What’s New at Sweetwater this Saturday?

Spring Thaw by Darren Rice

Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Saturday, March 12th, 9:00am to 1:00pm
Mercy Health Partners/Hackley Health at the Lakes
On Harvey St. at US31/Pontaluna Rd. Exit. 1st Bldg North of Pontaluna Rd.

We are an authorized Bridge Card farmers market!

How We Grow!
Each week we will feature a Sweetwater farmer or vendor who will answer the question: How, and why do you grow veggies, raise animals, and/or produce products the way you do? This week, we feature Creswick Farms. In the Last but not Least section of this newsletter.

Launching this week: Eat Local West Coast Michigan!

Our mission: For folks living in the West Coast Michigan Food Shed  who want to discuss all aspects of the transition to a local food system including buying local food, growing your own food, and learning the skills necessary to become more self-sufficient and resilient as a community.
If you have questions about gardening, farming, food, recipes, markets, events,  restaurants….
If you have answers to those questions…..
Join the conversation and let’s get started!
Find the group at Google Groups (you’ll have to join Google Groups if you haven’t already) As with all groups, you can control how you receive messages by indicating your preferences when you join.

Earthscape Farm of Hesperia
Quarters of BEEF for sale. Talk to me  or email for more information!  www.earthscapefarm@gmail.com
EGGS!  Our chickens are HAPPY! We will have eggs!
VEGGIES this week ~ Spinach!  Fresh from our small hoophouse!  We hope to dig some fresh carrots, too.  We will also have some Kennebec and Fingerling Potatoes from storage in the root cellars.
BEEF ~  Try our beef!  Our steers were on lush pastures from May to November.   They are hung to age and processed by Ebel’s Meats in Falmouth, a family-run USDA operation. New cut: TOP ROUND STEAK, a lean, moderately tough but very flavorful cut of beef.  Prepare it with slow moist-heat methods including braising, pressure cooking, or slow-cook it in a crockpot.
HIGHER GROUNDS COFFEE in 1# bags ~ Various types, beans or ground, dark or light roast, full caf, half caf or decaf. New shipment arrives this week.

Creswick Farms of Ravenna
Pastured Raised, Antibiotic & Hormone Free, Artisanal Meats
No chicken or lamb until May. Seasonality rules!
Beef – Ground Beef.
Pork – Bacon(both Apple & Hickory), Pork Chops, Pork Tenderloin
Eggs will be available next market
Sausage – Apple Chicken, Breakfast links & bulk, Chorizo, Pancetta, Garlic Kielbasa. Hot Italian Links.
Demand for Creswick meats along with rising prices for feed have forced a small price increase in most products. Please check the website for details, also for info about the farms newest products including Honey Cured Bacon!  http://www.creswickfarms.com/
PRE-ORDERS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED! Placing special orders at the market or by email — chrisbedford@charter.net — gives you more options! Check the Creswick Farms website, there are many selections that we don’t carry every week but would be more than happy to bring them to you with our regular order! Order must be received by Midnight on the Monday before the market. Thanks!
Any special order not picked up at the market Saturday designated by the order will incur a $5.00 additional charge unless Chris is notified by 12noon on the Friday before the market.

Shady Side Farm of Holland
We’ll be back this week with soybeans, pinto beans, black beans, wheat and corn. Plus remaining stocks of wool socks, roving and rag rugs. We are Mike and Lona Bronkema of Shady Side Farm and we have been farming since 1992 and have recently transitioned to organic in parts of our operation, certifying through Global Organic Alliance (GOA). The farm is home to 150 or so sheep and some chickens. Wool from our sheep is dyed at the farm, and in our spare time Mike makes beautiful, warm wool socks and Lona makes hefty rugs from recycled fabrics. http://shadysidefarm.etsy.com

Grassfields Cheese of Coopersville
Raw milk, organic cheese in the Dutch Tradition

Cheddar, Gouda, Gouda w/Dill, Gouda w/Garlic & Onion, Edam, Leyden (Gouda w/cumin)
Please note: Check our Grassfields website  www.grassfieldscheese.com/ and if there are cheese products you would like that we don’t normally carry you can special order them with the same timeline as for Creswick Farms. Special orders must be sent to me by 8am of the Tuesday before the market. chrisbedford@charter.net. Thanks!

Earthly Kneads Bakery of Muskegon
We have a special on Earthly Kneads/Rock’n’Road Cycle Jerseys this week! Come try one on. Get $10 off the regular price of a jersey with the purchase of a loaf of bread!
This week’s offerings:
*CUPCAKES! – “Chocolate Chocolate”, Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Icing, Cream Filled Sponge Cakes – Plain, Raspberry Coconut, or Chocolate Frosted
*Scones and Muffins – Baker’s whim. Dark Chocolate Scones for sure!
*Saturday Breads – Honey Whole Wheat (100% whole grain), Cinnamon Raisin Spelt, Hearty Cranberry, Tuscan (loaves and baguettes), Sesame Semolina, English Muffin Bread
*Special Sweets – Strawberry Cream Cheese Buns (these are DELICIOUS!), Cinnamon Rolls
*Special Breads – Olive & Caper, Organic Cheddar & Onion, Organic Havarti, and whatever else suits Gail’s fancy!
*Cookies – Dark Chocolate Chip, Sweet & Salty Cashew, GF Peanut Butter, GF & Vegan Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, and more
*Granola – Ginger Fig, Cranberry Pecan, Cherry Almond, Totally Nuts (hazelnut, cashew, and almond), and Apple Pepita (no nuts)
Hope to see you Saturday!

Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery of Hart
If you haven’t tried our West Michigan Wheat lately it’s undergone some exciting changes that have made it an even more spectacular loaf!
This Saturday March 12th we will have available:
West Michigan Wheat $5.00 (A light wheat bread with a wonderfully chewy crust)
Oceana Round $5.00 ( Rustic Italian country bread)
Third Coast Three Seed $5.50 (Sunnies, Sesames, and Flax in a light wheat)
The Michigander $5.50 (made with Michigan-grown whole grain flours—dark and soulful)
Griff’s 8-Grain $6.50  (Hearty, hearty! Eight organic grains and a bit of Michigan honey)
Finn’s Pecan Raisin Pecan $7.75 (Jam packed with pecans and organic raisins)
Elbridge Parmesan Olive $8.00 (sumptuous parmesan and Kalamata black olives)
Irish Cheddar Peppercorn $8.00  (smooth Tipperary Cheddar and tongue-tingling organic black pepper)
We will also be baking our Truly Ginger Scones, Michigan Cherry Scones, Expedition Cookies, and our Deep Mud Brownies.

Maple Creek Sugars of Fremont
Doug & Tate Luchies have been producing wonderful maple syrup & honey for almost 8 years on their farm.  Sizes will range from quarts to pints.

Hickory Ridge Family Farm
Eggs this week! We’ll be bringing plenty of eggs from our Delaware, Barred Rock, Araucana, and Black Australorpe flocks. You can still get your order form in for pre-ordering chickens.

Liberty Family Farm & Bakery of Hart
We’ll be on hand with plenty of great baked goods plus some greens from our hoophouse and eggs.

Bee & Botanicals of Spring Lake
Nature inspired…pretty, practical and organic!

Organic Soaps –  A full selection of great organic soaps to start the new year (Peppermint, Oatmeal Spice, Lemongrass Tea, Lavender, and other wonderful scents (made with certified organic oils, and botanicals – no artificial fragrances or colors, only essential oils).  Pretty hand made pager wrapped gift boxes w/gift tag – $1 each ( make great hostess, teacher, birthday and any time gifts).
Sachets A variety of styles and sizes to choose from
Organic Bath Tea, made with certified organic botanicals and bonus bath salts.
Organic Lavender dryer bags, especially nice with bed linens and towels (2 pack or bag of 5 available).
Bees Wax Candles – Fir Trees, Snowmen, Bee skeps, Bears,  3″ and 5 ” pillars, votives,and tea lights.
Clean burning! Long Burn Time! Non-Petroleum!  100% Michigan beeswax :  )
Look forward to seeing you at the market!

Daisy Doodles of Whitehall
We’re busy baking more treats and will be back soon!

Last but not least

How we grow!
In order for you, the customer, to know more about the vendors who stand behind the Sweetwater Pledge to Our Customers, each week we will feature one Sweetwater vendor to whom we have posed the question: How, and why do you grow veggies, raise animals, and/or produce products the way you do?

This week we feature Nathan Creswick, of Creswick Farms. Nathan was once described by a local restaurant he supplied as “part mad scientist, part farmer!” We concur. Nathan loves farming, of course, but with his extensive background in engineering he can’t help but want to change that pork into something more, hence all the great Creswick Farms sausages.
From Nathan Creswick the farmer in chief of Creswick Farms: What Makes Creswick Farms Meats and Eggs So Special? Our animals live such stress-free lives that they are rarely sick, and do not need to be treated with pharmaceutical drugs.  All of our cattle are raised on pasture and not in confined lots.  As in nature, their rate of growth is determined by their health and quality of the forage, not hormonal implants and growth promoting additives.  Our products are healthy, wholesome, and natural in every sense of the word.
Our product will always be safe from BSE (Mad Cow) because our animals are never fed reconstituted animal byproducts or poultry litter!  Pasture finishing on high quality forage and intensive pasture management eliminates this risk.
Our animals being on good, clean pasture are higher in beta carotenes, CLAs (Conjugated linoelic acid) and omega3 fatty acids (good cholesterol) and lower omega-6 (bad cholesterol).  Our grass fed beef has about the same fat content as skinless chicken breast.
We are dedicated to providing a pleasurable eating experience each and every time.
We process in a family owned, inspected slaughterhouse, where the animals are not commingled or contaminated with animals of other origins.
No nitrites, MSG, wheat glutens or artificial ingredients used in any of our products.  We use only all-natural or organic ingredients. We only use natural sheep or hog casings from the USA. Our competitors use casings that are either imitation or from China.
Additionally, A Creswick Farm’s sausage combines years of culinary experience, ingredients at their seasonal best and original spice blends all in a natural casing. We combine our finest quality meat with chunks of chopped fruits and vegetables, flavor them with the freshest herbs & lively spices and fire them in specially-designed smokehouses.
Give meat from Creswick Farms a try.  You have never tasted beef this good!
Sweetwater Hugs & Thanks! To new and renewing Friends of the Market: Carolina Mallory, Brien Cruz, Dale Nye and Betsy Horrigan!
As always, if you would like to become a Friend of the Market for a suggested donation of $10.00, which entitles you to a free cup of coffee at every market you attend for a full year, please see me at the market this Saturday! We will also have  Higher Grounds Coffee by the Cup for a suggested donation of $1.00.
Sweetwater is on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Muskegon-MI/Sweetwater-Local-Foods-Market/111077177535

****In watching news this morning of the horrific earthquake in Japan we saw the images of the farm fields with thousands of hoophouses being washed away, and are reminded again of nature’s power. Our thoughts, prayers and hopes for a quick recovery are with all the people of Japan.

Hope to see you at the market!
Diana Jancek
Market Manager

We are an authorized Bridge Card farmers market!