Castleberry Market Re-Opens With A Commitment To Solving The Food Desert Issue

Castleberry Market will reopen on August 1st, 2022. The public is invited to celebrate the occasion and experience the return of the only weekly Farmers Market on the Southwest side of Atlanta. 

Under the direction of Ali Washington, the Castleberry Market is renewing their commitment to the local community. The market will now be open from 5-8 PM. There is also a commitment to seeing the return of vendors who offer: artisanal baked goods, fresh produce, fresh flowers, dairy products, whole grains, and more. 

“We want to bring the farmers back to the farmer’s market,” said Ms. Washington. “There are limited healthy and sustainable food options on Atlanta’s Southwest and West sides. The community also needs more farmers who look like them.” 

Castleberry Market, formerly known as Castleberry Farmers Market, was founded by Diana Ries to bring locally produced, organic foods to a neighborhood facing a food desert. Ries and Washington’s shared desire to make healthier options available for the neighborhood and help preserve the historic black farming community is why Ries chose Ms. Washington to take over as the new director. 

Food deserts are a problem in predominantly Black and Brown communities across the country. For example, Atlanta’s population is 49.7% black. But, according to city-data.com, in 2019, Castleberry Hill’s population was 79.4% Black. Which is why Ms. Washington is determined to make use of Castleberry Hill’s reputation for being home to the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the nation. “I’d like to see more of the local Black farmers and chefs participating in the market,” said Washington about her hopes for the coming months. “We have to start working together to solve the food insecurity taking place on the Southwest and West sides of Atlanta.” 

Castleberry Market is a part of the non-profit organization Rocky Mountain Arts. The market is also sponsored by Carl M. Williams, Funeral Directors, Inc. 

If you are interested in interviewing Ms. Washington or providing coverage of the grand re-opening of Castleberry Market, please email hello@imageprboutique.com. 

Community Support is Imperative!

We started this farmers market three years ago to fill a void in our community and at the same time support the local farmers, bakers, and other local purveyors of specialty items like beverages, personal care, etc. You get the picture…right?

But, we CANNOT sustain this farmers market without COMMUNITY support.

If you like what this farmers market represents, please tell ALL your friends and ask your friends to tell their friends. We need more support— that means more people from the hood need to come and buy from these vendors… otherwise, they will STOP coming. This is how they make a living, ya’ know.

Our market offers fresh grown produce EVERY Monday…it lasts way longer than ANYTHING you can buy in a local grocery store. And, we have a variety of vendors offering unique organic, items such as drink mixers, body products, CBD items and more.

Okay, Mondays suck for market day. We agree completely! Show the vendors some LOVE. Let them know you care! Come out and buy some stuff! Then, they will wanna’ move WITH us to a more equitable day for the COMMUNITY.

We LOVE this community SO much.

We know WE can do this TOGETHER… with YOUR SUPPORT. The market will go away without bigger crowds from the community every Monday. That is the simple truth.

We know you want more diversity in products, a lot more produce as well. We want that too!

Come support the market to help it grow. Then, we will attract the diversity you crave.

Let’s do this!

 

Who knew cucumbers could have so many uses?!

Here are some amazing cucumber facts that are definitely inspiring me to grab a few cukes July 18 at the market:

  1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
  2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbs that can provide a quick pick-me-up.
  3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
  4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your garden? Place a few cute slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
  5. Want a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going to the pool? Rub a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!
  6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
  7. Do you have an important meeting but no time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
  8. Want to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
  9. Feeling stressed? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
  10. Out of breath mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
  11. Need a ‘green’ way to clean your taps, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
  12. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Finding peace, one piece at a time…

Meet the talented Potter, Dinah.

Dinah, Centered Peace Ceramics, uses pottery to help with her compound PTSD. That’s why the back of her business cards say “finding peace one piece at a time”. Says Dinah, “Pottery is something I can only do when I am in a good place. Every piece is made with a purposeful sense of peace and joy.”

Explains Dinah, “I also like to use crystals and gold because they have positive energy. Nature is beautiful all on its own and I’ve been fortunate enough to learn an ancient craft of working with clay and making art that can be functional or just decorative that could last for thousands of years. The world is a place filled with pain and angry people. I try to bring a little more love and peace into through my pottery.”

Dinah first discovered the world of pottery 21 years ago. She studied for about 4-5 months, and, then wasn’t able to do it again for 17 years. After some big life changes Dinah returned to the potters wheel practicing for many hours every day. Fast forward about 3 and 1/2 years and she has learned so much.

There’s always more to learn but, says Dinah, “I put a lot of love into my art. Each piece is unique because I refuse to be a machine and I allow the clay to become what it wants to be many times.”

We are thrilled to have her back at the market July 11. Come see Dinah’s amazing artistry.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

We love a really easy appetizer and it doesn’t get much easier than fresh tomatoes with a spreadable cheese on toast. A good Bruschetta looks AND tastes like you’ve fussed.

The key to a delicious Bruschetta: really fresh ingredients. I use different varieties of tomatoes when making Bruschetta. Just whatever I can get at our farmers market.

Start by adding crushed garlic to the olive oil. One or two cloves of garlic. I like it better with two cloves but I love lots of garlic. You decide if one clove or two works for you.

Then, chop the tomatoes, add in the basil. Drizzle in the garlic oil and vinegar. Add some salt and pepper. Give it a mix and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or as long as two hours. Don’t refrigerate.

I toast my baguette slices on a pan in the oven set on broil. The key is you have just got to sit there for a couple of minutes. Don’t wash a dish. Don’t check your texts. Don’t let the dog out. Just watch your toast. If you turn your back, the dang things will burn on you. Every. Single. Time.

