Farmers Market Update: Omaha, Nebraska

by | Jul 24, 2011
Omaha Farmers Market

Omaha Farmers Market

Before we get started I wanted to let you know that we had another Farmers Market Boot Camp this weekend, and once again it was amazing. I scheduled two more classes on August 13, one at 8am and one at 10:15am. You can sign up here.

Kristin DeKay is co-owner of Image Made, an Omaha based web design company. She enjoys cooking, gardening, photography, and much more, which she writes about on her blog Everyday Potential.

Farmers Market: Omaha

by Kristin DeKay

Omaha’s largest farmer’s market is located in the Old Market. According to their website, the market traces its roots back to the turn of the century. Farmers, residents, and grocers would come together on the corner of 11th & Jackson to sell veggies, produce, jams, honey, and the like. The market continued in this fashion until 1964. Thirty years later, in 1994, the market was revived, and today continues to serve the Omaha community with access to beautiful farm-fresh goods.

Purple Broccoli

Purple Broccoli

I went to the market around 9:30am (It was already approaching 90 degrees!) with my mother-in-law, who was on the lookout for kohlrabi and some bean sprouts. I was just planning to browse and pick up whatever looked good at the moment.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

The first thing we found was some beautiful kohlrabi. I’d never eaten this before, but my mother-in-law insisted it was great, so I bought one. If you’ve never tried it before, I highly suggest it! It looks a little intimidating to peel and slice, but I assure you, its easier than it looks! Its taste is very neutral, and the consistency is nice and crisp. It’s perfect raw, in a salad, or lightly sautéed for a stir fry.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

I spotted some bright-colored Swiss chard at the next booth, as well as a pile of yellow squash and zucchini. My dad lives in a small town, and always jokes, ”The only time anyone in town locks their car doors is when zucchini are in season. You might end up with a huge box of it in your back seat!” We had plans to grill some steaks the coming week, so I picked up some to skewer on the grill.

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

I’ve always admired beets. They are so pretty and uniquely shaped. I’ve never actually tried fresh beets—I’ve only had the canned variety and didn’t like them. I’m making it a goal of mine to try as many kinds of veggies I can find, even those I’ve told myself I don’t like. Maybe when I’m feeling brave…

Beets

Beets

The next booth was full of Asian veggies—baby bok choy, Chinese spinach, and Thai eggplant.

Baby bok choy

Baby bok choy

I’d never seen Thai eggplant before, it’s about the size of a golf ball and is green with white stripes. They remind me of miniature watermelons. Apparently, they are commonly used in curry dishes, though in the U.S., the large purple eggplant is generally substituted.

Thai eggplant

Thai eggplant

I passed by a vibrant assortment of white and red radishes, and rhubarb.

Radishes, Rhubarb

Radishes, Rhubarb

I always stop by the Razee’s Berry Farm Booth. In addition to berries, they grow over 92 different varieties of garlic. I always buy some, their garlic is a must-have. I bought three varieties: Nootka Rose, Ontario Giant, and my favorite, Transylvania.

Garlic

Garlic

On our quest for sprouts, I happened to notice these little guys. They are called patty pan squash, also known as scallop squash. They are so adorable! I did a little research and found that they are one of the first squashes domesticated by the Native Americans before the English settlers came to America. These particular squashes only measured about 2 inches in diameter.

Patty Pan Squash

Patty Pan Squash

I love seeing common vegetables in bright colors.

Colorful Carrots

Colorful Carrots

I purchased a savoy cabbage to split with my mother-in-law (they are so big!). I like to throw cabbage in with my salad. I prefer it raw instead of cooked.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage

There were beans, beans, and more beans at the market Saturday.

Burgandy Bush Beans, Wax Beans

Burgandy Bush Beans, Wax Beans

These beautiful purple onions are sold by Rhizoshpere Farms. They are just a tad sweeter than green onions.

Purple Onion

Purple Onion

I don’t usually purchase herbs (I grow my own), but I had to stop and admire this Thai basil.

Thai Basil

Thai Basil

As we were heading back to the car, we found them. Squeaky Green Organics, a family run farm located about 30 minutes from Omaha, had a booth with all kinds of sprouts. Bean sprouts, sunflower sprouts, pea tendrils, and a bunch of other varieties!

