Thursday, December 2, 2010

I am Thankful for Epiphany Farms: Thanksgiving Market Sale 2010

I am Thankful for Epiphany Farms: Thanksgiving Market Sale 2010

The anticipation had been building up for the last few weeks. Epiphany Farms had been promoting their daily harvests through local market sales for the last two weeks in front of their restaurant location on East Monroe Street in Downtown Bloomington. To all of them at Epiphany, the Thanksgiving Market Sale was the quintessential effort to provide Bloomington-Normal select sorts of their freshly picked organic harvests including:

o Assorted radishes

o Carrots

o Scallions

o Arugula

o Kohl Rabi

o Pak Choy

o Leeks

o Kale

o Turnip tops

o Mustard greens

o Head lettuce

o Fennel

o Napa Cabbage

o Salad green mixes

The harvests alone at the farm had been back-breaking work for the past few weeks since most of the crops were dying off from the threatening frosts of the fall and fast approaching winter. However, the weather had been extraordinarily mild for all of October helping with the prolonged harvest of most of the crops on the farm. I remember going to the Farm all of October wearing nothing but work jeans and an old beat up t-shirt embracing the unusually warm weather. However, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the warm weather. All of the fall crops had been basking in the warm sun, especially in the front garden which is solely divided on south facing slopes (at a 30 degree angle) in order to capture the full potential of the sun. It was peculiar though; every other sign outside told me that winter was fast approaching, the absent leaves, bare tree branches, grass turning a grayish green, but the warm weather allowed the farm to fully produce to its potential and make a killing at the end of the year market sales.

The morning of the Thanksgiving Market Sale, all efforts were focused on getting the harvest to the US Cellular Coliseum. The entire arena was invaded with trucks and stands of local farmer’s products ready to be engulfed by the swarm of market “goers”. The first hour before the actual sale started was saved for the very cream of the crop visitors who wanted to get a first stab at all the stands before the remaining crowd would flock into the stadium and snatch up everything in sight. The first few hours seem like a trippy blur that were spent continuously re-stocking the front stand and taking shouted orders from long lines of people who were lining up to get Epiphany’s fresh produce . Within only two hours, the stand was wiped clean. People were continuously disappointed to hear that most of their favorites were gone for the day. On the other side, everyone at Epiphany couldn’t have been happier with the result of the sale. At one point, I saw Ken Myszka and Stu Hummel were jumping up and down like little kids, joyously proud of the amount of produce they had all sold at the market in only a few short hours.

In the end, the success of the Thanksgiving Market Sale provided a huge sigh of relief to everyone at the farm, solely because of all the strenuous work that had put in during the fall harvesting season; including the never-ending dinner parties, week-long harvests, and the farm winter preparations. Overall, everyone couldn’t have been happier with the result of the Thanksgiving Market, myself included. The rest of the year, most of the work will be focused on booked dinner parties and efforts toward the new restaurant opening in the spring of next year. I hope everyone is excited as I am about the opening of the best fine dining restaurant in Central Illinois. Get ready!

Written by:

Tim Blakemore

(Epiphany Farms Marketing Intern)

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