Ellis Family Farm

The Oak Park Farmers’ Market, offering high quality, locally-grown produce, is held in the Pilgrim Church Parking lot at 460 Lake St. from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October. 

Life is peachy at the Oak Park Farmers Market! When you pick out your Michigan peaches on 7/28 you may hear words like Clingstone, Freestone, or Semi-Freestone. What the heck is that all about? Market manager, Colleen McNichols, explains it all:

Clingstone (the stone clings to fruit) is juicy and sweet and fantastic for eating and some folks like to use them for canning and preserving. (Probably more use one of the free or semi-freestone now for canning or preserving). They are usually the first peaches of the season.

Freestone-the fruit falls right off the pit (hence the name). I think they are perfect for eating, canning and freezing. You just slice it down the middle and pull it right off the pit. Sometimes, it is a little less juicy and less sweet than the Clingstone. This is the type you see at most grocery stores (but those store peaches are days older than at our market—which makes a huge difference). Although, I think our market freestones are quite sweet due to when they are harvested and brought to market.

Semi-freestone is a good newer hybrid. It is like a great general purpose peach to eat fresh, or can or bake or freeze. When cut open the pit is semi-attached to the fruit but still falls off easier than the clingstone.

Picking between clingstone and freestone really almost comes down to personal taste and how one wants to enjoy the amazing Michigan peaches at OPFM. 

Upcoming Event: 2nd Annual Pie Bake Off

Oak Park Farmers Market’s  wonderful grain farmer, Brian Severson, has offered to custom mill any type of flour requested for the pie-bakers in our contest on September 1st! When does a baker have an opportunity to use custom milled organic flour for their needs? He is the best and very rare to find a non-gmo certified organic grain grower in the Midwest. Theirs samples at their booth are incredible. Pie bake-off applications are available at the market info booth and on our website

Bake sale: Oak Park Gymnastics Boosters

Children’s activity: Wonder Works Children’s Museum will host an activity for kids.

Upcoming event: Corn Roast August 11th; cash only

Vendor updates:

Geneva Lakes Produce: There’s a possibility Geneva Lakes Produce will bring the season’s first watermelons this weekend. Look for large cantaloupes, leeks, hot peppers (banana, poblano, jalapeño) and loads of summer squash and tomatoes!

Genesis Growers Organic: Look for four different varieties of eggplant, shishito peppers, red cherry bomb peppers, sweet corn, and cherry tomatoes this week. Next week they’ll have organic cantaloupe!

Katic Breads: This week the dependable bakers are offering and Asiago-roasted garlic specialty bread and a specialty croissant filled with Pistachio and Blackberry.

Hardin Family Farm: Frozen pitted tart cherries plus  plums, peaches, berries!

Barry’s Berries (MI): Semi-freestone peaches, blackberries and more

Ellis Family Farm : Red raspberries, blueberries, ablation tart cherries, sweet cherries, peaches and plums. Plus the first freestone peach of the season; Harrow Diamond.

Midnight Sun Farm: Black turtle beans from our friends at Breslin Farm Organic along with eggs from pastured chickens and herbs and vegetables.

Featured Product: Tomato Basil Bread from Bread Man Baking Company

Frank Damiano’s bread is crafted from 100% whole wheat flour and enhanced with tomatoes, basil, garlic and a dash of black pepper. It has a really unique flavor and goes well with any kind of cheese. 

Market ready recipe: Roasting beets 101

Roasting beets 101:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Wash the beets well and remove the stem and root.  Place the each beet on a square piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper. There is no need for salt when cooking beets as they are naturally salty. Wrap the beets fully in the foil and place the wrapped beets on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast 1-2 hours depending on size (I prefer medium sized beets).
  • After 1 hour check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer directly into the beet through the foil; if there is resistance return the pan to the oven and check the beets for doneness every 15 minutes until the skewer slides into the beet easily.
  • Allow the beets to rest in the foil before unwrapping and peeling; properly roasted beets should peel with ease. Use a paring knife or your hands to complete this task, but wear gloves if you don’t want hot pink hands!
  • Peel or dice the beets and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to four days. Roasted beets may be frozen in freezer bags for up to 1 year.

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