While the toast is still warm, spread with about a teaspoon full (or more depending on the size of your bread) of softened Tomato Basil Garlic Chevré. You can get that Chevré July 11 at our market. Ask at the entrance booth where we’ll be offering tastes.

Optional Extras: chop up a bit of basil and add on top or a bit of parm too.

Personal Chef, Jan Hill, will be creating free tasty bites July 11

Jan Hill, Exclusively Yours Personal Chef will be creating free tasty bites for shoppers at the Castleberry Farmers Market on Monday, July 11. Jan is a well-known, Castleberry Hill resident, making this unique collaboration especially easy to accomplish. We are excited to have her creating something special for the market utilizing fresh, local ingredients currently available from our market. She will be getting veggies from Wills Eden Farm and The Moon Farm as well as Italian Sausage and Gouda cheese from Rock Hose Creamery.

More About Jan Hill

Jan was born in Laos and immigrated to California as a refugee with her family in 1980. She began her culinary career working for Chef Christophe Eme at his 1-star Michelin rated restaurant Ortolan, Los Angeles. From there she went on to teach cooking classes to youth and adults and then transitioned into the hotel and resort industry. In 2018 she came to Georgia with her husband and fell in love with Atlanta. She worked for a few hotels in the Metro Atlanta area and also worked as a food stylist on Black Lightning, The Resident, First Kill, and most recently on The Wonder Years.

It doesn’t take a Master Chef to make something delicious with blueberries!

There’s no wrong way to cook with blueberries!  They taste great, and, they’re delightfully versatile.

So, July 11, grab a carton from our market and make these stunning cookies! (We’ll be closed Monday, July 4)

Blueberry White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (GF is fine)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⁄3 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh or frozen frozen blueberries
  • 1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips (dairy-free works too)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Either in the microwave or on the stovetop, thaw the frozen blueberries until they are soft and jammy. If using the microwave, this should take about 30 seconds on high heat. If using the stovetop, it should take about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Let the blueberries cool for about 2-3 minutes. While they are cooling, use an electric mixer or a stand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is noticeably lighter in color and fluffy.
  • Add the blueberries to the butter and sugar and cream at a high speed. Make sure the blueberries get “mashed” into the mixture so that they are pureéd and fully combined with the butter and sugar. The mixture should be a deep purple color.
  • Gradually fold the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients to form a dough. Mix in the white chocolate chips.
  • Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes before shaping into 12 balls.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes or until they are slightly brown on the edges. Let cool on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.

If that’s just too much work, (I get it!), just add a handful of blueberries to your pancake batter or just toss them on your cereal in the morning!

Just Wow!

I had an amazing experience at the farmers market yesterday. Honestly, I’m really not sure if I can explain this well.

“Cause ya’ just had to be there. So, let me start by saying how amazingly fabulous our market vendors are. And then, I want to share how beautiful our community supporters and participants truly are also.

We had another iffy Monday with torrential rain, and lightening for about an hour or so, maybe nearly 2 hours. But, who’s counting? I can’t lie, some of the vendors bailed. Can’t say I blame them. But, enough stayed to actually have a decent market. We had fun. I swear!

Low and behold, the umbrellas came out, people were texting me, “should I come?”, and,  “are you open?” messages were coming in from NextDoor, people were pulling up and just waiting, or driving in rolling down their windows to ask for what they wanted and backing out.

It was so heartwarming.

Believe it or not, the vendors did well.

People were happy.

And, today, one of our customers emailed me to say this, “The peaches and tomatoes are way better than what I can get at the grocery store.”

Touché.

 

 

What Are Garlic Scapes?

At our farmers market you can find amazing produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, garlic scapes, and more. It’s a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet. Plus, meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced.

So, let’s answer that question: What are garlic scapes? Garlic scapes are the tender stem and flower bud of a hardneck garlic plant. (Hardneck garlic is the kind of garlic that typically grows in Canada and the northeastern U.S.) Scapes first grow straight out of the garlic bulb, then coil. When harvested, they look like long, curly green beans.

What do they taste like?
Garlic scapes taste like a unique blend of onion, scallion and garlic. However, scapes are usually less fiery and have a fresher, “greener” taste than the actual garlic bulbs. The texture is similar to that of asparagus.

Get a free cocktail and then shop the market! We double your SNAP/EBT. Swipe your card at the entrance booth. Bring 5 friends and get a $15 market gift card, valid at any vendor booth!

 

One Pan, Easy Shrimp & Tomatoes

Okay, so I really, really love it when I can put everything in one pan. Because, who wants to clean up a bunch of stinkin’ dishes after dinner? Not me. Here’s a good one for fast, fresh and simple.

This quick and flavorful one-pan dish blends shrimp, parsley and lemon juice with tomatoes. Red pepper flakes give this dinner a kick. Get your shrimp from Got Seafood and tomatoes from The Moon Farm at our farmers market Monday, June 27.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp EVOO
  • Course salt
  • 1/8 Tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 tbsp le mon juice
  • 6 plum tomatoes halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick or 3 large tomatoes cut into 6 wedges
    (or, a pint and 1/2 of cherry tomatoes will also work)
  • 1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Step 1
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat; swirl to coat pan. Season shrimp with salt and ground pepper. Add half the shrimp to the pan; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and shrimp.

Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and red-pepper flakes. Stir in tomatoes; cook until they begin to break down, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt.

Return shrimp and any accumulated juices to pan. Add parsley and lemon juice; toss to coat. Serve over pasta, rice, or spinach, if desired.