Madeira’s Farmer’s Market

     The bell rings and the stalls open for business at the Madeira Farmer’s Market. The sounds of music playing and smells of fresh herbs, produce, wood-fired pizza and fresh breads and pastries loft along the cool breeze of the hot summer day. What better way to spend an evening than at the farmer’s market?

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Located in the heart of downtown Madeira, Ohio, local farmers and vendors set up tents, stalls and even a wood-fire oven to showcase their works and wares, all up for tastes, discussions and sales.

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A word of advice. If you’re planning on visiting the Madeira farmer’s market, get there early and get yourself to the Blue Oven Bakery. The line starts here.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket01

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Prepare yourselves for bread like no other. Easily one of the busiest stalls at the market, sample and you’ll see why. I went for the strawberry croissant and can tell you that there was no time to take a photo to share cause as soon as it was in my hands, it was gone. As far as croissants go, we’re all used to the flakey crust, which this had just the right amount of. But after that I find most croissants to be a bit dry and boring. Blue Oven Bakery has mastered the technique to create a flakey croissant with a still chewy center. It has just that right amount of moisture still trapped inside. The local strawberries on top were a perfect blend of sweet, tangy and freshness. They were delicious. And that’s only one item on their long menu.

Blue Oven Bakery is based out of their Blue Oven Farm which is also home to the Blue Oven Food Truck. Knowing this, I will be on the lookout for that truck. I will hunt it down like a T-1000. 061115MadeiraFarmersMarket02

For more information about Blue Oven Farm and their products, check out their site at: http://blueovenbakery.com/ Let the drooling commence.

Also, be sure to hit it up early on your visit cause the longer you wait, the sooner they will run out of their tasty treats.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket13

Another point of interest is The Pickled Pig. Gary Leybman owns and operates his fermenting business using as much local produce as possible and techniques which all come together to make some amazing and very healthy food.

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I met Gary when we were both line cooks at a restaurant in Ludlow called La Poste. The dude is a wicked good chef and by tasting his ferments and talking to him about them, you’ll see pretty fast for yourself that he’s got something going on here.

I highly encourage you to talk to him about what he does and the health benefits of ferments. It’s all pretty interesting stuff.PickledPig03

Also, alongside his ferments he also smokes meats and will hopefully be letting me try some of the pulled pork I keep hearing about. Seriously Gary, if you’re reading this, I want it. Give it to me.

And if you’re bringing the dog along with you to the market, check out Gary’s smoked bones for your pups.

Check out and keep up with The Pickled Pig at their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Pickled-Pig/342137639208051

At some point here in the near future I will be making a larger multimedia piece about Gary and the work he does. I’ll post a link when the project is complete. In the mean time, stop by and grab some Napa Kimchee, it will blow your mind.PickledPig06

Despite how hot it was, many people happily braved the sweltering summer heat to check out the market. Lots of families and friends having fun and enjoying all that the market has to offer.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket06061115MadeiraFarmersMarket14061115MadeiraFarmersMarket09061115MadeiraFarmersMarket22

To survive the heat, there are some really great places to check out. A personal favorite of mine is the Carabellos Coffee stand. Now, I will first say, I can only speak of their coffee in that it smells amazing. Absolutely fantastic. But until I visit their nice air-conditioned store front, I won’t be sucking down any of that dark delicious elixir of the attention deficit gods. But seriously, one waft and you’ll want some, despite the heat.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket04

I encourage you to definitely experience their lemonade to quench your thirst and assist you in the whole not dying of heatstroke thing that tends to happen in these hot muggy months. I’ve yet to try the original flavor as I’m hooked too hard and far gone on the strawberry lemonade. All of the thumbs up.

Street pops is another option for those fighting off the heat of the sun.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket05

Featuring many lip-licking flavors such as superberry basil, hibiscus mint mojito and mango chili, I’m sure you’ll find something to aid you in your battle against the heat.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket12

Some stalls even have water for your dogs.

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In the few times I’ve been to the market (not enough to try everything yet), they’ve had some live music that seems to be generally kid-oriented. It’s fun to listen along and see the younger visitors of the market having a good time.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket20061115MadeiraFarmersMarket16

I know for a fact that I have to visit this market at least one more time because next on my list of places I really really want to try out is Fireside Pizza.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket17

I mean, they bring their own wood-fire oven on a trailer to make pizzas to order. Between that and the smell, it has to be amazing. 061115MadeiraFarmersMarket18

Kudos to this man. It’s already burning outside and he’s working in front of an oven. I stood there for about a minute before I gave up. But everyone from Fireside worked with a smile on their face. I don’t know if I could do it, I’d be too sad from how hungry I’d be if I had to watch all of these pizzas go.061115MadeiraFarmersMarket19

Personally I’d pass on the olives though…. but I am hungry.

So if you’re looking for a fun thing to do on a week night or to open up your horizons on what local produce and some hard work can do, I highly recommend visiting the Madeira Farmer’s Market. It’s not the largest but it has some amazing places to stop by and visit. Plus the people are just plain great. Go bother Gary, just for me.

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Until next time, best.

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