WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — The early season perennial vegetables are always welcome. The rhubarb pokes its early red tinged leaves above the soil often in March, and manages to weather the frosts and even freezes of our Ohio springs. (In Maine I’ve seen it in baskets and stacked on walls being given away in late summer.) Rhubarb, so full of vitamin K1 and fiber, as well as anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tastes especially good after the long winter….I’m undoubtedly craving fresh food from the garden, and I bring some to market, freeze some, and stew it weekly with honey; this stewed rhubarb is a dinner side dish, or heaped onto oatmeal – good anytime of the day.
The asparagus appears in warmer weather and is much more susceptible to cold. But for its short availability at the market, it is snapped up. Such a versatile vegetable – grilled, broiled, sauted, sides, soups, salads and omelets. We snap up these early vegetables during their short seasons, and then wait until the following year for the much appreciated treat.
Now it is strawberry season. The Martins have provided an early strawberry crop at the market; those strawberries are mostly finished producing and the next strawberries should be coming from other vendors this next weekend. My own strawberries just started producing about a week ago. I didn’t pick last Saturday, mostly because I was so busy. But picking was top on my “to do” list for Sunday. I was shocked to look out of the window and see the back of some critter’s head right in the middle of the strawberry bed. I’ve been keeping an eye on the groundhogs living under the chicken coup, and knew I’d probably need to trap them soon. This critter in the strawberry bed, was a HUGE raccoon, who when I opened the outside door and called to him or her, just 25 feet away, languidly turned her head and didn’t seem to be inclined to move. Clapping and yelling sent her scampering into the woods; these sounds also alerted the border collie, hot on the scent (but previously oblivious).
There were NO RIPE STRAWBERRIES in the entire bed. Perhaps 10 half ripe berries, but all the ripe berries (and I’d expected at least 2 quarts) were gone. It’s a conundrum…. I’m devoted to planting native species that invite and support wildlife, and wildlife includes raccoons and groundhogs. I am used to sharing my strawberries with smaller rodent and robins, but this coon evidently didn’t understand the key principle of “sharing.”
We can share music at least! Musician Dave Zine, Appalachian balladeer, will be playing acoustic country bluegrass starting around 9 a.m.
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. 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.
Engeti (Alana Walters): pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, yeast rolls, bread, cookies, sugar scrub and some plants.
Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Potted vegetable and perennial plants and buckeye tree seedlings. Raw unpasteurized local honey, strawberry/honey jam, sourdough crackers. Produce: various greens, radish, garlic scapes.
Hostetter Kitchen (Melody Martin): white bread, butter rolls, iced cinnamon buns, zucchini and banana (tea) breads, granola, granola bars, muffins, rhubarb pies, whoopie pies, cheese and herb breads, cakes, buckeyes, baby beads.
Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium ground beef in assorted packages (patties, bulk tubes).
Julie G’s Cookies (Julie Greenslade): Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, ginger, snickerdoodle, pineapple, sugar, lemon bars, peanut butter, peanut butter jumbos, peanut butter fudge, funfetti, and macadamia nut.
Rural Beans Roastery LLC (Kameron Rinehart): Assorted freshly roasted coffee (beans and ground).
The Casual Gourmet (Jason Gilmore): Cookies, brownies and shortbread.
The Jam Man (David Persinger): Apple butter, peach flamingo, ginger pear, hot pepper jelly, hot.hot.hot. pepper jelly, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, peach, strawberry, blackberry, cherry, triple berry, red raspberry, grape, seedless blackberry, seedless red raspberry, strawberry jalapeno, red raspberry jalapeno, peach habanero, pineapple habanero, No added sugar: strawberry, triple berry. Texas sheet cakes, with or without pecans.
The Pie Lady and S. Plymouth Raw Honey (Julie & Dennis Mosny): local raw honey along with blackberry, strawberry, peach, cherry, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb pies, cinnamon rolls, banana cake, cinni mini’s and Buns Bars.
Wood Designs by DW (Debbie Welch): One of a kind 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.
Bridge View Gardens (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Fresh produce: lettuce, spring onions, cabbage. Bedding and vegetable transplants, potted herbs, perennials and succulents.
Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Handmade baby essentials including crochet baby blankets and hats, flannel burp cloths, teethers and pacifier clips. Also crochet dishcloths and pot scrubbers, beaded pens, key chains and wax melts.
DSC Produce Farm (Darren Cox): Pickled baby beets (limited quantities). 10 flavors of salsa (including mild peach) and 4 flavors of salad dressing. Sampling mango salsa.
Food Trucks – KK’s Grubb Hubb and Waffle Barn
Katrina Bush is a vendor with the Fayette County Farmers Market.