A Word on Preserving the Harvest:
It’s that time of the year again. I just got back from the garden and while some things are slow coming in this year, beans, cukes and a few other crops are coming on like a freight train. So, it’s the same old yearly dilemma for some of us gardeners– what to do with the excess? Food preservation is one great way to deal with it; it’s been around for ages in many various forms.
When I was a young’un in rural Alabama, my mama made a late summer family production out of canning. We canned wash tubs full, about three million quarts (or so it seemed) of assorted veggies, fruits and meats. If it grew or moved, my mama canned it! So as a full fledged adult who moved back to the land after many years of city living, the thought of canning food was not the most pleasant thing to cross my mind. Well, it’s a bit different today; we have these wonderful things call freezers, food dehydrators, solar dryers, modern stoves and those good ol’ fashioned pressure cookers to make it all much easier.
So, now’s the time to start taking thinking about putting up some of the excellent produce available at the market this season. Most of the growers will have bumper crops of certain items, and a few of them sell those items in larger quantities as they become more available. If you don’t see a sign at their booth, just ask. Some are taking custom orders. Most of the meat /poultry vendors are taking custom orders as well. Peppers, blueberries, and tomatoes, for example, freeze just fine without a lot of work. Slice them, if need be, throw them in a bag, and put them in the freezer, no heating or blanching needed. Beans and corn, no problem, a few minutes in boiling water, cool them down in cold water, bag them, and freeze them. You might even want to make refrigerator pickles or try your hand at lacto fermentation. There are so many possibilities! Think about how healthy and tasty it’ll all be later on. Better than anything you’ll buy at the store and certainly more economical.
If you’ve ever wanted to try it and never have had the opportunity to do so, don’t fret, there’s tons of info on the web and in many good books to guide you. I recommend the site below. Just cut and paste or Google it.
If you need more inspiration, or, even if you don’t, here’s one of my favorite singer/songwriters who expresses it so well. Give a listen; it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Our entertainment this week will be Drowsy Maggie, a wonderfully creative and talented group playing celtic/folk style music. This is a group you’ll want to sit and listen to for an entire set.
Most of the produce vendors will have the following: tomatoes, beans, new potatoes, peppers, summer squash, cukes, onions, herbs, and celery. The list below highlights some of the items or features that certain vendors will have that might be a bit more unique.
We’ll be having a new vendor this week. Sharon Dimichele from Rose Valley Naturals will be here with her hand-made soaps which are carefully created with a cold-processing method to preserve the healing ingredients of natural vegetable and essential oils.
Keeney Farm: CORN, green tomatoes, and produce.
Spring Meadows: pasture soy free eggs and produce.
Liz at Yorkshire Meadows will have her usual assortment of fine goods, jellies, jams, scones shortbread and woolen products. She will also be taking orders for larger jars (think quarts) of her wonderful lemon curd. Great gift ideas here!
We missed Hillstone last week but we hope to see them back this week, with quality beef and pork products.
Also look for baked goods from Basically Bagels, garlic and goat milk products from Always Somethin’, hydroponics lettuce, basil, and other types of produce from Udder Merry Mac, and Bernie from Inn to The Seasons with his assorted delights. Who knows, there may even be more!
The Friday Market Café will be serving up some of their special culinary delights for your dining pleasure. This week their specials will be a meatless Indian Veggie Masala and, there will be two summer soups; Chilled White Gazpacho made with cucumbers and Pureed Zucchini, spiced up with peppers and cilantro. Stop in for a snack, beverage, or a full meal.
Hopefully this will be enough to tempt you to come to the market this week, check out the goods, fill your trunk full, and make a move on stocking up for those winter months ahead. Again, it’s easier than you might think.
See ya at the market!
Fridays 3-6:00 PM
St. James Episcopal Church
Rt. 6 one block east of Main St.