Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Florida Farm Bureau Womens Leadership Conference

Florida--Women farmers are gathering again for a leadership conference. The event, started just five years ago, brings together female farmers, ranchers, media and individuals interested in farming from around the state of Florida for a two and a half day educational and fellowship conference.

Florida Farm Bureau Womens Leadership Conference farm tour 2016,
Belle Glade, Fla. Copyright 2017 By Helen A Lockey

They come together to figure out how to tell their stories through social media, educational book readings to school children and on-farm events. Many if not most are multigenerational farmers and they want to include people in their farming journey.

They want people to know how they came to farm in Florida, what they farm, how they take care of the land they farm, and why they want to continue to farm.

They want people to see that they care about what is going to happen now and in the future of farming. This conference helps them translate their passion into beautiful, supportive  and educational messages.

But there is so much more to this conference like tours of local farms, bonding exercises and inspirational speakers.

I have attended two of these conferences and have learned a lot about female farmers and farms in general here in the state of Florida.  I found the farm tours to be one of the most interesting parts of the conferences. I also felt very welcomed by the women ranchers and farmers each time I attended.

Amy Roloff speaking at the Florida Farm Bureau Womens
Leadership Conference in 2016, Boca Raton, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Highlights of the 2016 conference held in Boca Raton, Florida, were the Palm Beach County farm tour and first-generation farmer speaker Amy Roloff from the television reality show, "Little People, Big World."

Roloff summed up the sentiment of the whole leadership conference.

"I'm just here to share my insights on being on a farm," Roloff said, adding, "We're big on sharing our farm with other people. It's about building community and making the change about agriculture."

This year's conference is being held in St. Augustine at World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort (500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, Fla.) from March 2-4th, 2017.

There are still spots available according to Jason Davison (in a phone call Feb 28, 2017). "We love to have people new to the farming community attend."

You can register online or at the door with a check or cash ($100 made out to Florida Farm Bureau Federation), just be aware that food might not be available with your purchase. But according to Davison they will try and make sure your needs are met.

Unfortunately the hotel is already booked but there is another hotel nearby at exit 323 off Interstate 95, and other hotels at exit 318.

It is worth the time and costs to attend this event especially if you are interested in women farmers and ranchers in the state of Florida and how you might be able to help them get their message out.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Night Market Waterside, Lake Worth Farmers Market, Fla.

The Night Market Waterside at Lake Worth Farmers Market is worth a visit. It is located in the same place as the Saturday morning farmers market except it is at night, from 6-9 p.m., on the first Wednesday of the month. Unfortunately because this market is a pop-up style, it only has four dates of existence in its schedule.
Night Market Waterside, Lake Worth Farmers Market location, Lake Worth, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Most of the Saturday morning vendors are at the night market except for some farmers, they have to be up early to tend to their crop. To fill in their absence Peter Robinson, the organizer of both markets, has included food trucks and artisans booths.

Fresh oyster shucking at Night Market Waterside, Lake Worth
Farmers Market location, Lake Worth, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
I went to the first night market back in November, and found it to be a lovely, intimate event made up of sparkling lighted booths, soft breezes, gentle music and yummy food choices that included freshly shucked oysters.

Farmers at Night Market Waterside, Lake Worth Farmers
Market location, Lake Worth, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
In February, the market is going to be themed around Valentine's Day as a Love Feast, according to Robinson. There will be all sorts of delicious food and some interesting vendors not seen before at the market.

The market is on the East side of the Lake Worth bridge near the Lake Worth Casino. It's address is Lake Worth's Old Bridge Park, 1973 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33460

The market starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. And there are only two pop-up left this year on February 1st and March 1st 2017.

I hope to see you there.

UPDATE March 7th, 2017: The pop-up night market experiment period is over for Spring 2017.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beer Chocolate Truffles, Davidson, North Carolina

Davidson, NC—South Main Sweet Shop has some surprising beer chocolates. The shop, located in the heart of Davidson, a town just an hour’s drive north of Charlotte, has a variety of chocolates. But the most surprising ones are made with actual beer and not just beer flavoring.

Moonstruck Chocolate Company Oregon Craft Brewers Collection truffles,
starting clockwise from upper lefthand side and going right: Deschutes
Brewery Black Butte Porter, Widmer Brothers Brewing Hefeweizen,
Full Sail Brewing Co. IPA, and Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar
Copyright 2016 by Helen A Lockey

When I went to the shop, back in June, they were selling Moonstruck Chocolate Company’s Oregon Craft Brewers Collection beer infused truffles ($2.50 each). There were four types and I bought them all. They were Deschutes Brewery (Asheville & Oregon)-Black Butte Porter truffle; Widmer Brothers Brewing (Portland, OR)-Hefeweizen truffle; Full Sail Brewing Co (Hood River, OR)-IPA truffle; and Rogue Ales (Portland, OR)-Hazelnut Brown Nectar truffle.

The most outstanding truffle for beer taste for me was— Full Sail Brewing Company’s IPA truffle with a milk chocolate cap/top. The IPA’s floral flavor notes brought out the creamy deliciousness to the white chocolate that only could be satisfied with eating more truffles.

My next favorite truffle was made with bittersweet chocolate and Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar. It had waves of delicious flavor from caramel to ripe bananas to hazelnut and to a sweet, almost boozy bourbon taste.

Next on my yum list was also made with bittersweet chocolate and was combined with Widmer Brothers Brewing Hefeweizen. The lightness of the beer brought out a spicy, earthiness in the chocolate.

The truffle that did not work for me, surprisingly, was the one made with Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter and bittersweet chocolate.  The chocolate flavor eclipsed the porter leaving only hints of brown bread, sweet butter and caramel.

All in all the experience was delicious and the next time I am in Davidson I plan to go back for more.

You can order these beer truffles directly from Moonstruck Chocolate Company or go to South Main Sweet Shop located at 107 N. Main Street, Davidson, NC 28036

Phone (704) 997-5767

These beer truffles would make a great Valentine’s Day gift.