Pumpkins and greens are highlights at this week’s Farmers Market

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

By Sue Davis
For the Salisbury Post
September is a wonderful time to visit the Salisbury Farmer’s Market for the beginnings of the fall harvest. The produce reflect the colors of autumn as do the crafts, herbs, meats and the baked goods The pace at the market is slower. Some of your favorite vendors may not be there, but there are new ones taking their place with greens, pumpkins, winter squash, fall fruits and plants. The Salisbury Farmer’s Market will continue to reflect the colors as they change around us on Wednesday and Saturday from 7 a.m.until noon through October 31.
Chris at How Sweet It Is and Emma Ruth at the Bread Basket have fall baked goods like apple cake and apple pie, pumpkin bars and pumpkin cookies. It is hard to pass up any a chance to taste them ó and once you taste, you’ll want to take the baked goods home. The Bread Basket pumpkin bars have pecans, pumpkin and cranberries mixed with special spices and home-ground flour.
New this Week
This is a great time to start a winter garden. Lettuce, greens and herbs will produce until frost or later when grown in containers. Country Garden Greenhouse has containers of mixed lettuce to grow on a porch or deck. Dawn’s Greenhouse has a number of winter greens plants available for planting close to the kitchen or in containers. She also has herbs to create a kitchen garden.
B.W. Corriher has both watermelons and pumpkins.
Jack Gill, “Greens Man” has mixed greens. His mixture of mustard greens, swiss chard, turnip greens and kale are a local favorite. Greens are at their best when they are fresh from the garden and prepared en masse or as I heard it called last week, “in a mess.” The mixing of the flavors is full and deep instead of sharp and pointed. Russ Parsons in his book “How to Pick a Peach” says, “Cook one type of green and you have a string quartet. Cook a mess, and you have an orchestra.” The most popular way to prepare mixed greens is to simmer them in a deep pot for several hours with a generous piece of fatty pork. You can blanch the greens for 7-10 minutes in boiling water; drain the blanched greens and add to a skillet with a little olive oil, onions and garlic. These quick cooked greens can be used as a base for grilled Wild Turkey Farms Italian sausage or as a topping for angel hair pasta. Greens cooked either long and slow or quick and easy make a great side dish with beef roasts from T&D Charolais Beef.
The Greens Man says be sure you wash greens well, especially those with crinkly leaves such as mustard greens. Greens hold a lot of dirt. Remove the stems, unless you are going to simmer them for several hours.
Fruits and vegetables
In addition to greens and watermelons, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, hot peppers, stringless Derby green beans, half runners, okra, and several varieties of purple hull peas, crowder peas and October beans are all available. The early season flavor of tomatoes will continue to be available until first frost. Dawn’s Greenhouse has dried and fresh cut herbs and herb plants. Lee Ly has baby bok choy, large red radishes and Asian herbs.
Flowers, plants, herbs
Dawn’s Greenhouse has Dream Pillows, Therapy Pads and lavender sachets. Joyce’s Greenhouse has mums, fall perennials and a few annuals. Seng Yeng is ready to make you a fresh flower arrangement from your choice of colors and flowers.
Breads, pasta, pastries, meats and eggs
The Bread Basket continues to provide white, sour dough, 7-grain, wheat, cinnamon raisin swirl breads. She also has several flavors of granola to add to yogurt and lunch boxes. How Sweet It Is has black bottom cups and cookies which can be enjoyed while walking around the market.
T&D Charolais Beef has a variety of cuts of top quality beef. They have thick Hamburger Steak patties which can be fried and added to gravy to serve with rice or potatoes. There are several types of roasts to prepare in the crock pot and served with greens or your favorite vegetables. The Bread Basket has fresh eggs.
Crafts and other items are availble, and the Rowan Master Gardeners are taking orders for fall bulbs, which will be delivered in mid-October. At their table at the market, you can see photos of what is available and ask questions about bulb planting and care.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener Volunteer for the Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.
The Farmers Market, open Wednesday and Saturday mornings, is located at the corner of South Main and Bank streets.
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