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Farm in the Spotlight. What's at the Market?
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Saturdays to September 28th | 8 am to Noon
Beargrass Christian Church, 4100 Shelbyville Road

Farm in the Spotlight
Hillview Farm & Orchard

Hillview Farm and Orchards is our Spotlight Farm this week.  Located in Pleasureville, KY, this 40-acre farm is owned by Paul Tokosh.  Since 1995, Paul and his son, Richard, have owned and worked the farm.
 
Offering 11 varieties of apples, fruits are a mainstay for Hillview.  Paul and his family farm 6 acres of apples, 2 acres of peaches, 2 acres of pears, an acre of blueberries, an acre of blackberries, and 1/2 acre of strawberries each season.  They also grow cabbage, broccoli, squash, green beans, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, asparagus, eggplant, tomatoes, and brussel sprouts.  They raise bees and harvest honey.  At the market each week, they are famous for their fried apple, peach, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry pies, dried apples, apple cider and popcorn.  Paul says, "We are a home-based processor, so if it's a good crop, we make it into something."
 
Originally from Long Island, New York, Paul is an engineer by training and worked on many of the military's most important aircraft including the shuttle, various bombers, submarines, and others. You might wonder what all this has to do with farming? Long Island also traditionally had a number of working farms specializing in cruciferous vegetables, so Paul and his family were exposed to many small family farms even though he worked in the most high tech of industries. These cruciferous vegetables, of the family Brassicaceae, are the dominant food crop worldwide and include cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, and cress.  They are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals.   
 
After a 20 year career with Grumman, and that company's merger with Northrop, he and his family relocated to Kentucky to begin farming.  Long Island offered a research station and training center for farmers, so Paul, being an engineer, and used to going to school to learn how to do new things, enrolled. Taught by scientists, farmers, and established trainers, Paul attended tomato school, fruit growing, and crucifer school among many others.  He learned how to look for diseases and about cultivation of the land. He appreciated that kind of training. 
 
Paul found a beautiful farm in Henry County near Pleasureville and hasn't looked back.  He feels fortunate to have had his farm training at the research station and school on Long Island and it's clear his engineering sensibilities serve him well in looking for trends in what to grow and how to grow it most effectively for all involved.  You can find Paul on the Shelbyville Road side of the market nearest the street and the farm also wholesales to a variety of businesses. Visit this week and say hello!

Farm in the Spotlight 
Amina Osmin Farm

Amina Osman Farm is our Farm in the Spotlight this week. Amina and her family got their farming start in the U.S. through the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP), a program through Catholic Charities that provides agricultural lands, trainings, sales and marketing support for recently relocated refugees. RAPP hosts five incubator garden sites in Louisville that allow refugee settlers from a variety of countries to grow food for their families and/or for sale.

Originally from Somalia, Amina’s son assists with farming and handles transactions with customers. Amina’s skill in English is still developing but her son has a great grasp of both the language and the American system of money. He is a friendly young man with a bright smile and a warm welcoming way.

Amina is a Somali Bantu who has been growing and selling produce at Louisville farmers’ markets for the past 8 years. Bantus are an ethnic minority in Somalia, brought there from Southeast Africa as part of the slave trade. Native Somalis are known as nomadic traders, and Bantu are the farmers.

When Amina, her husband, Bakar, and seven children fled the Somali civil war they didn’t know if they’d ever farm again, but now the family cultivates two gardens, one plot designated for commercial sales and the other for family consumption.  She sells to many local restaurants, especially in the East Market District, and at several farmers’ markets.

RAPP also provides 24 formal training sessions per year that cover topics designed to augment refugees’ agricultural experiences. They include seasonal growing techniques, farming equipment usage and maintenance, seed selection, pest and disease identification and management, marketing, and sales. RAPP develops sales opportunities and provides marketing support so that refugees can sell produce to supplement their income.

