By Bethany Sinnott
For Farm Carolina
Late summer vegetables, fruits and flowers attract cheerful crowds of shoppers to the Salisbury Farmers Market.
Colorful eggplant, lavender and white as well as dark purple, can combine well with plentiful tomatoes, zucchini, red and green sweet peppers, onions and garlic to produce ratatouille, a tasty dish good both hot and cold. Gazpacho, a refreshing cold summer soup, is another great way to use tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and onions, all now in abundance at the Market.
Green beans, okra, corn, and potatoes will continue to be available. Peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe are summer treats; Miller’s Produce has scuppernongs too.
Fruits and vegetables are not the only offerings at the Market. T and D Charolais now has fresh chicken as well as pork and beef. Several vendors offer fresh eggs, some sell honey, and one features fancy jars of pickles. Arts and crafts products are also available.
Don’t miss the home-baked breads, muffins, pies, cookies, etc. Emma at the Bread Basket expects to have spice coffee cake next week, How Sweet It Is offers cinnamon cake and chocolate chocolate chip cookies, while Carla Ann has Challah and other breads. Try her margarita cookies (the tequila evaporates in the cooking process, she notes).
Grindtec, a new vendor, repointed and sharpened my old favorite kitchen knife last week, and I was delighted with the results. They also sharpen scissors, hedge trimmers, lawnmower blades, drill bits, woodworking tools, and other items. Their equipment is at their shop, so they will take your tool one Saturday and have it ready for you to pick up the next Saturday.
Garden Greenhouses is running a plant sale until Labor Day, featuring flowering shrubs, small trees, and perennials. Bluebird Acres also has plants, along with lovely long-stemmed tuberoses that perfume the air around them. Lee Ly’s colorful bouquets will brighten any room.
Saturdays are particularly festive at the Salisbury Farmers Market. Sometimes a musician will perform and the balloon man will entertain the children. Last week Josie Esquivel was spinning colorful wool on her small spinning wheel. Friends get a chance to catch up on the news with one another, and even strangers find themselves swapping recipes or canning techniques with others.
Market manager Harry Agner can arrange for the use of food stamps (EBT cards), WIC and Senior Vouchers, debit and credit cards. See him at his centrally located table. Visit www.salisburyfarmersmarket.com to learn more about vendors and their products. A weekly newsletter is also available online.
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 a member of the 2012 Master Gardener Volunteers with Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.