The Sandhill Farmers Market opened for the third season last Tuesday, April 21, and will be open today and every Tuesday through November 24. It is located at the entrance to Clemson’s Sandhill Research and Education Center, at 900 Clemson Rd. (across from Village at Sandhill), in Northeast Richland County. The market opens weekly at 3:30 pm.
For opening day, 16 vendors were on hand to sell their products. Neighbors and friends were there visiting, and many children enjoyed the beautiful weather.
The vendors were B’s Greenhouses, Wolf-creek Pecans, Heather’s Artisan Bread, Dowey Farm, Asya’s Organic Farm, Rain Man Garden Center, Martin Farm, Old “McCaskill’s” Farm, The Turnip Patch, Bee My Honey, Alan’s Market, Rachel’s Wild Flour Confections, Joe Trapp’s Grits and Corn Meal, Wil-Moore Farms, Cottle’s Strawberry Farm, Flower Power.
April produce includes locally grown produce such as leafy greens, lettuce, snow peas, asparagus and greenhouse tomatoes. Meat (beef, lamb, and goat), chicken and turkey, eggs, butter, milk, cheese and honey will be available. You will find shrubs, flowers and plants such as hanging baskets, petunias, lantana, geraniums, tomatoes, peppers and herb plants.
Area vendors sell baked goods, homemade bread, rice, grits and woolen products such as yarn, blankets, scarves and gloves. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. You may bring in plants for them to examine or pick up a soil sample bag.
Asya’s Organic Farm has some of the best organic greens around Columbia. They are always fresh and picked young, so they are very tender. Try some in this tasty greens recipe from Donald Link, chef-owner of Cochon, the wildly popular New Orleans restaurant that showcases the soul-satisfying food of his childhood. The recipe appears in his newly released cookbook, Real Cajun, which spreads the gospel of Cajun cuisine. Chef Link is known for his crawfish pies, gumbo, spoon bread with okra and tomatoes, fried chicken livers with pepper-jelly toast and bacon pralines. The award-winning food has influences from Link’s German grandfather and if you are so inclined, you can even sip a glass of moonshine (home brewed whiskey) on the side.
~Smothered Collard Greens~
3 bunches (about 2 pounds) collards or other leafy greens
4 strips of thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Several dashes of hot sauce, plus more as needed
¼ cup cider vinegar, plus more as needed
1 cup chicken broth or water
1. Strip the stems from the leaves of the collards and tear the leaves into 3-inch squares; wash the torn leaves in plenty of cold water. Discard the stems.
2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until not quite crisp or colored, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, sugar, pepper and hot sauce, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the greens and the broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 35 minutes, until the greens are very tender. If the pot appears to be drying out, add more water, as necessary, to prevent the greens from sticking.
3. Season to taste with additional vinegar and hot sauce. Be sure to serve the greens with a generous ladle of the fragrant juices. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe adapted from Real Cajun (Clarkson Potter) by Donald Link.
NOTE: Serve greens with hot cornbread. Tender greens may cook more quickly than older greens; reduce the cooking time accordingly.
Per Serving: 91 Calories; 1g Fat; 2g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 330mg Sodium.
Photo copyright by Susan F Slack