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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. 

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.

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.

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!

 

cheesy-kale

Greens gratin with tons of cheese.

Fun party trick: Ask your friends to guess how many pounds of greens went into this fabulously cheesy gratin. Three humongous bunches of kale  get drowned in garlic- and rosemary-infused cream, then blanketed in cheddar cheese and panko and placed into a hot oven, where they sizzle and shrink down.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 4 medium or 3 large bunches of kale and/or Swiss chard (2–2½ lb. total)
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. high-quality sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°. First, prep the cream sauce: Peel and quarter 1 medium onion. Smash 4 garlic cloves and unpeel. Place onion and garlic in a medium saucepan. Pour in 2 cups heavy cream and stir in 1 rosemary sprig, 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. kosher salt, and ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are very soft, 15–20 minutes.

Step 2
While cream cooks, remove ribs from 4 medium bunches of Tuscan kale. Tear leaves into big pieces and wash. It’s okay if some water still clings to the leaves—this will help them wilt later. If you don’t have a bowl big enough to hold all of your greens, pile them on a baking sheet instead.

Step 3
When cream is ready, pluck out rosemary sprig and discard. Finely grate zest of ½ lemon into cream and stir in ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

Step 4
Heat a large (as large as possible—12″ is the goal) ovenproof skillet over medium. Add about one-quarter of greens, cover skillet (use a baking sheet if you don’t have a lid), and cook until wilted, 3–4 minutes. Scoot wilted greens to one side of pan. Add another quarter of greens, cover pan, and cook to wilt, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat and place skillet on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 6
Pile remaining greens on top of wilted kale, press down to compact as needed. This will look CRAZY, but the greens shrink dramatically in the oven. Carefully pour cream mixture over. It’s okay if it drips a little—that’s why it’s on a baking sheet. Break cheese slices into large crumbles distributing evenly over top. Sprinkle panko mixture over.

Step 7
Bake gratin until cheese is browned and bubbling and panko is toasted, 50–55 minutes.

Step 8
Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

See recipe with video instructions here

Why I started the Castleberry Farmers Market

I moved to Castleberry Hill in 2017 and one of the first things I noticed was that “good for you food” was really, really hard to come by in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood is actually considered a food desert… meaning people have limited access to affordable, healthy food. This just shouldn’t be.

I created the Castleberry Farmers Market to make a positive impact on my community.

Fast forward…this is my third year supporting the community with fresh, locally produced and affordable food.
This seasonal market also supports the local farmers, bakers, and other purveyors of homemade goods.

I would love for you to become a 2022 Castleberry Farmers Market Vendor! The weekly market resumes April 11 and is every Monday. Click this link to download the application and apply today! I want to support you!

You can choose between weekly, monthly or bi-monthly vending. And, farmers vend for free!

Please email your application to me, Diana, at info@castlerryfarmersmarket.org

 

We Need YOU!

In a little more than two months, it will be spring time here.

What does that mean to you?

The Farmers Market will start up again. Yahoo!

To create the best experience for our vendors and customers, we will hire a Farmers Market Assistant.

The most important part is this:

It’s a fun part-time job for every Monday from 3:30-7:30 and it begins on April 11. The pay is $500 per month. That’s pretty good for just four days in one month. A vehicle is required. So… if you are a friendly, energetic person who enjoys people and finds helping others rewarding and challenging…this job is for you!

You would be the primary contact as our Monday on-site staff person during the Market doing the following:

  • Initial Set up
  • Staffing the entrance booth
  • Managing EBT (it’s easy, I promise)
  • Fielding vendor questions for set up
  • Managing breakdown

For additional details, email Diana at info@castleberryfarmersmarket.org.

I love this community!