Vendor Showcase: Free My Timber

The Edmondson Village Farmers Market is a community venture. We’ll periodically introduce some of the Baltimore-based artisans who come together to make this all possible.

free-my-timber

Free My Timber is a start-up company created by Christopher Priest. He combines the skills of a seasoned furniture refinisher and an artist to create items such as wood-burned jewelry and furniture.

Our Media & Communications intern Nicole had a chance to sit down with Chris, to ask him a few questions.

Nicole: Please state your name and where you live.

Chris: My name is Christopher Priest and I live in Northeast Baltimore.

N: Did you come from Northeast Baltimore? Did you grow up somewhere else?

C: I’m originally from Atlanta and I moved to West Baltimore when I was around 11. I recently moved to East Baltimore a few years ago.

N: Cool, well you do great wood burning pieces, what were you doing before that?

C: You’ll never guess it but I was electrical engineer before I took the woodworking and wood burning seriously.

N: So did you go to Morgan [State University]? Or did you attend somewhere else?

C: Yeah, I graduated from Morgan and worked for Northrop Grumman for a little bit after that. Then I worked for a local company called Lenox Laser, up in Glen Arm, MD. That was before I decided to work for myself.

N: Was that some kind of principle, like to work for yourself? Like “I’m tired of working for all of these people?”

C: That’s really what it is, I really didn’t know what I was going to do. The woodworking thing wasn’t really an option, it was refinishing furniture and refinishing wood floors was just something I did as a hobby on the side. I quit my job because I was tired of making another man rich and I knew that my hard labor was literally making another man rich and he wasn’t paying me what I deserve to be paid for; so I said I had enough.

N: Right, right. So I’m assuming that you’re self taught, or did that go back to electrical engineering and working with those different companies when it came to wood burning?

C: The wood burning, I got that idea from the laser company that I did work with. We worked with laser and would burn a lot of different materials. So I got the idea to try wood and see what would happen, and I noticed that it left a nice little burn on there; so I decided to make an image on there and a lot of my coasters–well all of my coasters in the beginning were all laser-etched, until I no longer worked with the company. Then I started practicing and doing it by hand, and I just got better at it. Then one thing turned into another and it just developed into a business.

N: The name “Free My Timber,” where does it come from?

C: I would love to be considered a liberator of my people, just an all around educator as far as–you know–the plight that black people are in as a whole. I just want to uplift us as a community, I want to educate us as a community, so that’s kind of where it came from. I wanted to have a name that sort of tied in with what my true dreams are and also what the business is. I just kind of wanted to have a fun name too, so I thought that “Free My Timber” was playful and served all the criteria that I was going for.

N: How did you start doing pendants or coasters–what’s your favorite thing to make?

C: Honestly, my favorite thing to do–I like to put my designs into household things. I really like designing for the house, so furniture would be the first thing that comes to mind. I actually have a project right now where I’m refinishing a door–I’m putting a new front door on and put a big burning on my front door; and I’ve been having dreams of doing steps, putting a nice mural on my steps so it all flows together. So that’s what I really like to do, unique items but more towards the home–home and furniture.

N: What’s your best seller?

C: My best selling piece by far is the large pendant of “Life Begins Here.” It’s basically the silhouette of a woman with the continent of Africa between her legs, kind of a dual meaning to me. Meaning that life begins with the woman and in Africa. That is the best selling piece I have.

N: How did you come to the farmer’s market?

C: Just through word of mouth. I remember seeing a poster on Facebook or I got an email just telling me about the farmer’s market and I contacted Jill [Harrison] and it went from there.

N: Do you like the idea of the farmer’s market helping the community?

C: Yes, this is my first time participating in a farmer’s market for myself but I’ve been going to them and attending them for a few years now, and I just love the idea as a customer and as someone selling now. As far as for my business, I think it’s really nice and it’s a real eye opener. It’s a learning experience for me if I ever want to grow to be like a brick and mortar store–or something like that, this experience is helping me tailor to my audience.

We hope you’ve enjoy this interview with Chris from Free My Timber. He’ll be with us on Saturdays from 9am-1pm.

To get in contact with Free My Timber:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NaturalWoodDesigns4U/

Instagram: @freemytimber

Website: http://freemytimber.com/

Free Bike Giveaway – Saturday August 20, 2016

August 20, 2016 – Welcome Jamsquad Cycling to the market!

