It’s been more than a month since the summer solstice, marking the beginning of summer. Summer fruits and vegetables are drawing patrons to the Fayette County Farmers Market in droves; sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers are in demand, as are the blackberries and (non-local) peaches.
It’s a beautiful time to enjoy fresh produce….it’s fresh, ripe, and particularly good because it’s in season and picked within 24 hours of sale. There are many fancy things one can do with this produce, but these are the foods that don’t need complicated preparation and only slight cooking for a beautiful meal. I recently made a salad of yellow and green summer squash sliced with a food peeler, and mixed simply with olive oil, lemon juice, thinly sliced garlic, salt and pepper, slivered almonds (a dry cheese optional).
I’ve been getting questions about planting garlic. Garlic is a fall planted crop; advise on when to plant varies greatly, but it should be planted no earlier than mid-October, with sometime in December being advised by many old timers. I loosely follow the advise to “plant on the winter solstice and harvest on the summer solstice” – I typically end up planting in late November or early December, but recognize that can be hard for some to follow.
But if you’re in the mood to have a fall or winter crop, there are a number of vegetables that can be planted now. I have the most success with the root crops…..beets, turnips, carrots, and maybe rhutabaga or parsnips. These vegetables, if planted at the right time, may have enough time to actually produce a root crop before the ground freezes. And, when they don’t, they can be heavily mulched (say, with straw) and they will complete their growth in the spring. Kale can also be started outside just about anytime, but the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) can be tricky because they need warm temperatures to germinate, but cooler temperatures to grow and produce the food we seek. I have cauliflower seedlings in pots and hope to get them in the garden within the next 2 weeks, but in the past, the days get too short for plant growth before I ever get heads on the plants. Hope springs eternal!
Amanda List with the YMCA is joining us as the community guest this week. The Fayette County Family YMCA is looking to start a Community Garden to fill existing gaps in our community by addressing food insecurities, access to fresh food, nutrition education and much more. Amanda looks forward to sharing the YMCA vision with the community at the Fayette County Farmers Market. They are also the recipient of the Farm to Fork grant this year and will have information available about that event.
The Fayette County Farmers Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon. It is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington C.H. SNAP EBT food benefit cards and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) good only for fruits, vegetables, and food producing plants. So,”buy one, get one” for up to $25 EVERY market day. Five dollar coupons will be available again for FAYETTE COUNTY Farm Bureau members at each Saturday market; these can be spent at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.
The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday. Other vendors may participate as well.
Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Artisan breads, muffins, and sewing crafts.
Barbara’s Embellished Stretchy Bookmarks (Barbara Black): Bookmarks in dozens of different handmade designs dealing with sports, nature, hobbies, OSU, beach, and more.
Bridge View Garden (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Seasonal produce including tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, zucchini. Homemade breads (yeast, savory and sweet) and rolls.
Cheryl’s Country Crafts (Cheryl Braun & David Stewart): Wood crafts, signs, wreaths and more.
Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Wax melts, beaded pens, crocheted dish cloths, pot scrubbers and shower poufs. Baby essentials including, crocheted blankets and hats, flannel receiving blankets, burp cloths, crinkle toys and bunny ear teethers, silicone tableware, teethers and pacifier clips.
DSC Produce Farm (Darren Cox): Salsas (including Carolina Reaper), dressings and peach and strawberry jams. Sampling wild mango salsa. Pickled beets.
Engeti (Alana Walters): Baked goods including bread, cinnamon rolls, rolls, cakes, pies, cookies.
Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Strawberry (specialty) jams, local honey, baklava, sourdough crackers. Fresh garlic, cucumbers and other seasonal produce.
Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium ground beef in assorted packages (patties, bulk tubes).
Julie G’s Cookies (Julie Greenslade): Chocolate chip, sugar, ginger, oatmeal raisin, oatmeal chocolate chip walnut, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, chocolate peanut butter bars, peanut butter, peanut butter jumbos, peanut butter fudge, funfetti, lemon bars, pineapple cookies and salted caramel butter bars.
Lorre Black Umbrellas (Lorre Black): Umbrellas to match your personality, your friends’ and family’s personalities, too. With every umbrella you purchase, you help your community by helping LBU build our very own Umbrella Alley in WCHO.
Persinger Produce and Cottage Foods, The Jam Man (David Persinger): Apple butter, JAMS: black raspberry, strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, rhubarb, grape, pineapple, Brazilian pineapple, pineapple Habanero, peach, peach Habanero, blueberry, cherry, blackberry, seedless blackberry, red raspberry, red raspberry jalapeno, and strawberry jalapeno. JELLIES: hot pepper jelly. No Added Sugar jams: triple berry, plum, blueberry, seedless blackberry. Chocolate Texas sheet cakes with or without pecans.
PPCF & S. Plymouth Raw Honey) (Julie & Dennis Mosny): Assorted pies, banana cake, buns bars and raw local honey.
Wood Designs by DW (Debbie Welch): One of a handcrafted wood items— birdhouses, signs, tables, gnomes. Crocheted items including kitchen towels, pot scrubs, pot holders, baby booties, and afghans. Will take custom and special orders.