
  • Cilantro flowers
  • Corn (baby, sweet)
  • Cucumbers (salad, pickling)
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce, head (Jericho and Tom Thumb)
  • Lettuce mix
  • Mizuna and Ruby Streaks mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Pakchoi
  • Squash blossoms
  • Summer squash
  • Swiss chard
  • Tatsoi
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes

Bacon, breakfast sausage, chorizo, and pork cuts will also be available.

Prepared food

We will also offer the following Black Cat Bistro frozen prepared  dish made with Black Cat Farm heritage pork:

  • Pork green chile: A Colorado staple made according to Eric’s recipe with smoked pork and green tomatoes.

Basil and greens

If you want to make pesto, this is your time of the year.  We are ready to make our first massive basil harvest of 55 gallons of which 30 gallons will be available at the market.

In our last planting, we broke ground on a new field that we named “Big Monster.” Big Monster is 800 feet long and 8 beds wide, double the size of any of our other fields. We planted greens in Big Monster, which are maturing now. With cool weather, we will have lots of greens in peak condition going into the fall.

Fall planting

Every year at the farm has its challenges. This year, seed germination has been a notable challenge. We have experienced poor germination and uneven germination, some of which caused us to re-seed rows or entire crops.

For many crops, hot weather makes seed germination difficult.  We have been waiting for cool weather to plant our crops for fall and spring. Now that cool weather is here, we have been planting non-stop. Just like making hay while the sun shines, we are planting seeds while temperatures are cool.

And it could be that our seed germination jinx is breaking. Two weeks ago, Eric planted some spinach. The first couple of beds have germinated and they look great.

Another feature of fall planting is our decision to plant much larger quantities than usual of our staples like spinach, beets, carrots, and parsnips.  For instance,  the fall planting will include 11 beds of spinach rather than the 6 beds that we customarily plant.

Planting more will let us supply more of our produce to our restaurants in the winter as well as more to the farmers markets in the spring.