By Krystal Mack, Mobile Farmers Market Assistant
As a baker and self-taught cook, being a part of the Real Food Farm team has been educational for me in a few ways. I love learning about fruits and veggies that are new to me and using them to create fresh and flavorful dishes. One thing that was somewhat new to me was sorrel, a lemony, spinach-like perennial. I had it twice before when I was younger…and I was not a fan. But now that I am older, my tastes have become a bit more developed. And I loved it – it was DELICIOUS! After having it, I was instantly inspired to make a Lemon-Sorrel Pound Cake with a Basil Glaze! I also rediscovered beets while at Real Food Farm. As a kid, I’d cringe at the thought of beets for dinner. Now as an adult with access to freshly-grown beets, I’ve really come to enjoy them in cakes, cookies, and soups! I recently made a Ginger, Beet, and Coconut Milk soup with the beets we sell on the Mobile Farmers Market.
Spending time on the farm has strengthened my skills as a professional in the food industry here in Baltimore – finding inspiration to create and share my creations with others has definitely been one of the perks of joining the Real Food Farm family. Not only has experiencing new produce been helpful for me to be an informed representative on the Mobile Farmers Market, but it has also helped drive home the importance of eating locally. I used to think that while it did well for the local economy, ‘eating local’ meant eating boring, seasonal produce… especially in the fall and winter months. Now that I have worked on the farm with the production team, I know now that that’s the furthest thing from the truth! Thanks to our irrigation system and hoop houses, we were able to be the first local farm to produce strawberries this year, which, by the way, have been selling really well at our community stops on the Mobile Farmers Market! It’s nice to see people’s eyes light up when they see and taste our strawberries. After the long winter months and the sudden weather change, people are often looking for more than sweet potatoes, kale, onions, and lettuces. So it’s nice to get them excited for the warmer weather crops by giving them a sneak peak of what the season has to offer.
When I think of the experiences I’ve had this past month on the farm, I can’t help but get excited about learning more about all of the produce we’ll have in the coming months, and how that will help me inform our shoppers in the community on the Mobile Farmers Market. And, of course, myself as well!