Good Saturday Morning all of you wonderful people. I just finished watching a documentary where Condoleezza Rice talked about her experiences growing up in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s and what she credits much of her success in life to. I was pretty inspired. I really like Condi Rice. She’s brilliant. She’s strong. She’s mission oriented. She can defend herself and she welcomes criticism as long as it is packed full of factual knowledge and not unwarranted, unsubstantiated opinion. She’s a badass. I do not care where you fall on the political spectrum.
What does this have to do with my foodie blog? Well she inspired me to stop watching television and start writing the article I have planned for today. It is slightly different than my normal posts about food. However, it is food related. Last Friday was Earth Day. Well I found a local Farmer’s Market that was debuting its Saturday Market Day in congruence with other vendors for Earth Day. Nick and I decided to stop by because it was promised to be a larger market than usual and we were interested in taking a look around.
What we found was an eclectic array of vendors selling everything from limeade and other juices to honey gathered from the Killer Bee Guy and Sprouts from and Organic Company in the area. Oh, let’s not forget the goats that were for sale, too. It was wonderful and plenty of flavors to be had. What I loved most about it was the various options and the fun atmosphere that all the vendors had created.
I walked around a couple of times and decided to talk to some of these vendors about their history and their products. What I loved most about the people I talked with was their uncanny ability to be open. And even better, they were all welcoming and friendly. I love friendly people. If you are ever in the Sierra Vista, Arizona area I highly suggest you all stop by this market. I wish I could go back every week!
Let me introduce to you all to my new friends!
First thing is first. Nick and I were dying of thirst when we walked onto the market’s grounds so we were in search for a good, cold drink. The first stand we stopped at: Quest for the Best, LLC had an amazing assortment of drinks, including flavored Limeades. Hello? Nick and I LOVE limeade, so we immediately purchased one.
The stand was pretty busy, but the owners took a minute to talk with us. They’re LLC is registered in Reno, Nevada, but they were on their way back North somewhere and kindly suggested we give any mention in the blog to their grandson, Scott. Nick and I were intrigued about Scott; his business idea – Kernals 4 College. I’ll give you one guess what he had going on at his stand. Ready? Yep, he had flavored popcorn to sell in two separate sizes, with all the proceeds going toward his college tuition. He told us he was going through popcorn faster than he could imagine and I envied him for his creative idea; I wish I would have done the same thing to raise tuition money! If you’re interested in contacting him, his email address is Kernals4college@gmail.com. Help this guy out!
On our way around we happened upon the director of the Farmer’s Market. I asked her if she had a favorite stand or one that I should definitely not miss. In all honesty, I think she named every stand in the place. She definitely had great energy and I am glad we wondered into her. But toward the end of our conversation, she told me to go check out a relatively new stand – Awaken Organics. Now you all know there is a lack of greenery in my food choices so I was slightly intimidated to walk over and talk to the man running this stand. I did it anyway. What you should also know is I tend to walk into situations with an open mind about experiencing new things, particularly new tastes.
That is how I met Lyle. Lyle is a cool guy and he has great energy! He started talking about his business while handing me a bunch of his hydroponically grown sprouts. Each of which did something different and good to your body. However, as the sampling went on the heat in the products went up. I love spice! I love heat in products. I was up for it! I never knew something green and small could be packed with so much powerful punch of heat. Naïve, right?
Awaken Organics is premised on one simple vision: creating a health conscious community “that respects the environment by eating conscious, healthy, nutritious foods and a biogenic diet” (Awaken Organics). I should probably eat healthier and my new friend Lyle, without knowing it, showed me how easy and tasteful it is to incorporate healthier foods into my diet. I mean I ate sprouts with nothing mixed in and I really, really enjoyed each of them! I asked him, skeptically, in what kinds of dishes I could use these sprouts and the list was endless. I am serious, the list was endless.
Awaken Organics has a great website where you can find tons of information, including more about Awaken Organics and you can order all of the products I sampled plus tons more. I urge you to check it out. If you have any questions that fall outside the purview of the website, you can email Lyle: firstname.lastname@example.org. I urge you to take a look at his website, www.awakenorganics.com.