Pea Tendrils, Sunflower Sprouts

Pea Tendrils, Sunflower Sprouts

My purchases:

  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Purple Onion
  • Kohlrabi
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Sprouts
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10 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Omaha, Nebraska”

  1. E. Foley says:

    Beets are delicious! I thought I hated them too until I realized I hate jarred/canned beets and pickled beets. I LOVE roasted beets. Also, the book Veggie Burgers Every Which Way has an excellent recipe for beet burgers.

  2. Jill says:

    The best thing after roasting beets, is Borsch (a soup made of beets). There are tons of varieties of Borsch, you can play around with the recipes but it tastes NOTHING like canned beets.

  3. Roasted beets sounds amazing, I will have to try that for sure! My cousin spent time in the Ukraine, and he makes Borscht from time to time. I’ll have to get his recipe!

  4. Tina says:

    Roasted beets will convert you! Chop small, toss with olive oil and salt, pop in a preheated oven at 400. Gorgeous and delicious topping for soups, tossed in salads or sprinkled on mashed sweet potatoes.

  5. Tina says:

    I forgot to say it takes about 45 minutes at that temp to turn the beets into roasted yumminess. I also mix in other root veggies like sweet potato and kohlrabi for a pretty color mix and roast all together.

  6. Roman Korol says:

    I have a borshch recipe for a slow cooker that I found at allrecipes.com and modified somewhat with the help of Ukrainian friends. It passes the test: whoever has tried it, liked it. Should anyone want a copy, let me know and I’ll be happy to pass it along.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Please share, Roman! Sounds delicious!

    • Roman Korol says:

      Suzanne, I have a slight problem with the exporting of this recipe from my database for transmission and have written to Darya for advice, so please stand by!

      –Roman

    • Roman Korol says:

      Okey doke, here’s the recipe for my borshch. Bon appétit – or, in Ukrainian: smachnoho!

      Slow Cooker Borshch

      Ingredients
      1 lb beef tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
      4 beets, peeled and chopped
      2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
      8 oz baby carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
      1 stalk celery chopped
      1 onion, chopped
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      4 cups Beef stock preferably homemade
      1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
      1 tsp tomato paste
      5 Tbs apple cider vinegar
      1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
      1 Tbs dried parsley
      1 bay leaf
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp ground black pepper
      roughly chopped beet tops
      1 cup sour cream, as garnish

      Procedure

      1. Brown the beef cubes in a skillet at medium heat.

      2. Place beef, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic in a slow cooker.

      3. Mix together the beef stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, dill weed, parsley, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Use a hand-held blender to blend these ingredients. Pour mixture over the beef and vegetables, adding more broth to cover as needed.

      4. Cover and cook on Low for 8 1/2 hours, or High for 4 hours.

      5. Set heat to High, then stir in the chopped beet tops. Cover and continue cooking about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add some fresh chopped dill. Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream.

      Servings: 8

      Cooking Times
      Preparation Time: 9 hours
      Total Time: 9 hours and 30 minutes

      Nutrition Facts
      Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (21.1 ounces).
      Percent daily values (DV) based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

      Amount Per Serving
      Total Calories 305.91
      Calories From Fat (22%) 68.29 cal.

      Total Fat 7.68g, 12% DV
      Saturated Fat 3.66g, 18% DV
      Cholesterol 46.38mg, 15% % DV
      Sodium 813.17mg 34% % DV
      Potassium 1645.26mg 47% % DV
      Total Carbohydrates 40.62g 14% DV
      Fiber 10.3g 41% DV
      Sugar 18.58g
      Protein 20.25g 41% DV

      Tips
      The quantities listed in the Ingredients bring my 5-quart (4.7 liter) crock pot right up to the brim. Do not add more unless you have a bigger pot. If you have a bigger pot, you could add some shredded cabbage at about the same time as the beet tops.

      The original recipe called for 1 Tbs brown sugar but I’ve omitted it because that makes the borshch much too sweet.

      This borshch is really a stew, it is so dense. If you want to remedy this, instead of 28 oz tomatoes try using 14 oz tomatoes plus 14 oz tomato juice to make it more soupy.

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