June 30, 2021
Farm Fresh: Keepin’ It Local!
Yolanda Nagy loves good food. And she knows where to find it: at farmers’ markets and farm stands.
To introduce us to Central Texas farmers, ranchers, and food artisans, she hits the road six days a week as @eatin_and_sippin_locally to show us when and where to find them, tips for shopping, and recipes to make back home.
Via Zoom, Yolanda explained what prompted her to waltz across Texas to tantalize our taste buds and quest for new adventures (these days especially!).
Raised in Detroit, she grew up going to farmers’ markets every weekend with her family. “It was really exciting to get back into it here in Texas and looking around and talking to the vendors. They’ve just got such great stories to share. And so, I thought, you know, I could really give them a voice,” she said.
Across Central Texas, we can find a farmers’ market or farm stand any day of the week except Monday. To keep us in the know about days and hours for each location, Yolanda travels the highways and byways for our own fresh food forays. We can meet the hard-working makers, get their growing tips for our gardens, and fill our baskets with in-season food, including varieties that we may not find in stores, like succulent heirloom tomatoes in early summer.
It’s a chance to try new things, too, and vendors are happy to share recipes. For Yolanda, one was Asian long beans grown by Bernhardts Fruit and Veggie Farm on a trip to the Texas Farmers’ Market. They advised her to simply sauté these flavorful beans. “I like to experiment, but I only experiment through my videos because I love to eat but I do not cook. So, I love having my husband, who is a great chef, create these great dishes. And he did a very simple dish with the long beans; he just sliced them up and then sauteed them.”
Watch their quick Instagram reel! (I made them for dinner, so yummy that I’ll be doing it again!)
“Now there’s a difference between farmers’ market and farm stands which I learned on my visit with Carol Ann at Boggy Creek Farm stand,” Yolanda noted.
“The difference between the two is that a farmers’ market is shared with many vendors where you’ll find 30 to about a hundred vendors in one spot. The farm stand is in a small intimate place, usually on a farm or near a farm and most of the vegetables, almost all of the vegetables, are sowed from their farm.”
It’s always fun to head to Boggy Creek Farm and see Carol Ann Sayle! In 1992, she and husband Larry Butler became the stewards of this urban regenerative farm on Austin’s east side.
Like so many, I was heartbroken when Larry died in 2018. He and Carol Ann, frequent beloved guests on CTG, always greeted me with warmth and more planting advice when I went shopping on Saturday morns. Carol Ann gave me a few more tips on my recent visits!
I remember Larry saying that the best way to eat a tomato still warm from the field was to just chomp in over the kitchen sink!
On a Wednesday, Yolanda met up with me and Austin PBS, KLRU-TV colleagues Robert Moorhead and Alex Wolff at Boggy Creek to check out that morning’s harvests. (Boggy Creek’s open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.)
I picked up long beans to try out the Instagram recipe and more yummy Jimmy Nardello peppers that I added to my sauté. I’ve made two trips now for them, because their slightly sweet flavor works beautifully in salads, eggs, and stir fry. Next time, I’ll get sorrel, fresh dandelions, and kale!
By the way, here’s a delicious dandelion recipe that Alex Wolff shared with CTG a few years ago—a family tradition passed down by his grandmother and documented for us by his mom, Lisa Wolff.
Yolanda preps us with must-take items when you head out: a cooler with frozen water bottles, bag for dry goods, and insulated bag for meats and dairy.
“The market is a place that you go and just explore and you spend a day, it’s not like the store, you’re not running in and running out. And I think that is the coolest thing when you can meet the makers, who’ve created what you’re about to buy. You just don’t find that in a store,” she said.
“I’ve finally found my passion, my niche, and giving a voice to the vendors is just what I freaking love to do.”
Watch her story now!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next time, Linda