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Pioneer Farmers Market set to open with fish, berries

When the Pioneer Farmers Market opens on Saturday, there will be something fishy going on and also something more than a bit mysterious.

The 2010 Pioneer Farmers Market will open at 7 a.m. on June 5 in the parking lot behind the First United Methodist Church in Troy with the usual farm-fresh produce from local growers.

But this year’s market will also feature grain-fed catfish raised in a pond fed by an artesian well and baked goods from the kitchens of three local ladies who wish to remain anonymous.

Dr. Nick D’Andrea of Troy will be a first-time producer at the Pioneer Farmers Market.

D’Andrea, who is an outdoor enthusiast, said he will have fresh from the farm catfish at the market the first Saturday of each month and also on Grand Opening Day, June 12.

“Since the catfish are grain fed, they have a sweet tasting meat,” he said. “The fish for sale will be dressed and weigh about two pounds each. They will be sold two to the package.”

D’Andrea said he plans to have about 900 pounds of catfish for sale over the market season and will take orders for delivery at the market.

In addition, to the catfish, D’Andrea will have raspberries, blueberries and blackberries from his berry patches. On Saturday, he will also have Irish potatoes, the tiny, red variety.

D’Andrea is also the go-between for the three ladies who want to pick up a few dollars with their culinary skills and demonstrate the cooking and baking skills of women whose proud resumes read, simply– homemakers.

“These three wonderful ladies are outstanding cooks,” D’Andrea said. “They want to be a part of the Pioneer Farmers Market but that’s about all the baking they want to do – a few pies, cookies or cakes every week or so. They haven’t lost their cooking and baking skills and still enjoy using them.”

Most of the pastries that the ladies will prepare are from heirloom family recipes and are close kept secrets.

“This Saturday, we’ll have free samples of some of their pastries as a way of introducing their baking skills to those who frequent the Pioneer Farmers Market,” D’Andrea said.

Everyone is invited to visit the Pioneer Farmers Market on Saturday and “sample” what the market will offer this growing season.

The Grand Opening of the Pioneer Farmers Market on June 12 will feature a wide variety of homegrown, homemade items and activities for children and the entire family.

The Pioneer Farmers Market will also be open on at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the parking lot behind First United Methodist Church of Troy.