Farmer of the Week : Nelson Escobar – La Minga Cooperative Farm

Once again Katie Carter interviews the Farmer of the Week…

Farmer: Nelson Escobar

Farm: La Minga Cooperative Farm

Find them on the web: https://www.facebook.com/LaMingaKY/timeline

Produce to try: green garlic, potatoes, chipilin, amaranth greens

20150704_093500

This is Nelson Escobar’s first year at the Beechmont Open Air Market, and he’s glad he starting setting up his tent there. He enjoys the environment, especially music and food vendors, and looks forward to seeing some of his regular customers, who come looking for his purple, red, and yellow potatoes and green garlic.

So how does someone use green garlic, which looks like a bigger, sturdier green onion? Nelson suggests using it like regular garlic. It’s less pungent than the garlic you find in the grocery. He also recommends coating the whole thing in olive oil and salt and grilling it. 20150704_093514

Nelson brings some other, unique produce to the Beechmont Open Air market. While he’s most known for his potatoes and green garlic, he also brings chipilin, a legume with delicate, edible leaves. You can use it to flavor soups or add to quesadillas, as Nelson recommends. You can read more about it here:http://www.thekitchn.com/ingredient-spotlight-chipilin-64329. I tried it in a quesadilla by pulling off the leaves and mixing them with shredded cheddar cheese. I then put it in a tortilla, folded it in half, and heated it in a skillet. He also sells amaranth greens, which can be sauteed with green garlic and olive oil, as you might cook spinach or kale, and delicate squash blossoms, which can be filled with cheese and baked or fried. Later in the season, Nelson will also have dried Bull’s Blood beans (a variety of kidney bean), and jicama. 20150704_093520

Originally from El Salvador, Nelson Escobar came to the United States nine years ago and has been farming for the last eight years. He started a garden in his backyard which has since grown into a full cooperative farm located in Prospect on the Jefferson/ Oldham County line. La Minga farm follows permaculture principles, a movement to make farming more sustainable and to follow older traditions, like composting and using that compost, only tilling vegetables that need it, and finding natural ways to combat pests and fungi. For example, Nelson has been having trouble with beetles on his prized potatoes, so he uses a spray made out of hot peppers and garlic to combat the pests. The farmers also try to use heirloom seeds whenever possible.

If you are looking to experiment with some new produce, be sure to stop by La Minga’s tent. You might pick up some new cooking tricks too.

20150704_093507

Find Nelson and all of the other wonderful farmers this Saturday at the Beechmont Open Air Market, 8:00 a.m. – noon, at the corner of Wellington and Southern Parkway.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: