I visited the Española Farmer’s Market the other day (see espanolafarmersmarket.blogspot.com), roughly 20 minutes from my house, and was amazed by the wealth of offerings there. Although the honey vendor I was hoping to see was not there, Cindy Stone of Wild Earth Remedies was. I was surprised by her wonderful creams and salves and rose oil. I bought three different items from her and love them so much that I must reach her to get some of her face cream. Everything I’ve tried that she makes is sumptuous.
I was captivated by the “Heritage Garden” that is part of the Market, with its functioning earth oven. The following is re-posted from espanolafarmersmarket.blogspot.com):
Española Farmer’s Market is a seasonal weekly market open every Monday from 10am-5pm mid-June through October. We also host a Friday afternoon market from 2-7pm during the height of the harvest. Farmers come from Santa Cruz, Chimayo, Peñasco, Nambe, Abiquiu, Velarde, Chile, Tierra Azul, Chamita, Cuyamungue, Lyden, La Puebla, Taos, Kewa, Hernandez and other communities to sell their fresh produce including a wide variety of heirloom and traditional vegetables, fruits and herbs. Española Farmer’s Market has received two grants from Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area (NRGNHA).
The first grant in 2010 was for the construction of an horno, a traditional clay oven, within the Market’s Wildflower Garden area, a community flower garden with eleven oval flowerbeds. Dexter Trujillo from Abiquiu worked with five local students to construct the horno throughout several consecutive Monday Markets. The students made over 300 triangular shaped adobes from the clay rich soil found at the Market site, then worked with Dexter to construct the horno and apply a finish coat of mud plaster. The horno construction attracted a variety of visitors and volunteers during each work day, watching, helping mix mud or lay adobes, or sharing stories about how their grandmother or another relative who used to bake food with a similar clay oven.
This year the Market received another grant for a “Cooking Up Traditions” project. This series of cooking demonstrations is funded for the 2012 season through NRGNHA and “Farm to School” with in-kind matching funds provided by Española Farmer’s Market. Each week during ten Market Mondays students will cook a variety of foods in the horno and also learn about preparing dishes with wild plants or other vegetables under the tutelage of Dexter Trujillo, Brenda Coriz, Norma Navarro and other cooks. We hope to continue developing the use of the horno and to honor and nurture a variety of land-based traditional practices with these cooking demonstrations. There are a variety of wild food plants already growing in the Garden including quelites, purslane, wild licorice as well as an abundance of wild dye plants.
Traditional gardens have often included both wild and cultivated foods as well as outdoor methods for cooking or preparation. We plan to cook bread, chicos, pies, squash and other foods, utilizing the nearby NNMC Commercial Kitchen for food preparation and the horno for baking. Students will learn about how to use a traditional oven and how to identify and prepare traditional food. Customers will also benefit from seeing the horno used and sampling foods. On the Chile Roasting Day, various farmers will prepare displays from their farms and identify the variety of heirloom chile they grow. Visitors can have any chile purchased at the Market that day roasted for free. One of the cooks will also be roasting chile in the horno and offering samples to taste. We will have musicians performing throughout midday to add to the celebration. The project will culminate in a potluck feast on the last Market day in October.
Love to you all,