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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Handsome Star Farms – Living the Natural Life

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Josh and AshleyAt FMO, we pride ourselves on being a market created by integrity and trust.  This is why FMO conducts annual inspections with our vendors to ensure food safety and integrity behind our product brand.  Our inspections take us over the river and through the woods, and into the barnyards, kitchens and workshops of some great local people – like Josh and Ashley Hicks of Handsome Star Farms in Springfield, MO!

About Handsome Star Farms: Josh and Ashley Hicks have a passion for leading a natural, sustainable lifestyle with their two young children.  On their farm north of town, Josh and Ashley raise dairy goats, pigs, chickens and quail, with the help of their Bull Mastiff guard dogs, plus grow a family garden with crops like tomatoes and pumpkins.  Josh and Ashley initially started their venture at Farmers Market of the Ozarks under the business name Ozarks Organics, selling natural gardening products like diatomaceous earth and fertilizer.  This year, they have expanded their business and their product line under their farm name, Handsome Star Farms, and added a line of natural cleaning products that Ashley makes herself.

Necessity was the mother of invention for Ashley when she first began to make her     own cleaning supplies.  “I was new to having two kids, and I ran out of laundry  soap  in  the middle of the winter,” she said.  Not wanting to have to bundle her  little ones up  and expose them to the cold to venture to the store, she decided to  make her own!  This  lead to creating other cleaning products that are safe for her  family, her pets and the  environment.  “I don’t want chemicals around,” she stated.

Ashley carries a line of twelve different cleaning products, several of which have a  kid friendly focus, like Cleaning Slime and Glass Foam.  Her gentle and safe  ingredients for her products include essential oils, vinegar and fresh herbs.   “They  work really well,” Ashley says of the natural products.  “I enjoy using them and they work better!”

Products: Natural fertilizers, diatomaceous earth, liquid laundry detergent, fabric softener, bleach alternative, stain fighter, dryer balls, glass cleaner, wood polish, grease-cutting soap, disinfectant formula, Carpet Mud, Cleaning Slime, Sock Mops and Glass Foam

From Farm to Baby…the Way Nature Intended

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Homemade Baby FoodEven our youngest locavores deserve the fresh taste from the farm and all the rich nutrients local food provides, don’t you agree?

Making homemade baby food is a simple process that both you and baby will enjoy!  All you really need is a food processor or food mill, ice cube trays and a little bit of creativity!

From salmon to sweet potatoes, to cabbage and cauliflower – all items are found from your friends at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.  Salmon provides baby with natural DHA and Omega 3 fatty acids, so it’s an excellent choice for a baby food puree and Chris Perkins with Express Foods provide delicious salmon to market. Or check out produce from a variety of our local farmers in the region for the freshest picks from the farm.

Don’t be afraid to put in some seasonings in your homemade baby foods as well. Just as long as you don’t include sugar or salt in the food. Fresh garlic or herbs can help your little ones develop an early palate for good foods.

The older your baby gets the less finely pureed the food will become. Follow your babies reaction though, all babies are different and are ready for chunkier and more dense foods at different times. By the time most babies are 8 months old they can have some table food that the family eats, like potatoes, beans, carrots, cottage cheese, yogurt, and many other items. See more here.

Try to buy vegetables that are in season and local. Much of the produce we buy in stores is at least 14 days old by the time your purchase it in the stores and has traveled over 1,500 miles from farm to the store. If you can’t find it local and fresh- choose frozen.

When pureeing foods, reserve the water the vegetables or fruit was cooked in to add back a little in the puree to mix easier. The water holds many of the nutrients your baby needs.

After you have made your fresh baby food, simply spoon the food into ice cube trays, cover and freeze.  When froze, pop-out the 1 ounce food portions and place in freezer bags.  Label the freezer bags with the type of food and date.  When ready to use, simply thaw in the refrigerator or the microwave in a safe glass bowl.

Remember, just because you don’t like a certain food, doesn’t mean your baby won’t. My little ones ate beets, turnips and a mountain of other vegetables that most kids wouldn’t even touch. Be adventurous when making baby’s food- he/she will thank you.

Here are some baby approved recipes that my kiddos devoured when they were still tots!

Fancy Salmon
2 (3 oz) salmon filets, poached and fully cooked
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp. onion powder

Cook salmon fully and set aside. Boil potatoes until soft. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree to desired texture.

Asparagus Delight
1 lb. of fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 head of fresh broccoli, cut
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder

After washing and trimming the vegetables- stem until tender. Add all ingredients in a processor and puree. Add back the cooking liquid to reach the proper texture.

Spinach and Cauliflower Oh My

1 lb of spinach leaves (or use 1 bag of frozen spinach), cooked
1 head of cauliflower, steamed
1 clove of garlic
2 apples, peeled and cooked

Place all cooked items in a food processor and puree. Add back the cooking liquid to reach the proper texture for baby.

Red Cabbage Fun
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups of red cabbage
3 T. of golden raisins
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in a pan and boil for 10 minutes and then puree. Add the cooking liquid back to the mixture to reach proper texture.

* As baby gets older, add pureed chicken breast into this mixture to make a complete meal!

Berry Bounty
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of blackberries
1 cup of strawberries
2 bananas

Simmer the berries in water for 6 minutes, then strain. Place berries and bananas in food processor and puree. When you serve this, you might have to add some cereal to thicken it up. Cereal is great to thicken up fruit purees.

 Pure Peas
1 lb frozen or fresh peas
Olive oil
onion powder

Steam peas for 6 minutes, reserving your cooking liquid.  Puree the peas, oil and onion powder.  Add reserved liquid to reach the proper texture you wish.

Want to Become a Vendor at the FMO Branson Farmers Market?

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Are you interested in joining the Branson Farmers Market?  We are taking applications for our Fall Preview Market, which will be held every Tuesday and September and October from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the south Branson Landing parking lot, near the Lake Taneycomo Bridge.

Learn more about the market from this KY3 story from Ashley Reynolds or email Lane@loveyourfarmer.com for an application.

You can follow the latest about the Branson Farmers Market…powered by FMO from the market’s Facebook page here.

FMO at the Branson Landing

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Have you heard the news? FMO is branching out to form a franchise market in Branson, MO., at the Branson Landing.

Consumers are demanding fresh, locally grown produce and are seeking out options to purchase specialty crops. To fulfill customer demand for fresh farm products and serve the region’s farmers the Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) is seeking vendors that are interested in joining the fastest growing market in the state. FMO will launch its second franchise market in Branson, MO., in partnership with the Branson Landing. The market is currently taking membership applications for fall membership and will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, August 11 at the Branson Convention Center from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm to learn more about the newly created market.

“Our end objective is to improve the financial success of farmers across the Ozarks, through a well-structured market in Branson, in turn creating increased sales of the crops producers grow,” explained FMO Executive Director Lane McConnell. “We want unique, handmade, and locally grown products to meet the demand of the community.”

The market will hold a fall market on the far south end of the Branson Landing parking lot, located on Branson Landing Boulevard in September and October each Tuesday evening from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.   In 2016, the market will be open every Tuesday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, April through October.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with the FMO, as this market will grant us another opportunity to share and showcase the amazing and plentiful offerings available from the farmers and artisans of the Ozarks.  This new partnership with FMO and their expertise in improving the financial success of our local farmers across the Ozarks, will provide the best unique, handmade and locally grown products to those living in our community, as well as our guests visiting Branson Landing and the Branson area,” stated Tammy Scholten , Director of Marketing for Branson Landing.

If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks at the Branson Landing and would like a vendor packet please contact Lane McConnell via email at Lane@loveyourfarmer.com.