Thursday, August 4, 2016

Explore the Feast of Artisans - The Woodlands

I don't know about you but I love a good farmer's market. I also love being able to support local small businesses. When I had the opportunity yesterday to go check out the Feast of Artisans right here in my hometown, I was super excited. Adam and Meagan Cadena are the mastermind's behind the Feast of Artisans operation and the driving force for the amazing things they have planned for the farmer's market in the community of The Woodlands. After listening to Adam's plans and goals for the farmer's market I was even more thrilled. 
It's easy to picture. If you have ever visited Seattle's Pike Place Market then you have an idea, on a smaller scale, what the Feast of Artisans could look like in the future. It won't be a permanent, everyday market. More of a pop-up concept, which is becoming more and more popular on the West coast and genius if you ask me, but with the vibe of Pike Place. The location could not be any better. Imagine being able to get off work and go to a, centrally located, farmer's market to pick up fresh, local produce for supper. Or, if your already at the mall or dining at a nearby restaurant, you can go outside and shop for some unique, handmade, one-of-kind items. With the potential to have about 75 vendors, Feast of the Artisans is still rather intimate. You will find anywhere from 18-25 vendors. And every Wednesday that goes by, the vendors will continue to increase. Yesterday marked the second week of the Feast of the Artisans at The Woodlands Mall on Wednesday evenings from 5-9 pm. Eventually live music will be playing and there will be plenty for the kiddos to do. It's a fun, family friendly atmosphere. With the many surrounding restaurants, going to dinner and walking the farmer's market after a nice meal, makes for a darn near perfect evening. 

A Wednesday just seems like the perfect day to have a farmer's market too. It's in the middle of the week, right when you start getting eager for the weekend. It's a good day for reflection of how the week has been and how the week is going to end. I always say that Americans need to take more notes from Europeans as far as their easy going, laid back lifestyle (and nightlife), and slow down and enjoy life more. We may live in a bubble, but it's a fast paced one. Now is as good as ever to start living and enjoying the little things. Feast of Artisans is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends, all the while supporting local small businesses. Just as the vendors are doing with their fellow vendors. While I had a moment to talk to Adam with Feast of Artisans, he was passionate about giving local farmer's a chance to work together and support other local farmers. A local to local support system. Which is already paying dividends for a couple farmer's. Collaborations have already happened amongst some of the farmer's. 
McClure's Family Farm, located in Oakhurst, Texas, has worked with 3 local brewery's, B52 in Conroe, Back Pew in the Porter/Cleveland area, and 11 Below in the Willowbrook area, to incorporate their beer into, one of many, products the McClure's Family Farm makes and sells. Such as soap, made out of goat's milk from MFF dairy goats. A lot went into finding a formula that worked in order to add beer to the soap. The end product makes for a stable lather, full of B vitamins from the beer, that is great for the skin. I picked up a couple bars of soap that's made with beer and am totally loving the smell and feel of the Saintly Shave Craft Beer and Goat Milk Shaving bar. I'm thinking I definitely need to make a trip out to McClure's Family Farm.

One thing you should know about me, I love coffee (especially cold brew/iced coffee's) and I love any mom and pop coffee shop. I forgot about Starbuck's along time ago. So when I came across Hunter Beans Roasters making iced coffee's using his neat handmade contraption, of course I had to get one. Hunter Hamilton of Hunter Beans Roasters, is the most enthusiastic, small batch, nano roaster I have ever met. Probably the only one actually. He only sells single origin coffee in light, medium, or dark roast, from places such as, Honduras and Guatemala. His motto for Hunter Beans Roasters is to serve good coffee to good people. Hunter especially likes to give coffee away to good people, doing good things. He is very generous with his coffee donations. One particular place he enjoys giving his coffee to is the Community for Adults with Disabilities. 

One common tactic many of the vendors have is, they reuse and/or recycle everything they work with. Having scraps isn't an option. Adam Stroder, with A.S. Is Designs, uses reclaimed wood to make all his, one of a kind, wood decor. The majority of the wood comes from structures being demolished in Conroe, Texas. Even about 75% of the hardware he uses on some of his pieces are recycled. Adam makes about half of the paint he uses, by mixing recycled materials and he makes some of his wood stains out of coffee grinds. I definitely see myself perhaps working with him on something custom in the future.

I'm so excited The Woodlands continues to move in the direction of supporting local farmer's, promoting the farm-to-table idea, and making it easily available for the community. Thanks to Adam and Meagan Cadena for this opportunity and The Woodlands Mall's cooperation and participation in the Feast of Artisans, who also bring positive energy and optimism to the success of the Feast of Artisans. Wind down every Wednesday from 5-9 at the Feast of Artisans.
For more information and to stay up to date, check out Feast of Artisans Facebook page or visit their website at www.thefeastofartisans.com.

Upcoming Dates in August for Feast of Artisans - The Woodlands:
Wednesday, August 10th 5-9 pm
Wednesday, August 17th 5-9 pm
Wednesday, August 24th 5-9 pm

Cheers guys!

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