With the high price of food these days, I'm thankful for the opportunity to purchase local produce close to home. Fresh, tasty, and abundant --- many delicious foods can be found this time of year. Cherries, sweet onions, zucchini, cabbage, radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, garlic, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and more are brought to market by local farmers and gardeners.
Doesn't this look delicious? It's a beautiful head of cabbage!
Although shopping for fresh produce is enjoyable, the most fun at Farmer's Market is observing people and visiting with the vendors. The 'honey man' is back this year and I'm waiting for him to bring bricks of beeswax so I can purchase them to make ornaments again this autumn. They are a by-product of honey production, so I always have to ask him when he'll be bringing the beeswax for sale since he's really there to sell honey. A 'master food preserver' from the extension agency always has a table filled with pamphlets on food safety and food preservation. The reminder that home canned vegetables, salsas, and pickled asparagus require specific processing times, methods, and recipes is always a good reminder. The fruit and vegetable vendors each have their unique items to sell and are competitive with their pricing of foods similar to what others have brought. Seasonal eating is key to being a shopper at the local farm market.
Dill anyone? So fragrant smelling, it reminds me that it's time to think about making pickles.
Prices for cherries are high this year. Both the Bing and Rainier cherries look and taste great! A cold spring with late frost and rain at harvest time have made these little gems like gold! They are running $3.50 to $4.00 a lb. this year. And so are the blueberries --- one little pound clamshell is $4.00 each place I check. Even at Farmer's Market, prices are high for certain foods. Fortunately there's other produce that is quite affordable and delicious! This is the time of year for zucchini stir-fries, sweet onion sandwiches, and garden greens.
I'm drawn to visit Kathy at her plants and flowers booth. She always has a wonderful selection of new flowers and fragrant herbs. Other's enjoy it too and one usually has to wait their turn to purchase plants from her.
This time I forgot all about fruits and veggies (I was in a frugal mood!). Instead I purchased several new mints, some echinacea, and a cel-parsley plant. I'm eager to add Korean mint and banana mint to my mint-herb garden. The echinaceas are new varieties that will go nicely in the spa garden next to the beautiful echinacea that Karleen gave me a few years ago. I love how it always comes back each spring without any thought and effort on my part.
I wonder what local produce will be featured next week? How long until the apricots are ripe? Yum!