This story is part of a series celebrating Farmer’s Market Week, which ran from August 1-7 this year.
Summer is a time of convenience, relaxation and fresh food. Your local farmers market is the perfect place to welcome all three aspects of summer fun. When you think of your local farmers market, you can imagine an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and crafts – the spoils of our fertile lands and our creative community. Most market goers shop in downtown farmers’ markets for food to fill their refrigerators. Locally raised meats might not be the first thing you think of, but don’t be surprised to see a variety of options in your next market. Local farmers do more than grow fruits and vegetables – they also raise your fresh meats.
As the owner of Hooker Creek Farm, my goal is to provide healthy and humane meat options to my community. I like being locally present at farmers’ markets and discussing their recipe ideas with buyers. Having access to all the basic foods in one place allows shoppers to support farmers in the community and avoid the trip to the grocery store. Buyers are generally pleasantly surprised at the plethora of cutting options we have on offer. Check out your local farmer’s market to find pork, poultry and beef options from a variety of farmers in the area. There are a lot of choices at the farmer’s market, and you should have the same kind of shopping experience when it comes to your meat options.
Hooker Creek Farm offers grazing pork and chicken right here in Cottonwood. We raise our animals without antibiotics, hormones and additional additives. Our animals are free range and grass fed, resulting in healthy animals and healthy cuts for your table. Knowing where your meats are coming from is a great feeling, and customers are excited to notice the distinct difference in taste and texture in naturally raised meats.
Tehama County is an exceptional place that offers healthy, affordable and local sources of staple foods. Good food nourishes the soul. Treat yourself to clean meats from the farmer’s market. Come find local meats at the next market and see what there is to choose from.
Hooker Creek Farm sells its produce at the Redding Farmers Market at Town Hall on Saturdays and at the Lake California Farmers Market on Sundays.
Summer BBQ pork chops and peaches
When I think of market finds, I think of pork chops and grilled peaches. A summer evening goes perfectly with the smell of charcoal and relaxation. It’s an easy meal that you can throw on the grill and cook in about 20 minutes. Delicious with a fresh salad or cereal.
Hooker Creek Farm Thick Cut Pork Chops
MoonBeam Farm Herbs of Provence
Salt and freshly crushed pepper
4 hard-pit peaches, pitted and halved
Choice of barbecue sauce
Preheat the grill to medium-low heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and add a light coating of olive oil. Grill pork chops until golden brown with grill marks (about 5 minutes) on each side. You can now move the chops away from direct heat to cook slowly for another 10 minutes or so, until the chops reach an internal temperature of 155-160 degrees.
While the pork chops cook over indirect heat, top your peaches with a few tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Throw your peach halves, flesh side down, on the grill and turn them over after about 4 minutes. Grill the peaches for 4 to 5 minutes per side until you have nice grill marks.
Remove pork chops and peaches from grill and cover up to tent for about 5 more minutes. Feel free to sprinkle some extra barbecue sauce on the pork chops and peaches if you feel like it. Plate and enjoy.
Nina Clifford works with Hooker Creek Farm in Cottonwood.