Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Market Vendor offers Heart-Healthy Beef

Grass-fed, heart-healthy beef is brought to Soulard Farmers’ Market shoppers by Bob and Sue Eckenfels and partner Robert Hoye from Hoye Brothers Farm (HBF), located in Ste. Genevieve.

HBF occupies 114 acres of the rolling countryside which characterizes the typography of the Ste. Genevieve area. The pastures provide cool and warm season grasses, red and white clover and annual forage plots of rye and mullet, according to by Bob and Sue.

They explain that the pastures are divided into 14 individual paddocks and each is supplied with abundant well water. The cattle herds are rotated from paddock to paddock, allowing them to graze on high-quality, nutrient-rich grasses. The resulting beef is a tasty alternative to factory farmed, store-bought beef, Sue explains.

The HBF herds consist of Murray Grey and Angus cattle, known for the rich flavor of their beef. All are 100 per cent grass fed and are never given grain, antibiotics, hormones, anabolic steroids or growth stimulants, Sue notes.

She adds that beef from grass-fed animals is much lower in calories and fat than grain-fed animals, is high in healthful omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene and vitamin E, and is a rich source of cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The meat is flash frozen and shrink-wrapped.

At present, Bob and Sue can be found at the booth usually occupied by Steve and Veronica Baetje, who sell that outstanding goat cheese. Steve and Veronica will be back at their stand after the kidding season, of course, at which time Bob and Sue will move to a more permanent location at the Market.

For information about cuts of meat available and prices, contact Bob and Sue by phone at 573-883-0337, by e-mail at Best, visit them at the Soulard Market on Saturday. We welcome them as new vendors to the famous Soulard Farmers' Market.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Bitter Day for the Soulard Mardi Gras

The so-called Grand Parade Day symbolizes Soulard Mardi Gras. The day - which should be called the "Grand Drunk Day" - was held on Saturday, February 21. It is now over. Thank God.

The actual parade, which started at 11 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m., left the rest of the day for the bars and miscellaneous stands to sell booze, until outside sales ended at 8 p.m. and inside sales ended with a last call at 10:30 and bar closing at 11 p.m. Fortunately, the weather was cold, with temperatures in the low thirties. The cold was aided and abetted by a cutting wind, helpfully reducing the amount of trash - the drinkers - in the neighborhood.

During the time between the end of the parade and the merciful termination of liquor sales, there was nothing to do but to drink and to parade the streets. People did just that: drinking, mindlessly screaming and yelling, littering, engaging in a spectrum of anti-social activities, disrespecting themselves and the neighborhood. The ungodly noise and the trash produced by these annoying people seemed to be endless. Their behavior held the neighborhood hostage.

The halting of liquor sales finally finished what the wind and the cold temperatures (not to mention self respect and manners) could not accomplish: sending the remaining rubbish home, bringing to a close for another year this bleak, dangerous, ugly little faux festival, nudging elsewhere the awful folks who think that because they are half drunk (or all drunk), then they must be having a good time. Closing the tills of those whose greed for a fistful of dollars allows them to overlook what they do to the Soulard neighborhood and to the City of St. Louis.

Second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the nation, they brag. In reality, it is nothing but a public debacle, a blot on the landscape, a spectacle offering more insights into the leadership and personality of this town than anybody should want to reveal.

Soulard Mardi Gras Grand Parade day is truly a bleak, bitter day, even during those years when that day is warm and the wind is stilled.