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Another - yawn - holiday party?


Another Holiday Party?

Knowing how my schedule is I feel I need to justify asking you to crowd another occasion into your shrinking 2012 calendar. Last year we had our holiday party during and after the market pickup time for the sake of calendar efficiency, but those of us involved with the market operations felt our attentions too compromised to give the event the attention it deserves.

We offer this party as an opportunity to celebrate CAFÉ’s existence not only as a market but as an “exchange” in every sense of the word. The acronym CAFÉ was meant to suggest a gathering place for community to form around food needs and supply. We deserve to take the time to stop and simply appreciate one another, so here we are providing such an opportunity.

In the spirit of exchange it is a potluck for several reasons: Not only does it spread the cost and labor, it also allows us to continue what we started at the last Upstate Locavores potluck – sharing local, in-season culinary experiments as well as traditional treats. We encourage you to be local and creative!

The best reason to come to this event may well be for the live musical entertainment:

CAFÉ member, volunteer, and locally-grown musician Scott Chapman will share the stage with Evan Dehner for an “acoustic duo”

Other attractions include, but are by no means limited to:

Holiday Punch by Dana Howard

Door prizes donated by CAFÉ growers and members

Miscellaneous party favors

Ad hoc awards and prizes

Alcoholic beverages will be allowed

So please, if you can swing by after the end of your working Friday, or at the beginning of your busy Friday evening, share some moments with us celebrating the food community we have co-created at The Arts Center between 7 and 9 PM!

PS: Beggars allowed. Don’t let lack of prep time keep you away. Just eat lightly. There is plenty of food around this year.

Eat well, shop well (open til Mon noon), and stay well! Lance

Happy You're-Welcomes-Giving Day

Monday Update 11/26/12


May the Monday following Thanksgiving Day be called You’re-Welcomes-Giving Day and be a day to acknowledge all the thanks we have received for everything we have done over the past year. Sound conceited? Not at all. It is just as reciprocal as the other day. We ask you as well to acknowledge all the thanks we have given you.

The thanks we gave last Thursday and celebrated by feasting, continues to still welcome us with left-overs in the refrigerator today.

Before your welcoming left-overs become “da nada” (nothing – all eaten), the reply to “Gracias” in Spanish, remember to begin stocking up for the next round of holiday celebrations. The CAFÉ Market is open until noon.

Eat well to stay well! Lance

Weblog Entry


Locavore CAFÉ-teria

The seasonally anticipated Upstate Locavores Potluck took a new turn last week, at least for me, from being a rallying event for the once-more-disparite locavore community to becoming a showplace for locavore cuisine. With (or without) the CAFÉ challenge to increase the local ingredient content of a dish to 3 or more, we got many artfully prepared delicacies made ENTIRELY with (many more than 3) local ingredients, even all CAFÉ-sourced ingredients!

I suggest that we continue or supplement these Locavore events as occasions to share experiments and recipes and as opportunities to demonstrate how to use what is local in season! That would be reason enough for the event. No program or special guests would be necessary. Just a culinary event. Let me know what you think.

Back to the program of last week, allow me to say a few words of appreciation for Ellie Taylor, tireless healthy and local food activist, for all she has done to get people inter-activated. Ellie (with her co-creator Catherine Molbley – a story for another day) has instigated events that are not only delicious and social, but also educational.

Last week’s Potluck was no exception, and I liked the way it pushed the limits of what might be considered food by including a broader range of farm-raised products. We might also use these Potlucks as opportunities to share with each other what we are doing with non-food parts of crops, seed swaps, etc.

Let’s applaud for those CAFÉ growers who participated in the gift displays and presentations:

Bill’s Goat Hill (though, sadly, they couldn’t attend) [honey, candles, paperwhites, etc.]
Crescent Moon Farms [artisan cheeses, soaps]
Goats on the Hill Farm and Dairy *[artisan fudges]
*Loose Stone Farm
Quilt n Nut [plump pecans]
Wild Earth Gardens [amazing personal care, medicinal items and the magic honey]
Whoever I forgot

Many thanks also to my co-manager, Elian, as well as her parents, Carol and Darrell Yardley of Yardley Farms (deserving many stories of their own), Emily Havener, and anyone else involved in the production at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Clemson.

As was announced Friday, the Yardley’s were awarded the CAFÉ-challenge prize. Congratulations to them. I feel that almost every dish deserved a prize and I wish I had taken more care to document the event. Perhaps we can post the recipes on our website.

One locaculianary effort that I feel deseves honorable mention was that put forth by *Jason Myers and Maria Mayorga *for two delectable demonstrations of dishes containing Briarwood Farms rabbit.

Look forward to more holiday sharing ideas and events on your CAFÉ calendar.

Eat well, shop well (open til noon), and stay well! Lance

5-6:30 Volunteer needed

We need a volunteer in Clemson today from 5-6:30 at the Arts Center.

Reply back if you can help.


Tailgate Prize Awarded!!

Monday Update 10/29/12


As promised, the Best Loka-color Tailgate plate was awarded at the City of Clemson Farmers Market last Friday. The prize went to Connor Lemacher who constructed the spelling of C-L-E-M-S-O-N (see photo on Facebook page) with vegetables grown at the Student Organic Farm. For his creative efforts we are offering young Connor either10 stuffed bags of fresh, local spinach; or a Sylvan Falls Mill chocolate cake.

Remember that as outdoor farmers markets are closing for the year CAFÉ remains open year round and even as the temps will be dropping this week, our Fall crops are only beginning to arrive, and we anticipate another long extended season of Fall greens as more and more of our Growers incorporate season-extending practices and technologies.

Continue shopping until noon today. You may even still purchase miniature pumpkins from Parisi Farms.

Eat (and carve) well to stay well! Lance

Available products

Some of you are having problems ordering. Here is a list of available products in case you want to email me what you want.

Sorry for the trouble. We should have it fixed for next week.



Monday Update 10/22/12


With the season’s final outdoor market day and halloween FAST approaching I have been fantasizing about the various possibilities that pumpkins offer for orange-and-purple-wear. What could be more decidedly orange and more in season right now!!?? But local availability is more difficult!!! Because of the large market created for Halloween pumpkins must be grown in large, monocultural plantings. Most of those in supermarkets and even many sold in fresh markets will have been imported from out of our region.

Keep in mind, HOWEVER, that the jack o’lantern tradition began in Ireland with Celtic staples such as beets and turnips. Pumpkins are a post-Columbian modern crop which do not thrive in Ireland’s short, cool growing season. If loka-lantern is defined as the festive adornment of ANY locally grown autumn fruit we may consider a number of other (albeit non-orange) possibilities.

So, if you can’t find a local pumpkin consider carving and displaying something else grown locally this year. Try (in decreasing size) another type of squash or gourd; a turnip or rutabaga; a sweet potato (also orange); maybe even a cabbage; an eggshell; or even (at the pixie-scale) a hazelnut shell! If you require (like I probably will) more of a spectacle, consider introducing other “characters” along with your traditional jackolantern.

Bring your experiments to the final City of Clemson Farmers Market in Patrick Square this Friday afternoon(10/26, 3:30-6:30) where they can be appreciated and photographed alongside the dazzling displays of purple and orange tailgate platters we will be receiving.

If you haven’t yet ordered this week, there is still time to shop until noon today (Monday, 10/22). The entire system was transformed before the market opened Friday so you may notice some differences on the Market page. If you have any difficulty ordering please contact us for assistance.

Eat well to stay well! Lance