By Sue Davis
For Farm Carolina
Malabar spinach is not really spinach. It grows as a climbing vine with either green or red stems. Two other names for it are Indian Spinach or LoKui. The leaves are very fleshy, juicy and crisp with a citrus or light pepper taste. I've noticed it doesn't wilt as quickly as spinach so it holds up well in a summer salad. When sautéed, Malabar spinach acts more like regular spinach, but does not get stringy. It's a nice change from bok choy, chard and the other hearty summer greens to serve with Rowan County corn, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Among the benefits of shopping at the Salisbury Farmers Market is the chance to have casual conversation at the vendor booths. As I selected Asian Pears at Eagle and Sons booth, someone commented to me, "Apples already! It doesn't seem possible."
No, it does not seem possible, but the apples this year are coming in quickly. Sue Eagle was close by and suggested a variety that makes great apple sauce. She also had Gala apples last week. Stop by this week and see if other varieties have been added. In a few weeks, more cool weather vegetables and fruits will be available including pumpkins and winter squash. This week visit Bluebird Acres Farm, Country Gardens, Eagle Farm and Miller Farms for many summer and later summer favorites like green beans, corn, okra, zucchini squash, yellow squash, and tomatoes. This time of year, it is hard to know what is going to be available each week.
This is an exciting time to come to the Salisbury Farmers Market because this week marks the beginning of the changes of what vendors will offer. We are lucky to have an excellent selection of not just vegetables but meats, cheese and crafts. The Bread Basket and How Sweet It Is! have fresh breads, cakes, cookies other specialties. T&D Charolais Beef and Wild Turkey Farms have antibiotic and hormone free chickens, pork, grass fed beef and lots of interesting sausages. Holden Hollow Farm offers Farmstead Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed Jersey cows.
The Salisbury Farmers Market is open Wednesday and Saturday from 7 am until Noon at the corner of Bank St and S. Main Street in downtown Salisbury. Sue Davis is a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.