Notes from the farmers market

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2009

By Sue Davis
For The Salisbury Post
In addition to being a gathering place, the Salisbury Farmers Market offers two other features.
First, you can find gourmet culinary items not available in local grocery and specialty stores. Wild Turkey Farms has fresh, soft Chorizo sausage. Like all of Wild Turkey Farms meats, the sausage is made from meat that is locally raised without antibiotics or hormones.
Correll Farms has Diakon radishes, bok choi and other Asian vegetables. Diakon can be eaten raw in salads or simmered. Moving on through the market, you will find fresh pasta. Dawn’s Greenhouse has fresh herbs which she cuts the morning of the market and sells in small quantities.
There are many other treats including the fresh breads, cakes and pies, flowers for the table and locally made fabric crafts for the table and kitchen.
If you are not sure how to prepare a vegetable or use an herb, be sure to ask the vendor; many have recipes or directions for you.
The other feature is specific to small households of one or two. Vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower are available in heads just the right size for one or two servings. How Sweet It Is, Posh Pasta and The Bread Basket offer small loaves of freshly baked breads, small versions of their cakes and pies. You can buy one or two of any vegetable from the vendors.
While greens like Swiss Card are still available, Correll Farms wants to share its recipe for preparing it.
Swiss Chard
Rinse bunch of swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove at least the toughest third of the stalk. Chop the leaves into inch-wide strips. Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 sliced garlic glove, and crushed or dried red pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the chopped swiss chard leaves. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
If the chard looks dry, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of water, flip the leaves in the pan, cover and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Check for doneness. Add salt and 1 tsp. of butter if desired.
What’s at the market this week?
Eagle Farms was the first at this year’s farmers market to have local yellow squash. This week, most of the other produce vendors have local squash and cucumbers. Root crops were available last week and continue to be available for several more weeks.
– Fruits and vegetables
The produce vendors should have includes local squash, large sweet onions, spring onions, strawberries, greens, lettuces, cabbage, cauliflower and root crops.
Salisbury is still in anticipation of the warmer weather crops. Some of the vendors offer vegetables from Florida and South Carolina, including green and other color peppers, corn and tomatoes.
Dawn’s Greenhouse has local Tart Pie Cherries.
– Herbs and plants
Country Garden Greenhouse has a selection of pepper plants, tomatoes and melon plants.
Bluebird Acres Farms has annuals for your flower bed. Look for a creeping yellow zinnia called Sanvitalia, along with other zinnias. There are petunias, including Easy Wave and a clumping petunia called Fantasy. This petunia stays mounded making it a good container plant. Ptilotus Joey is a plant with large, conical spikes of feathery flowers and silver green foliage for containers and floral arrangements.
Dawn’s Greenhouse has Stevia, a natural taste enhancer used for sweetening. Dawn has both plants and fresh cut pieces. Dawn has recipes and tips for using the herbs; let her tell you about Stevia and how to use it.
– Breads, pasta, pastries, meats and eggs
This is a good weekend to try a steak from T&D Charolais Beef or Brats or Italian Sausages from Wild Turkey Farms. The Bread Basket and Wild Turkey Farms have fresh eggs.
For more information about the Farmers Market, visit www.salisbury The Farmers Market is located in downtown Salisbury at the corner of South Main and Bank streets. It is open from 7 a.m. to noon each week on Wednesday and Saturday.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener Volunteer for the Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.