Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 9/27/08

I’ve kind of become used to waking up for the markets on Saturday, with very little sleep, greeted by darkness and a big chill in the air. It, more than anything, tells me that we’re nearing the end of market season. No longer is the sun my alarm clock, and shorts the wardrobe for the day. Now, it’s dressing in warm clothes, and hauling my dreary eyed self to the car when the sun is just rising. This was so much easier when Paul was doing it with me, yet I can’t bear to *not* go. It’s a way of life for me at this point.

With each passing week, it gets harder and harder to narrow down the pictures to post, because there’s just *so* much to see at the farmers markets. Unfortunately, that is going to change soon, because for many farmers, the harvest season is over and they won’t be at the markets anymore. We’re at that precarious point now where it’s the absolute last week to get some things (sweet corn, certain tomatoes, other summer veggies), and it’s well into the season for autumn crops like apples, winter squash, root veggies, etc.

So the first stop, as usual, was the North Market. As usual, I got there around 7:35, when most of the farmers were set up already. When I stopped to get what’s apparently the last of the Sungold tomatoes, I spoke to the nice lady at Bridgman Farms and found out that she lost her greenhouse in the windstorm a couple of weeks ago. Thank goodness she was insured, or it could have ended up a lot worse for her. But it did cut her season short a bit, and she’ll be taking the next few weeks off until her lettuces come in.

Persinger Farms had tons of root veggies, especially squash – including this colorful Turban variety. I’ll have to get some before the season is over. As it is, I picked up a bunch of storage onions and a couple of zucchini.

Turban Squash from Persinger Farms

Elizabeth Telling Farms had these French Breakfast Radishes (which are delicious on a piece of dark heavy bread like a hearty German rye, spread with fresh butter and layered with thin radish slices, and then sprinkled with sea salt). I picked up some more rainbow chard, and also a bag of braising greens that I plan on using later this week, perhaps with some fish or steak.

French Breakfast Radishes from Elizabeth Telling Farms

Anderson Orchard (I believe) also has a banana plantation!?! here in Ohio (he says that it’s ornamental only – we don’t have a long enough season for the fruit to ripen), and brought these banana leaves to the market today. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it at the market, and I’ve seen some Puerto Rican recipes that use them, but I passed – I just don’t have the space to store them.

Banana Leaf

So I just settled on admiring these sunflowers – don’t they look as if they’re straight out of a painting?

Sunflowers from Anderson Orchards

Mrs. Rhoads says that we can expect at least another week or two of raspberries – I’m definitely going to have to plan a meal around them next week, because they’re so darn lovely. Instead, I picked up some Brussels sprouts and red cabbage.

Golden Raspberries from Rhoads Farm

Just about every apple variety was available at The Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas, except my beloved Honeycrisps. Seems as though that was a recurring theme today – no Honeycrisps anywhere (they’ve sold out early in the season, and the tree is still getting established), except my last stop at Gillogly.

Apples from The Orchards of Bill and Vicky Thomas

I got some of my requisite shiitakes from Toby Run, some eggplant from Wish Well Farms, a basket of heirloom tomatoes from Quiverfull Farm, and then it was off to Worthington.

I got to Worthington fairly early (8:40ish), but still had difficulty finding parking. It seems as if people are coming out earlier and earlier, with the farmers struggling to get set up in time to serve the throngs of people. I ran into Rosie and we chatted for a few minutes, then picked up a few things here and there – some lovely butternut/spinach scones and plum oatmeal scones and a Ratatouille tart from Sassafras Bakery, and the lady at Red Brick Farms was nice enough to let me do a mix and match of the different types of potatoes in the two baskets I bought.

Potatoes from Red Brick Farms

Who knew that dried corn could be so colorful? Anyone know the name of this variety?

Dried Corn

I picked up some Chioggia beets at Wayward Seed Farm, plus some cider and Honeycrisps at Gillogly Orchard. I’m so proud of myself – I controlled myself very well at the farmers markets today. 🙂

After I got done at Worthington, I headed over to Carfagna’s to get some stuff for an Italian dinner I’m making tomorrow. I got there 15 minutes before it opened, and by the time it opened, the parking lot (and both sides of the street) were full and it was like friggin Supermarket Sweep in there. Not fun, but for Cafagna’s meatball mix, I’ll put up with a bit of inconvenience.

Made a stop at Block’s Bagels on the way to Thurn’s, and tried this rather delicious creation called a flagel. Kind of like a bagel, but flatter and chewier. I liked it a lot, especially since it was super fresh. Got to remember to come here for flagels on Saturday mornings.

By the time I finally got to Thurn’s, they were out of my double smoked bacon, so got some regular bacon and sausages for later this week. Should be delicious as usual.

So where did you go and what did you get today? What’s on the menu for this week?