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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fresh From The Farmer Market

Hi everyone!

Well, this past weekend was very busy for us. Last year when we decided to take our little our herb business DTL Herbs, to the streets, so to speak, we had no idea how well received we would be. I have grown and used fresh herbs for about 20 years or so. I thought herbs were also just very pretty to have in the yard. When Troy and I got married, we really planted a lot more herbs because we both like to experiment with them in cooking. But, when the princess entered our life, everything took a large turn. We wanted her to understand and become part of something that involved our whole little family from the beginning. She is the “L” in DTL Herbs.

Last year we started the Farmer Markets with fresh cut herbs, dried herbs and plants. By the end of the season we also had dip mixes, dry rubs, salt scrubs, jellies and seasoning packets. This past year, we have worked really hard making, trying out and testing even more products. This season we started out the markets with double the products that we had last year. We also have about 8 times the herb gardens we have planted this year. And now we are constantly in the process of making even more products.

Dundee FM 2011There is a lot of behind the scenes things that need to be done for our business that people don’t realize. One of the biggest things that we need to do is to check out different farmer market venues for our business. This year instead of selling at 2-3 markets, we are selling at 6 markets. That is 6 out of 7 days being spent at the market. However, sometimes you have to take a day off to check out other markets and that is what we did this past weekend.

We had heard that this market was a really successful one. However, last year they already had an herb vendor so we didn’t join them. This year they called us to let us know that they didn’t have an herb person. The biggest problem with this market is that they are an hour away from our home. The market is on Saturday morning from 8-1:00 (which means we need to be there at 7:00 to set up). As most of you can guess, Saturday markets are the best market of the week. Well, our Friday market is the only evening market we have so, that means we would not have anytime between the two busiest markets of the week to make more product if we have to.

So, before we committed, we really had to be sure this is a market good for us. We invited my parents to join us Saturday morning to go and check it out.

page It was a beautiful Saturday morning! And we instantly fell in love with this market! The location and setup was great. The energy level was high and fun.

page1They have a wonderful selection of different vendors. And everyone was happy and enjoying themselves.

page2Each week they have a different type of entertainment. This Saturday was a local “Clogging and Tap” dancing group. They had fun music going and involved the audience. The princess loved it so much that she got up front and watched them doing their dances and started mimicking them. Everyone seemed to enjoy the newest member of the dance club. We were approached later by the dance instructor. She asked if the princess was in a dance class and if not, they would love to have her join them. LOL

Dundee FM 2011 008Dundee FM 2011 011We even bought some new to us herbs. We got a Hot & Spicy Oregano and a Lime Mint.

Dundee FM 2011 012Look at the gorgeous lettuce! My dad bought a huge bundle of each and we split them. They are just beautiful and large bundles. This is one of the best parts of being involved in Farmer Markets. We get all of our produce fresh everyday!

As soon as I got the beautiful lettuce home and cleaned, I made one of my favorites…BLT Finger Salad!

Simple and fresh, here is the super easy recipe:

BLT Finger Salad

Large Leaf Lettuce

Bacon cooked (I like it cooked nice and crispy)

Diced Fresh Tomatoes

The Dressing:

Dundee FM 2011 013Our fresh baby dill in our garden here at home.

1 cup of mayo (I confess, one of the only name brands I am loyal to: Hellman’s mayo!)

1/2 Lemon

1/2 tsp fresh dill

1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Squeeze fresh lemon juice into the cup of mayo. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix. It’s best to put in fridge for a couple hours to mix all the flavors.

Spread mayo mix on leaf lettuce. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and chopped tomatoes. That’s it!

So good and fresh tasting! Just fold and eat. A little messy but, not too bad. :)

Dundee FM 2011 021Dundee FM 2011 022

Edited from original post at The Thrifty Groove

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