After I walked away from Awaken Organics, I needed another drink because my mouth was on fire thanks to the yummy sprouts and Nick had managed to drink the rest of it in between our samples at Awaken Organics. That was nice of him. After another trip for a new limeade, we found an awesome stand with two wonderful women. One part of the stand was filled with yummy, homemade scones made by The Scone Lady, Maruza Buchanan. See I told you yesterday that I had a scone lady that could have hooked me up for the Royal Wedding. She had a variety of scones and we decided to buy the Blueberry Lemon Scone, which was delicious! She told me she is at the Sierra Vista Market as well as the Bisbee Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. She told use she does a mean business at the Bisbee market. If you’re interested in contacting her you can email her at: email@example.com. Yep, her company is M & R’s Chuckwagon, LLC.
At the same stand I found McDonald’s Farms. And we’re not talking Old McDonald either. We are talking endless bags of pecans and pecan related goodies. The owner of the stand has one thousands – yep, ONE THOUSAND – pecan trees on her farm. Can you imagine that many pecan trees? I certainly cannot. She said most of them were planted when she was young and now are in full bloom to shake, shake, shake those pecans off the trees and into sweet and savory recipes that she sells at the Farmer’s Market. I was pretty intrigued by the pecan tree story.
After we spent some time with The Scone & Pecan Ladies, we walked back to a little stand that I saw when we first walked onto the grounds. I love peppers. I use them in a ton of recipes and I saw this gentleman roasting peppers in the hot son of the Farmer’s Market. I wanted all of them. I wanted his roasting machine and I wanted to go away happy. He told me the charring process was fairly easy and it was even easier to clean the char from the peppers. Instantly I knew I wanted to get my blow torch out and torch some peppers. I have a great idea for this week with some awesome peppers! Just keep checking. If you’re interested in speaking with Dawk about his pepper roasting business please email him at: Lionsden20111@hotmail.com. He’s a great character and will talk with you about any questions you have!
Last week was also Easter and we wanted to smoke our ham. We also wanted to make the best glaze possible, which would invariably have to include honey. We stopped by the Killer Bee Guy stand. Oh yes, he is the infamous man who goes in and extracts Killer Bees from property around the country. Keep in mind his mission is not to kill the bees, but to extract the queen and colony to extract the honey. He puts these killers to work. God Bless him, but it freaks me out a bit. I should tell you all that I have ALWAYS been afraid of bees. The stand had a ton of different flavors of honey, which was a great learning experience for me because when I think of honey I think of bear honey. As silly as that may sound, it is true! We went with one of his award winning seeded honey mustard honey and it brought an amazing flavor to our ham the next day. If you want to order any honey, check out his website: www.KillerBeeGuy.com.
Last but certainly not least is The Soup Sisters, LLC. The soup sisters were vibrant, full of energy and ready to answer any of our questions. They are definitively a dynamic duo. Oh, did I mention they are twins? These women were phenomenal. Even today I can taste their flavorful Chicken Tortilla Soup and awesome Spicy Italian Sauce Soup. I love soup. They are currently trying to get their business to be bigger and badder. They have outgrown their kitchen and found a local pizzeria in Catalina [Priced Right Pizza] whose owner gives them access to his kitchen, which allows their creative ability to flourish. They have got a ton of flavors to offer and are currently in the final stages of getting their soups in the Sierra Vista Food Co-Op. I think that is awesome! I am so excited for them but completely envious that my products are not featured in stores! I still have some time.
They have a great history. Previously they were in the catering business way up north in Minnesota and were originally from the North East. What a small world. It is always fun to run into people from our neck of the woods and gives you an instant connection, especially when the people are packed full of friendly energy! I loved these women instantly. I cannot wait until they get their shipping business up and going because I will be the first person to order some of their soups! I obviously want to dissect the ingredients and create something similar! Just thinking about their soups is making my mouth water. Jodee, Jill where are you???? I need some soup! You can find any additional information on their website: www.TheSoupSisters.IntuitWebsites.com or you can email them with any questions at: TheSoupSisters@hotmail.com.
It really pays to take a look around local farmers markets. I learned that last week and am excited to continue on my journey across the country to find other amazing markets. If you see something you like, talk to the people at the stand they are likely going to greet you with a big smile and tell you all about their delicious endeavors! I learned so much about these amazing people and I walked away energized and even more curious about what I can find at other markets!
I hope you all enjoy your Saturday!
Until Next Time,
Happy Market Finding!