Monday, March 24, 2014

The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade and the Cincinnati Reds

In the early days of professional baseball in Cincinnati, the competing teams would encourage fans to follow them to the field to watch the opening game of the season. The Findlay Market merchants became the largest and perhaps most enthusiastic group. By 1930, the parade had become known as the Findlay Market Parade, and the merchants assumed the role of organizing it as a way to kick off the Cincinnati Reds season. 
Neil Luken of Charles Bare Meats at Findlay Market has been the Chairman of the Opening Day Parade since 1998. He has his finely-tuned committee of merchants who review the entries, confirm the lineup, consult with local officials regarding route and logistics, and scurry around on parade day making sure all the pieces fall into place. Can you imagine trying to get almost 200 entries lined up and ready to step off at exactly noon? Although no one from Daisy Mae's is currently on the committee, we certainly appreciate all the effort that goes into making the event a success, and we marvel each year at how everything seems to go off without a hitch.
Photo courtesy of Elise Speeg
If you've never been to the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, you are missing one of the best events of the year in Cincinnati. People of all ages, races, backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels line the streets and wave to the parade participants. It's the official start of spring in Cincinnati so whether or not the weather cooperates, the crowds are ready to celebrate a new season, and everyone is a Reds fan. The Veggie Gals from Daisy Mae's will be marching this year with our friends the Pillow People. We can't wait to give you a high-five and a "Let's Go Reds!" as we head toward Fountain Square. We'll be honoring a great Findlay Market tradition, saluting the Cincinnati Reds, and celebrating with all of you as we kick off the 2014 baseball season. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Slow and Steady Path to Local Produce

When the last of the snow melts and the first of the green grass peeks through, some of our customers start asking about local produce. As much as we'd love to offer local produce year-round, that's next-to-impossible in Ohio. We're still several months away from featuring the early local greens, asparagus, and rhubarb, but we continue to offer those items and more as they're shipped in from our suppliers in the South.
However, we are excited to announce that we're working with several farms to bring local produce to Findlay Market as soon as possible. Our friends at Kruthaup Family Farm in Morrow, Ohio, will be one of our featured farms this summer and fall. They're growing produce specifically for us so we are as anxious as you are to see those first seedlings pop up. In the meantime, you'll understand more about the labor of love that goes into local farming by following the Kruthaup Family Farm Facebook page.
Be patient, and put in a good word for plenty of sun and just the right amount of rain. We'll all be enjoying fresh, local produce in just a matter of time.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fresh Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day

With St. Patrick's Day coming soon, it seems only fitting that we should feature fresh cabbage at our Findlay Market stand. Like many Americans, I have a little Irish blood in me. My grandmother's maiden name was O'Shea, and I vaguely remember her cooking corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. I also recall hearing that my ancestors had emigrated from Ireland when the potato famine hit in the mid-1800's. About a million people died in Ireland because of the famine, but thousands of others left the country in order to survive. When they immigrated to America, they brought with them recipes for such traditional foods as Irish stew, Shepherd's Pie, Mulligatawny soup, and Colcannon. 
Colcannon is a mixture of cabbage or kale, potatoes, leeks and butter. In a common colcannon recipe, you boil 1 lb. cabbage until tender; then remove and chop or blend well. Set it aside and keep it warm while you boil 1 lb. potatoes. Remove potatoes from heat and drain. Chop two leeks (green parts as well as white), and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft. Season and mash the potatoes. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Blend in the cabbage and heat thoroughly. Make a well in the center and pour in 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix well and serve. 
Cabbage is high in Vitamin C, rich in fiber, low in calories and has no cholesterol. Its antioxidant properties make it a vegetable you should try to include in your diet. If you shop at Daisy Mae's Market this week (3/11-3/16), we'll make it easy for you. You'll receive a free cabbage with your $15 purchase. You might call that a great deal, but we call it the Luck of the Irish! 
(Original post March, 2012) 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How I Spent My Frozen Sunday

I was iced in on Sunday. Living at the bottom of a long driveway, we're used to shoveling, parking at the top, and salting when absolutely necessary. But this time, Winter 2014 won. I couldn't get out, and the worst part was it was Mardi Gras at Findlay Market. My plans to "Let the Good Times Roll" slid right out the door.
In the spirit of owning a fresh produce business, I decided to make lemonade out of these lemons. I wasn't going anywhere so I hunkered down at the computer and did a long overdue, complete revision of our company website. Always good to keep things fresh!

Check it out at, and let me know what you think.