More Farmers Market Adventures
There are so many reasons to love our local Farmers Markets. Every time I go I discover new ones. Here are my two latest intriguing finds: Alpacas and Dutch Ovens.
The best word to describe my favorite Farmers Market finds is whimsical. Other words: offbeat, fascinating, and just plain fun. My family and I made our way to one of our local markets the other day: Manakin Market in neighboring Goochland County, which by the way, is open Saturdays from 9AM-1PM through October.
Goochland: Sounds like a Dr. Seuss adventure doesn’t it? It kind of was.
Check out this guy! What a face!
All the kids, including my husband and I and college-aged daughter Alex, could not get enough of taking selfies with these engaging creatures. They are the farm market celebrities, the Kim Kardashians of the countryside. Pactamere Alpaca Farm in Goochland County provided this opportunity, and they welcome visitors to their farm at 5008 Tori Lane in Goochland, VA.
We also checked out alpaca wool courtesy of Thistledown Alpacas in Manakin Sabot, VA. The wool makes beautiful yarn, to which my knitting crazed friends across the country can attest. You know who you are.
Thistledown boasts a number of Champion and blue-ribbon sires and dams among their heard. You can actually visit the alpacas at the Thistledown farm and hand feed them carrots! And apparently, they also have working Great Pyrenees dogs—the huge white fluffy ones—who protect the herd, how cool is that? We love Pyrenees. The best opportunity to visit the alpacas though, may be the open house coming up Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, noon-5 at the farm, located at 489 Manakin Ferry Road, Manakin Sabot, VA
Other great places to meet the alpacas and many other of their farm friends is at two of the best farm events in the area, which are coming right up:
Field Day of the Past, Rockville, VA, held September 21-23
State Fair of Virginia, which runs September 28-October 7
Now, on to food.
Also at the Manakin Market was a gentleman offering samples of food, prepared in a Dutch oven over hot coals. It was beautiful food! Being new RV owners, we were intrigued by the possibility of creating these gourmet meals in the great outdoors. (Interesting to note: The Manakin Market regularly features a “Chef at the Market”—visiting local chefs who offer demonstrations and samples, and the Market provides the recipe cards.)
Did you know there is actually an organization called Old Dominion Iron Chefs? It is the local chapter of the International Dutch Oven Society,
The group supports and extols the virtues of Dutch oven cooking and members meet up to have cook-offs, called DOGS (Dutch Oven Gatherings). The chefs also offer classes in Dutch oven cooking within the State Park System, Boy Scout troops, and at Bass Pro Shops. Members share recipes and gather together under a common love of cooking, especially in a camp setting. My husband and I are definitely getting a Dutch oven for our RV trips and applying for membership. We want to get in on this action.
The two recipes they shared this day were Tomato Potato Zucchini Summer Squash Casserole (that is a mouthful, literally), and Peach Cobbler. The casserole was as beautiful as it was delicious, and the cobbler equally so. Check out the website for upcoming events. I will meet you there.
See? See what you can discover at the Farmers Market!
And speaking of Dr. Seuss, I found these good words on 37 Dr. Seuss Quotes that Can Change the World on the BrightDrops website and found them very appropriate for our market adventure.