In our April 1 blog post, we talked about the diversity of the Worthington Farmers Market and how it can be your one-stop shop for everything food-related. Now more than ever, the market's extensive lineup of protein vendors contribute to that diversity with a wide range of items--from pork to bison.
Long-time market vendors Ed and Beth Snavely of Curly Tail Organic Farm in Fredricktown sell a range of pork products, including pork chops, boneless ham roasts, boneless loin roasts, bacon, bratwurst, sweet and hot Italian sausage, and natural nitrate bacon. (Get there early if you want the last item mentioned in this list because it sells out quickly.) Their farm has been certified organic since 1986, which means the hogs are fed organic grain--also grown on their farm. The processing is done locally as well.
What makes the pork products from Curly Tail Organic Farm taste so good? The difference is in the diet, says Ed Snavely, explaining that the hogs eat a high-fiber barley diet. Snavely also points out that he and his wife raise only old Heritage breed hogs (Berkshire and Tamworth), which he insists is also a differentiating factor.
Bison is another one of the many protein options sold at the market. Bob and Bev Sexten of Ohio Bison Farm in Grove City have been raising bison since 1990. "If you want to eat red meat, bison is a healthier option," Bob said, adding that it is 95 percent lean and high in protein. The taste is a little sweeter than beef--not at all gamey--and you can buy the same cuts you're already accustomed to with beef. Bob recommends cooking bison slower than beef, and he even suggests removing it from the heat while it's still a little pink in the center.
The bison at Ohio Bison Farm are raised with no growth hormones or antibiotics, and the processing is all done in Ohio under USDA inspection. You can purchase everything from individually-wrapped bison steaks and 2 1/2-pound roasts to hot dogs--although the latter produces a taste that is both filling and different than the grocery-store equivalent.
Here's a list of protein vendors you'll find at the Worthington Farmers Market:
Cedar Cress Farm
Curly Tail Organic Farm
Ohio Bison Farm
Oink Moo Cluck Farms LLC
Sippel Family Farm
Speckled Hen Farm
Up the Lane Farm
For more information about bison, including recipes and cooking tips, visit http://www.bisoncentral.com/cooking-bison/bison-cooking-101. For updates about the Worthington Farmers Market and other Worthington events, go to the event calendar at www.visitworthingtonohio.com.