Mountain Heartbeet: Fresh Veggies and Heartfelt Farming Passion

Joanne Ducas, Mountain Heartbeet Veggies

This week’s vendor spotlight welcomes Mountain Heartbeet, one of the market’s new vegetable vendors. Farmer Joanne Ducas sows and tends her crops at Effingham’s Farm by the River, by the shores of the Ossipee River, a collaboration that continues a long tradition of farming and land stewardship. Old friends with farm owners Bill and Eve Klotz, Joanne is excited to be working the soil and running a small CSA for the community. (She still has a couple of Saturday openings!) She worked as a farm assistant manager for the last few years in the seacoast area, and is ready for the solo responsibility of a small, community-focused, diversified farm.

Mountain Heartbeet is working currently toward organic certification. Although Joanne is quick to point out that many farms operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner without being Certified Organic, she feels the structure of organic certification will help her to stay organized and provide a level of accountability to her work. “I want to be the best farmer I can be and I feel this program helps me track my progress each year and aligns me with other like-minded folks,” she says. Organic certification will be happening in the not-too-distant future, according to Joanne.

Joanne is looking forward to getting to know the farmers market crowd, and chatting it up about farming, vegetables and delicious recipes. Among the diverse variety of cooking and salad greens right now, Joanne is harvesting Napa cabbage. “Try mixing up savory cabbage cakes, using a (not-sweet) pancake batter, chopped onion and savory spices. Old Bay Seasoning turns this recipe into “Poor Man’s Crabcakes,” says Joanne. Baking or sizzling in a skillet finish them off for a delicious summer supper.

Joanne loves the community-building aspect of the farmers market, and the connections it offers with other farmers, vendors and customers. Be sure to introduce yourself to Joanne! Stop by to say hello, and add some summer greens to your shopping bag!

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