Feedback request: what do YOU want to see at market?

We are currently putting together our massive seed order for 2009. I’ll be writing more about this soon, especially with regards to the requirements of organic certification, but for now I have this request:

Do any readers have specific items, produce, or other farm products they’d like to see available at market that have been hard to find? Last year we got a tip from a friend who wanted to see fresh edamame, and that worked out quite nicely, as we were the only ones at market with it and people just went bonkers. We’re putting in twice as much this year. We really try to focus on diverse, interesting heirloom produce (you won’t find many round, red tomatoes on our farm) and so are especially interested in customer desires.

So send us an email, or preferably post a comment, with your ideas and requests. Specific varieties, types of produce, other farm products…what can we grow or produce that you can’t find or would want to buy from us? Given that we’re certifying this year, is there something you can find already but not organiclly? At the least, maybe I can answer a question about WHY something isn’t common. For example, carrots are relatively rare in part because they are not very well suited to central Missouri’s thick clay soil, and so are hard to grow in a quality that customers will pay for. So bring on the questions, suggestions, and feedback so we can better serve you. And for non-locals, send in your ideas anyway, because maybe you know of a trend we don’t, and your ideas about good farms and markets are still useful.

7 thoughts on “Feedback request: what do YOU want to see at market?

  1. Local edamame! I never got to experience any of that, but perhaps this year, if I wake up bright and early, I might be able to get in on it.If I could make any request, it would be for tomatillos. We love them, but couldn’t find any locally produced ones last year, which meant we couldn’t can and freeze as much as we would have liked to.

  2. Tomatillos, serrano chiles, white onion, garlic, cilantro (and with a slight miracle, limes). And enough corn to make tortillas & tortilla chips 🙂 In all seriousness, if you are growing all those things when I finally make it to Chert Hollow Farm, I'll make you enough kick-ass salsa to last a long time (and my salsa is good just with chips but also as a base for sauces). I think the best salsa I ever made was with all farmer's market ingredients this summer.Black beans would be a nice touch. A local farmer here is growing some organic black turtle beans that are amazing, as well as some other organic varieties. $5/500g is totally fair to me because they're so incredible.I would also like to do more with habanero chiles. And I can never find fresh epazote, which kicks the beans up a big notch (I settle for dried, which is a little different). And nothing beats good poblano peppers… so many uses, but stuff a bit of the good melting cheese you make or buy inside and you'll be hooked for life.Too bad you can't grow avocados in Missouri :)In the non-Mexican category I always like getting broccoli, squash (we discovered some amazing patty pan squash that were quite large but grilled/roasted beautifully and I *LOVE* butternut squash, but am also into trying various types), and onions at market. When I say onions, we bought a ton of these small bulb onions that still had the tops, both white, yellow and purple… we would just grill them up and they were so sweet and amazing, went with just about anything.OK, this is long, and obviously I can't buy much from Toronto, but maybe that's a kick-start for your list 🙂

  3. I know Walker grows tomatillos…I’ve husked a few of them myself out at the farm. But he wasn’t at the market this year, so maybe The Root Cellar is your only hope.They are indeed a special fruit/vegetable.

  4. I had to come back and strongly second Joshua’s suggestions, those all sound amazing, and Mexican and Asian are pretty much the only cuisines I cook. Fresh epazote! I didn’t even think of that.And you know, I know space and location are an issue, but brown rice would be wonderful. I’ve seen Missouri grown white rice, but have been unable to find brown.I am really excited for next years growing season! Too bad its only January…

  5. We are indeed growing tomatillos this year; this was Joanna’s push and clearly she’s right. Having never grown them before, we’ll see how they do, but they are in the works. I’m pretty sure Mike McGowan has grown tomatillos in the past as well; don’t know if he will this year.We already do garlic, onions, and cilantro. We did epazote before but no one bought it. We can try again. We do some hot peppers which rarely sell because we’re in Missouri, but we like them. We are expanding our dent corn significantly, though we need so much for our own uses that I’m not sure we’ll ever really sell it (except as market-fresh cornbread like last year).We sold small onions last year and they did well. Not everyone wants to buy a massive onion that will take them three nights to use and will stink up the fridge in the meantime. I like our little golfball and smaller onions, and plan to have lots this year. We sell most of our onions with tops. One of the problems with onions, to me, is price. Everyone sells them for so cheap that I have a hard time getting a price that I feel is worth it; too many people see my price and snort. This is why I won’t even consider selling sweet corn.There’s no way we can do rice, unless we get certified warning of another year like 2008!And yes, Joshua, we will indeed be growing all those things whenever you come to visit, and will be thrilled to share the kitchen with you and Renee. I can’t wait to spend a week or more enjoying the fruits of harvest with you all.

  6. I would like the edamame and some varities of garlic. Chives would be good. Basil and cilantro are always winners in my book. Now i know who you are, I will seek you out.–Jeff G.ps. I cannot get this stupid identity thing to work even though I have a blogger account. Oh well, I will be sort of anonymous.

  7. Thanks for all the input. Hopefully the edamame do well this year, which I expect they will as there’s a reason half this state is planted in soybeans. We’ll have many varieties of garlic again, though we’ve stepped back a bit from the 13 of last year.Our cilantro this year lasted through multiple frosts, halfway into the winter. Amazing stuff. I miss it now, but will have more next year.