There are just a few weeks left to visit Lilburn Farmers Market, open 4-6 p.m. Fridays at 1400 Killian Hill Road, in the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church parking lot. The market has more than 40 vendors, including farmers and bakers, along with musicians, chef demos and food trucks. The last market for the year is Aug. 26. You can find more information at lilburnfarmersmarket.org.
Locally grown flowers
Danielle Durgin farms 1 acre in Atlanta’s Meadowcliff neighborhood. She is not new to farming, but this is her first year concentrating exclusively on flowers, which she offers in bunch bouquets and jar arrangements. Aside from growing beautiful flowers, her goal at Refarm Atlanta is to restore the natural food webs for the birds, amphibians, insects and, yes, microbes on her property, as well as improving her soil. She uses no pesticides or synthetic herbicides, so you can feel safe sniffing deeply from her bouquets. At the end of June, we bought a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, gladiola, several varieties of rudbeckia, zinnias and the first dahlia we’ve seen this season. Her July bouquets include lisianthus, cosmos and lots more dahlias. Durgin explained how to get the longest life out of flowers, including a reminder that they appreciate clean vase water as much as you appreciate a clean glass of water to drink.
$15 for a small jar bouquet, $20 for a larger bunch bouquet. Available at Lilburn Farmers Market and at Traditions Market and Garden on Briarcliff Road.
Labne yogurt dip
Diana Haddad and her sons, Marc and Carl, are the chefs behind Taza Foods, offering dishes reflecting their Lebanese heritage. From their commissary kitchen in Duluth, they produce classic dishes, such as veggie grape leaves, hummus, kibbeh made from grass-fed beef and “mama” ganoush (the eggplant dip you probably know as baba ganoush). One day, they hope to open a restaurant, where they can serve all of these, along with Lebanese sandwiches, such as falafel and chicken, and beef shawarma. In the meantime, Carl said the customer favorite at the farmers market is the labne yogurt dip. It’s made from thickened kefir yogurt mixed with garlic, chives, mint, cucumber, celery and red bell pepper. It’s tangy, creamy and cooling, perfect for a hot summer. And, the chopped vegetables make it not only totally satisfying, but also the healthiest kind of dip.
$6.50 per 12-ounce container. Available at Lilburn Farmers Market, as well as the Marietta, Sandy Springs, Duluth and Milton farmers markets.
Crystal and Derek Beacham operate a small farm in Statham, just west of Athens. The Beachams started farming because they wanted to provide their family with good food. “I had always been an animal person, so raising our own meat was a natural step,” Crystal said. Now, they raise poultry, Alpine dairy goats, heritage milking shorthorn cattle and Gloucestershire old spots, a rare heritage breed of hog, on pasture and in the woods. They sell hogs to other farmers, offer full and half shares of hogs, and sell pork by the cut, as well. As the Beachams and other farmers have noted, the way to preserve these heritage breeds is to continue to develop a market for their meat. When we stopped at their booth, we could have bought pork belly, a Boston butt, ribs or pork chops, but, because we wanted something easy to serve for dinner, we chose between their jalapeno and maple breakfast sausages. The maple sausage won, and we loved it. It had plenty of sweet maple to offset the bit of hot pepper in the seasoning.
$9 per 1-pound package of sausage. Those wanting to fill their freezer can purchase a whole hog or a half share. Available at Lilburn Farmers Market.
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