By Bethany Sinnott
For Farm Carolina
Colorful summer vegetables vie with bright flower bouquets to create a feast for the eyes as well as the palate at the Salisbury Farmers Market.
Tomatoes are abundant in both number and variety. Last Saturday’s tomato testing conducted by Extension Master Gardener Volunteers drew 65 patrons eager to taste the five different varieties of red tomatoes and render their opinions.
Tiger Stripe, (sample B) was the overall winner closely followed by Better Boy (sample A). Crista (sample D) Goliath (Sample C) and Big Beef (Sample E) rounded out the field of tomatoes tested.
Special thanks to Eagle Produce, Red Barn Farms, Miller Farm and County Garden Farms for supplying test tomatoes.
There is still an ample supply of tomatoes, but the heirloom tomato season is starting to wane and many favorites such as Cherokee Purple and Brandywine will soon become a scarce commodity.
Such summer favorites as cantaloupes and watermelons join the peppers, eggplant, corn, squash, cucumbers, onions and okra to suggest favorite summer meals. How about some fresh salsa? Maybe it’s time to think of gumbo. Lee Ly’s Malabar spinach is available for both salads and cooking. Blueberries are getting scarce, but figs are beginning to mature and will be arriving soon.
Two new vendors have joined the Salisbury Farmers Market. Grindtec Enterprises can sharpen scissors, knives, chain saws, garden tools and other items. Because their equipment is too large to take to the Market, they will accept tools for sharpening on one Saturday and have them back the next week ready to be picked up.
The other new vendor is the Canine Kitchen, a business born out of the need to cater to a dog that was sensitive to packaged dog food. The products are all natural with no preservatives and must be refrigerated. Items available include Barking Bacon, Chicken Chews, Pumpkin Puffs, and other doggie treats.
See Market manager Harry Agner at his centrally-located table to arrange to use food stamps (EBT cards), WIC and Senior Vouchers, debit and credit cards.
Shop at the Farmers Market in downtown Salisbury at the corner of South Main and Bank Streets on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until noon.
Bethany Sinnott is member of the 2012 Master Gardener Volunteers with Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.