JAMSQUAD Cycling is a small Baltimore non profit that performs cycling miracles. They collect unused bicycles and refurbish them to like-new condition and provide them to children without the means to buy one.boy and bike

Jamsquad will be at the market this weekend with 25 bikes to give away. If you or your child need a bike, come on down early on Saturday August 20, 2016. We open at 9 am. If Jamsquad has one in your size, and you’re the first one there – you get the bike.

Even if they don’t have your size at the market, you can sign up to get a future bike.

 

More about Jamsquad

donation-april-1–We collect, restore, and deliver bicycles to youth without the means to buy one

–We are ambassadors for cycling and introduce kids to the love of cycling.

–We participate in local cycling advocacy and educational events.

–We represent our sponsors with integrity and enthusiasm in cyclo-cross, mountain, and road bike races.

 

Jamsquad on Facebook

Jamsquad’s Website

Eggplants are here – and cross your fingers for corn and vine-ripe tomatoes

Produce Variety Value Box
July 16, 2016 – Produce Variety Value Boxes, Green Beans, Eggplants and more

Get to the market early to make sure you get a Variety Value Box – These have been very popular and have been selling out every Saturday. The box is a variety of produce for a flat price.

Our produce is all local and Maryland fresh. If the weather cooperates, we should see Corn, Tomatoes and Peaches this week!

And don’t forget – you can turn $5 into $10 or $10 into $20.

If you have a SNAP card we will match funds up to $10 per market day and WIC vouchers up to $5 per market day. Just visit our INFO tent

Here’s a sampling of what our farmers tell us they’ll be bringing this week:

  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Greens
    • Kale
    • Collards
    • Chard
    • Lettuce heads
    • Cabbage – Green and Red
  • Fresh organic eggs
  • New Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Onions
  • Scallions
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers
  • Beans
    • Green Beans
    • Pole Beans
  • Herbs (thyme, oregano, sage, mint, wood sorrel, chives, dill, basil)
  • Edible flowers (squash blossoms and nasturtiums)

 

 

Blueberries and a collard greens bonanza

June 25, 2016Blueberry – Blueberries and greens are in plentiful supply this week

This is the beginning of the blueberry season. And greens are in full swing. Our farmers are reporting an absolute bonanza of collards, so be sure to bring a big bag and take home a  big armful.

 

Here’s a sampling of what our farmers tell us they’ll be bringing this week:

  • Honey
  • Blueberries
  • Greens
    • Kale
    • Collards
    • Chard
    • Lettuces
    • Salad Mix
    • Cabbage
    • Mustard greens
  • Snap peas
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Potatoes (red and white)
  • Beets
  • Scallions
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh eggs

As always, they’ll also be fresh cut flowers, fresh herbs, and fresh ground butters.

scapes at Edmondson Village Farmers Market in Baltimore

Garlic Scape Season is Here, Get Them While They Last

Scapes are the shoots that grow out of the ground from hard-neck varieties of garlic. When they’re young and tender, they look like curly green stalks with tightly closed buds on top. Raw scapes are crunchy like green beans or asparagus.They’re much more mild in taste than the garlic bulb, and you can eat scapes raw or cooked.

The season for scapes is short, and the demand is high, so you have to be on the lookout for them. Our farmers have been selling out. If you see them, grab a big bunch. Garlic scapes will keep for weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Prepping scapes is super easy.  Just trim and discard the stringy tip of the scape, then cut crosswise, either into tiny coins or string bean-like stalks. Here are links to a few garlic scape recipes:

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic-Scape-Pesto-Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup garlic scapes, buds removed and chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
Refrigerate covered for up to two weeks. The flavor will mellow some as it sits.

Pickled Garlic Scapes – Quick and Easy Refrigerator Method

pickled-garlic-scapes-and-blanched-scapes

Ingredients:

1 quart water
1 quart white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon each peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 dried cayenne peppers (my addition; I put one in each pint jar)
1 pound garlic scapes, washed, cut into 2 inch lengths or just coiled up whole scapes.

Bring everything but the scapes to a boil, simmer 15 minutes, pour over scapes. Cool and store in the fridge for as long as they last. This makes approximately 4 pints or 2 quarts.