Vegetable of the Week:
When I saw the beautiful, round, dark green squash at La Esperanza Farm's produce table I had to ask about it.
"It's an eight-ball squash." said Jasmine Diaz who manages the booth every Saturday. "It's a cross between a zucchini and a yellow squash in taste."
So...how do you prepare it? I asked.
"I hollow it out, chop up the squash meat and blend it with hamburger, onions, green peppers, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. After it's mixed together, I stuff it into the squash and then cover it with mozzarella cheese and bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes." Jasmine said.
So I bought two.
And I googled eight- ball squash when I got home. According to my Google search, the eight-ball squash
flavor is similar to the longer Italian zucchini, buttery and sweet with nutty accents that deepen with cooking. They generally range in diameter from one to four inches. The smaller sizes have the sweetest and most flavorful flesh, while the larger sizes are firmer, but excellent for stuffing.
In addition, eight ball-squash is a nutritional powerhouse: each squash contains vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, folic acid and magnesium. Additionally it contains dietary fiber and has a high water content.
Guess who's having eight ball squash for dinner tonight! Be sure to pick up your eight-ball squash this Saturday from Jasmine at La Esperanza Farm's booth!
And here's another eight ball squash recipe you might want to try compliments of "My Recipes."
Eight-Ball Zucchini Parmeson
1 (1-ounce) sliced French bread,
torn into small pieces
6 eight-ball zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup packed spinach leaves
8 basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered (about 5 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Set aside.
Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Set pulp aside. Steam zucchini shells, covered, 6 minutes or until tender. Drain, cut sides down, on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels.
Place zucchini pulp in food processor; process until finely chopped. Spoon into a bowl. Place spinach, basil, garlic, and onion in food processor; process until finely chopped.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini pulp, tomato, and salt; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in breadcrumbs.
Fill each zucchini half with about 2 1/2 tablespoons zucchini mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
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Be a Market Volunteer!
Need service hours for your company or organization? Need service hours for community service or your school? Volunteer and have fun at The Frisco Rotary Farmers Market each week!
What's Fresh in May at the FRFM?
The following items will be available at the markets in May (tasting allowed!):
Blackberries, Blueberries, Figs, Melons, Peaches, Strawberries
Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Greens (Chard, Mustard), Leeks, Potatoes, Onions, Okra, Peppers, Radishes, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips
Visit the Rotary Club of Frisco Booth
to Pick Up Your
Limited Edition Big Jim the K Bar K Bull Sticker!
We also have a bottomless cup of coffee for $1.50 and bottled water for $1.00. Stroll the market and stay hydrated!
We can answer your questions about the Frisco Rotary Farmers Market, the vendors at the market and the Rotary Club of Frisco. Stop by and say hi!
Tom, Patty and Michael Alford
Alford Family Farm
Alford Family Farm began practicing sustainable farming in Emory, Texas in 2013. They joined the Frisco Rotary Farmers Market in 2015 but had to take a break after their farm was hit by a tornado in April 2017. The good news is that they're coming back for the 2018 season starting May 25, 2018!
The Alford Farm includes 3,000 blueberry and blackberry bushes, 370 pecan trees (harvested in October and November each year), 2,000 Iris plants and three acres of seasonal fruits and veggies. They also have cows, pigs, horses and chickens on the property.
The Alford Family doesn't just sell at farmers markets. They also provide U Pick opportunities for blueberries and blackberries May-July and for Pecans in October-November. Customers can also place orders for meat from Belted Galloway Cattle, Red Waddle Pigs and Cornish Cross Chickens.
Some of the more unique offerings that Alford Family Farms will bring to the Frisco Rotary Farmers Market include: Asian vegetables (including Bok Choy), cut flowers, pecans and heirloom tomatoes.
So, how did the Alford Family become involved in sustainable farming? It turns out that their
son, Michael, is quite passionate when it comes to learning and using organic methods to produce healthy, pesticide and chemical free food for their customers.
When he graduated from Austin College with his Environmental Studies and Business degrees, he moved to the farm and took on the huge task of making the farm a place that families, educational groups and organizations such as the Boy Scouts could come and learn about these methods and the enjoyment and challenges of running a sustainable farm operation.
Michael's produce, grown on three acres in the back part of our property, is sold locally and at the Greenville, Coppell, Frisco and Denton farmers markets.
As the season gets closer, look for Michael to share new varieties of cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers he has planted, and Tom will share his recipes highlighting the week’s favorite fruit or veggie.
What is Sustainable Farming for our Future?
By definition sustainable farming is : The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long term ecological balance.
In application at The Alford Family Farm it is:
- Cover crops such as crimson clover and hairy vetch restore much needed nutrients back into the soil.
- Crop rotations…important not only to keep soil healthy and balanced, but also controls nematodes and other soil born diseases.
- Use of beneficial insects such as green-lace wings, trichogramma wasps, ladybugs and bees.
- Organic pesticides…such as orange oil, NEEM oil, pyrethrum and foliar sprays containing hot pepper and garlic.
- Organic fertilizers such as processed chicken and rabbit manure, molasses, compost and compost tea.
- Organic weed control…mulching, horticultural vinegar, orange oil and old-fashioned weed pulling!
- Low till practices.
- Hogs fed pecan and produce seconds.
- Cattle and horses graze pasture and fed from our own baled hay.
- Meat chickens are fed non-GMO, hormone and antibiotic free feed.
- Laying chickens are free range, bug-eating machines!
*Some Glyco-Phosphate is used to keep fence lines and severe weeds under control. NO FOOD PRODUCED ON THIS FARM HAS BEEN SPRAYED WITH GLYCO-PHOSPHATE.
Parking at the FRFM
As the market moves into the heavy North Texas fruit veggie season we see more people at each market...and more people bring more cars! We are looking at options to open up parking spots in and around the market.
Remember, there is usually parking on Main Street before 10:00 a.m.
The Depot is also offering free parking for market customers who eat breakfast or lunch at The Depot. Thank you to the Depot for their support of the Frisco Rotary Farmers Market!