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Join the blind tomato tasting at Saturday’s Farmers Market

The Salisbury Farmers Market has all of the summer favorites this week.
This Saturday Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener Volunteers will be conducting a blind tomato tasting beginning at 9 a.m. If you stand in a quandary at a table full of tomatoes and wonder what each variety tastes like, this is your chance to taste and vote on the one you like best. Tomatoes will be chosen at random from vendors at the market. The results will be published in next week’s market update.
If you have been looking for mushrooms from Landis Gourmet Mushrooms, it could be several weeks before they are available again. Mushrooms love dark, damp places with temperatures below 60 degrees. John Herron is working hard to find ways to “beat the heat” so he can once again provide the mushrooms we enjoy.
What is new at the market this week?
Dawn’s Greenhouse will have locally grown organic garlic. Her garlic stock is from a certified organic supplier and she follows organic methods when growing the garlic. You will be surprised at the intense, sweet flavor of fresh garlic.
Fruits and Vegetables
The large variety of vegetables available at the market makes it hard to choose what to buy. Each week I buy one thing I have never prepared before to complement the favorites on my list. I rely on the vendors to offer suggestions on preparation.
All of the produce vendors have local tomatoes, corn, squash, okra, bell peppers, hot and semi-hot pepper varieties, green beans, pole beans, wax beans, cabbage, cucumbers, cantaloupes, blueberries and many varieties of eggplants. Cress Farms has bi-color corn, most of the other vendors have Silver King white corn. If you arrive early, some of the vendors have shelled beans available. Cress Farms also has Chocolate Cherry tomatoes. These little treats are great healthy snacks.
Speaking of healthy snacks, blueberries have started to appear.
Flowers, Plants and Herbs
Lee Ly has yard long beans and lemon grass available. She also has a large selection of flowers which are already in bouquets or available for you to select. Among the flowers to select from are dahlias in many colors, glads, yellow and orange cosmos and zinnias.
Hanging baskets and flowering plants are available from Joyce’s Flowers. She also has a nice selection of flowering plants to fill in beds and containers. Bluebird Acres Farm has cut flowers.
Dawn’s Greenhouse has fresh cut herbs and container gardens of vegetables.
Breads, Pasta, Pastries, Meats and Eggs
Emma Ruth at the Bread Basket has chocolate zucchini bread which is especially good. The cherry and berry pies are available in several sizes for small to large gatherings. Simply Good has pies, cakes, muffins, cookies and loaf breads of all types. Posh Pasta plans to have a tomato herb bread to complement the tomato tasting. T&D Charolais Beef has a variety of cuts of top quality beef. Wild Turkey Farms has a number of cuts of pork and grass fed beef, chickens and sausage. The Bread Basket and Wild Turkey Farms have fresh eggs.Try Something New
Correll Farms provided a taste of salsa last week at the Farmers Market. This inspired me to buy tomatillos to make Salsa Verde. Tomatillos are green, about the size of a golf ball. They are a member of the Cape Gooseberry family, not a tomato. To my surprise, when I cut one there was a fresh citrus berry-like smell and taste. They grow to maturity in a husk which may be pale green to grocery bag brown. Always buy them in the husk; leave them in the husk until you are ready to prepare them. They will keep well for several weeks to a month on the counter or in the refrigerator. They can be frozen whole or sliced. When you are ready to prepare them, remove the husk. The outside of the tomatillo is sticky when the husk is removed. Do not peel them.
Red Tomato and Tomatillo Salsa
I combined Correll Farms Fresh Salsa and Salsa Verde recipes to make this dish. It is a mild, almost sweet salsa.
5 tomatillos
2 small sweet onions
1 jalapeno pepper ń stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 medium tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. oil
Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse well. Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Using a food processor or blender add lime juice, onions, peppers, cooked tomatillos and sugar. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season with salt to taste.
Peel the tomatoes and chop to desired size, add to bowl with garlic, oil and vinegar. Add tomatillo mixture, adjust sugar and salt to taste. Chill and serve with corn chips or as a garnish for grilled seafood or chicken.
The Salisbury Farmers Market is open Wednesday and Saturday from 7 a.m. until noon at the corner of Bank St and S. Main Street in downtown Salisbury.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener volunteer.

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