RAPP’s programs bolster physical and mental health, community integration, and access to healthy food and supplemental income. Participants utilize their extensive agricultural skills and experience to reduce food costs, continue traditions from their homelands that will ease acculturation to the Louisville Metro area, and build entrepreneurial skills.  Catholic Charities also operates Common Earth Gardens & Common Table, a social enterprise focused on empowerment. The Culinary Arts Program is designed to train refugees, former inmates, and other Louisville residents in need of job assistance as chefs and cooks.  The program supports itself through lunches served twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2234 West Market Street and through catering. Whenever possible, the kitchen uses produce grown by refugees on their incubator farms.

In the last 10 years, Kentucky has resettled over 23,000 refugees with the help of the Refugee Resettlement Partners, including Catholic Charities of Louisville, the International Center (in Bowling Green and Owensboro), and the Kentucky Refugee Ministries. Our market’s home church, Beargrass Christian Church, is welcoming a new refugee family this month.
 

What's at the Market this week?

Pumpkins are available. Peppers, kale, onions, meat, jams, and jellies, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash and fresh fruits are still plentiful. Apples, pears, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, greens and herbs are available. Our musical guest is Chris Rakestraw. Our alternate vendors are: Kandies of Kentucky, Beaded Treasures, Nuts About Cha, and Horseshoe Bend Winery.
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Featured Recipe
Vegetables de Provence

Our recipe for Vegetables de Provence comes from Primo Oils and Vinegars. It's almost time to finish our season but these vegetables are largely still available from our farmers.
 
Ingredients
 
1/4 cup Primo Herbs de Provence EVOO
½ cup chopped green onions
1 green pepper cut into thin strips
1 red pepper cut into thin strips
½ cup yellow squash sliced thin
1 ½ cup sugar snap peas
1 cup sliced fresh mushroom
Parsley
¼ cup Primo Lavender Balsamic
Directions
 
Heat the Herbs de Provence oil in a large sauté pan. Add onions and peppers and sauté on medium heat for five minutes. Add squash, peas and mushrooms. Continue to sauté until vegetables are cooked but slightly crisp. Stir in the Primo Lavender Balsamic until coasted and balsamic begins to thicken slightly. Garnish with fresh parsley. 

Market Maker
Kandies of Kentucky

Kandies of Kentucky is a husband and wife team that have been in the candy business since February of 2012. Barry and Barbara Sumner both retired over 15 years ago.  Barry retired from Sears Service and Barbara from BellSouth\AT&T.  Barbara says, “We both hit the ground running.  Neither of us wanting to just sit in a rocking chair.”
 
Once they came up with the name...Kandies of Kentucky...the pair ventured out with only two flavors of chocolates, traditional bourbon ball and a mint julep bourbon ball.  Now, they have 20 flavors, which include 6 different bourbon balls, 5 different wines, peanut butter and liqueurs, such as Amaretto, Kahlua, Irish Cream, Coconut Rum, Lemoncello, Raspberry Liqueur, Peppermint Mocha Kahlua, and Triple Sec.
 
Kandies of Kentucky chocolates have been shipped all over the United States, Europe, Canada and even Dubai. 
 
Their first year in business, they met up with one of Kentucky’s Derby Fillies who ordered 5000 traditional and mint julep bourbon balls for the National Federation of Republican Women that met at the Galt House Ballroom.  This event only comes to Louisville every forty years, and Kandies got to take part their first year out of the gate.
 
As far as the why, the pair guess they wanted to do something fun in retirement.  Barry and Barbara had no idea they were the only ones out there doing bourbon, rum, wine and liqueur chocolates.  Barbara adds, “We also didn’t realize that we would be that popular.  It really is the best job either of us has ever had. We both work well together.  That’s a good thing.”
 
The couple has been together a long time, 40 years this Saturday, September 21.  Right now, the time is right for them to keep on.  Wish them a happy anniversary this market day! Both Barry and Barbara would rather work up to their last days handing someone a candy sample, and Barbara adds, “Then die with a smile on our faces just seeing how much that person enjoyed the piece of candy.”
 
They appreciate the St Matthew’s Farmers Market community and all their customers.
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