As I write this, we have had three whole days with no rain, but rain is moving in again and is predicted for this entire week. Many fields and gardens and yards are fairly saturated with water, with the driest areas being those with rocky soil, those with sloping ground, or those with healthy soil able to absorb and hold water. The amount of rain and its timing matter for many crops. My tomato plants in the wettest part of their 40 foot row don’t look very happy or healthy. I will do damage control with applications of compost tea, but these overly wet plants are susceptible to blight and other fungal diseases. Shoppers at last Saturday’s farmer’s market were surprised to find a limited number of strawberries. According to Ms. Jones, of Jones Farm Fresh Produce, this problem was created by last week’s excessive rain at just the wrong time (as well as the limited amount of sunshine).
Most of the strawberries grown and sold at markets are “June bearing,” meaning the berries come on during a short season in late May/early June. These berries are abundant for a very short season, and then gone. Like asparagus, and other short season crops, they are special largely because they are best eaten fresh and aren’t available for long (at least not the really delicious, local kind).
Speaking of strawberries, the next full moon is June 17. This moon was known by the Algonquin as the Full Strawberry Moon; it was at this time of year that the wild strawberries of New England were harvested. The wild strawberry is quite tiny and like the wild blueberry, quite time-consuming to harvest. But we, like other animals as well as birds and insects, seem hardwired to appreciate the carbohydrate sweetness of fresh fruit and gobble it up with appreciation with when it is in season.
The Fayette County Farmers Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets. SNAP EBT food benefit cards, Senior Farm Market coupons 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 $20 EVERY market day.
This year’s promotional theme is “Fresh & Local for YOU,” sponsored by the Fayette County Farm Bureau. The market is honoring all veterans —active duty and reserves— by offering a $5 coupon each and every market day. This offer is also extended to all Farm Bureau members as a member benefit. Just stop by the Market Info Tent and pick up a coupon! These coupons may be used to make farm market purchases anytime during the season.
Be sure to stop by the “Community Guest” tent, located near the market info booth. The Salty Broads Patio will be joining the Fayette County Farmers Market this Saturday. Find out what this ambitious group is planning to bring to downtown Washington Court House and how you might be able help them in their mission.
The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday. Other vendors may participate as well.
Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Vegetable and herb plants, flowering and decorative perennials (ferns, bee balm, echinacea, choke cherry, amsonia, milkweed); castor beans, cypress vine. Seasonal produce (baby salad greens, green onions, kale, broccoli). Baklava and gingersnaps, and chocolate sheet cake slices.
Jev & Kai Clothing Co (Alexa Kelley): Handmade dresses and accessories, customized designs made to orders.
Jones Farm Fresh Produce (Jon & Taylor Jones): Strawberries (limited), peaches, radishes, cucumbers, green onions, beets, zucchini, yellow squash, eggs, chicken, pork and beef.
Kelsie’s K-9 Creations (Jennifer Anderson): Homemade dog treats.
King Farms (Jeff & Sandi King): Onions and baked goods.
Marty’s Flowers (Marty Cook): Offering a variety of perennials including hosta, Iris, grasses, primroses, hens and chicks. Christmas Cactus and spider plants as well as Christmas gift tags.
Persinger Produce & Cottage Foods (David Persinger and Julie Mosny): The Jam Man will have assorted jams & jellies including an improved rhubarb jam (triple berry back in stock), and assorted Texas sheet cakes. The Pie Lady will have local honey as well as Bun’s bars, Cinni Mini’s, oatmeal raisin cookies, iced sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls and pies (cherry, peach, blackberry, rhubarb, strawberry and strawberry rhubarb).
Tracy Farms (Rob & Jess Tracy): Seasonal produce, plants, handmade market bags and crocheted items. Eggs and bread.
Wood Designed by DW (Debbie Welch): Handmade, unusual wood crafts. Hand made crocheted dishtowels, clothes, potholders, pocket books and baby booties. Special orders welcome. Fudge and brownies.
B.Y.E Gardens (Brian and Elaine Yoder): Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and baked goods.
Chilcote Farm (Bruce & Marlene Chilcote): Honey, caramels, donuts and cookies.
Enchanting Acres (Amber Harris): Garlic bulbs and garlic scapes, painted bird house gourds.
Engedi (Beth Day, Alana Walters, Janet Bick): Assorted home baked goods (cinnamon rolls, bread, yeast rolls, cookies, pies) and a special children’s activity.