Easy Freezing Tips in Less Than an Hour!

The best of the summer vegetables are at the market now, and soon it will be winter. What do these two things have in common? Freezing and preserving your farmers market purchases! I’m not one who loves to can or preserve fruits and vegetables, but I know that I will regret this in the winter. Therefore, I have recently started freezing my fruits and vegetables in less time than it takes to cook a meal! Here are some quick and easy tips for freezing the best of summer’s bounty, bell peppers, corn and tomatoes. All you need are freezer bags and a knife!

Bell Peppers

These are the easiest to freeze. All you have to do is wash the pepper, remove the core and seeds, dice or cut into strips, place it in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and seal it shut. That’s it! Seriously! This winter you can enjoy them in stir fry, chili or soups.

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Corn

Some people make freezing corn a little more complicated than necessary. I’ve found that my corn does just as well if I don’t blanch it and use one of the following techniques:

ON THE COB: Shuck, wash and remove silks then place ears of corn onto clean kitchen towel(s) and let them dry. Finish drying them with a paper towel and wrap each individual ear in plastic wrap. Now you can store several ears in gallon ziplock bags and pull out one or two ears out at a time this winter.

CORN “OFF” THE COB: Shuck, silk and wash ears of corn. In a large bowl, hold ear of corn at an angle and using a really sharp knife cut kernels only in half all the way down. Now use the back on knife blade and scrape the cob. This will allow you to get the corn milk. Spoon into ziplock bags and do NOT add water. Place into freezer in freezer bags. Make sure the freezer bags are flat.

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Tomatoes

Peel and core. Place into freezer bags either whole or cut up to your liking. Do NOT add water; just get the air out and zip up.   Another way I’ve done it is to blanch the tomatoes whole, remove the peel after blanching and placed them in a freezer bag. These are good for chili and soups in the winter.

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Enjoy! It might take you an hour, but you’ll be glad to have corn, tomatoes and bell peppers this winter. Ask one of our farmers for a “canning or freezing” bulk price! We’ll see you at the market!

 

 

National Farmers Market Week 2016

From August 7- August 13, Farmers Markets across the country will celebrate National Farmers Market Week. The impact of these farmer direct to consumer transactions have more impact than you would think on our local economy and farmland. Farmers Markets serve as an incubator for many businesses, positively influencing community health and increase access to fresh, nutritious food.

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The East Nashville Farmers Market has certainly been the incubator for many of Nashville’s most popular businesses, as I discussed in last week’s blog.

But more than that, the East Nashville Farmers Market was the first market in Middle TN to accept SNAP market wide. This means customers, for the first time, were able to purchase from any vendor they chose with their SNAP/EBT. Now nearly every market accepts SNAP, and we are even more fortunate to have the “Double SNAP” program from Piedmont Gas that allows us to offer an additional $20 for customers to spend on fruits and vegetables!

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Nationwide, the amount of SNAP benefits redeemed at farmers markets increased nearly 450% from 2009 ($4.2 million) to 2014 ($18.8 million) according to the Farmers Market Coalition. We are proud to start the movement in Nashville for markets to accept SNAP!

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The East Nashville Farmers Market is also helping to preserve farmland. Farmers Market Coalition states: Between 2007 and 2012, America lost more than 95,000 mostly mid-sized family farms, while the average age of American farmers increased to nearly 60. Farmers market serve as business incubators that allow farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs to keep overheads low and test new products and markets.

NFMW_Farmland-292x300Our market is home to many small family farms who depend on our market for their livelihood and our customers depend on them for their fresh, locally grown food. We are producers only market, meaning no resellers and only farmers, so you can be assured that your favorite farmer is the one who raises/makes/bakes the product you love!

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Thank you for helping us to celebrate National Farmers Market Week, and thank you for supporting our farmers!