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2014 Hillsdale Farmers Market Urban Fair

Sarah West

We are introducing a new market event this October! Called the Urban Fair, it’s our take on a county fair: celebrating the agricultural products our market vendors bring to Hillsdale each week and the home cooks who transform them.

We know that HFM shoppers are dedicated to our market’s produce. We’ve seen you taking home flats of berries and bags of pickling cucumbers. Now we’re inviting you to bring a sample of your own handiwork back to the market by submitting an entry into the Preserves Showcase. A panel of judges will evaluate Showcase entries for flavor, texture, appearance and proper canning technique.

We will award Urban Fair ribbons to four winners in each of the Preserves Showcase’s three categories: jam, pickles and nostalgic preserves. To encourage preservers of all ages to participate, there is a special ribbon in each category for preservers 18-years-old and younger. All participants will receive an Urban Fair souvenir and be entered into a raffle drawing for a chance to win preservation-themed prizes. Find out more about entering your preserves in the Showcase by picking up a copy of the Urban Fair Handbook and a registration form at the market info booth on Sunday, or on our website (link).

The Urban Fair is also an opportunity to learn more about your community’s food resources, as well as to see demonstrations of traditional cooking techniques. We’ll have booths set up on the south end of the market where some of our community partners will share resources on growing, sourcing and preparing fresh foods at home. We’ll also have a demonstration booth where vendors, chefs and other food artisans will give brief tutorials in their area of expertise. We are still compiling a schedule of experts; stay tuned for a schedule and updates at http://hillsdalefarmersmarket.com/2014-urban-fair/, as well as in our newsletter.

Throughout the summer, our market chef Kathryn Yeomans will demonstrate recipes for using market products and be on hand to answer your cooking questions. She is a trained chef as well as a certified Master Preserver, and an excellent resource for learning how to improve your home-preserving technique! This season she has already demonstrated making strawberry preserves and spring vegetable pickles. Find Kathryn in the Feed Me Fresh Cooking Demo booth each Sunday from 10am-1pm.

Our goal is for the Urban Fair to be a fun and educational event that will inspire market shoppers and community members to make the most of the amazingly fresh and nutritious ingredients our local growers and producers bring to market year-round. Help us celebrate the bounty; start preserving now for the 1st Annual Urban Fair!