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Farmer's Market update: Great time for apples

By Sue Davis
For The Salisbury Post
Winesap apples, deep red with rough skin, were my mother’s favorite sauce apple. Back then, apples were an American icon. Almost everyone knew how to bake an apple or make sauce. Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples were featured in lunch boxes from Argentina to Taiwan. In the mid 1980s, apple production in the U.S. fell, as did our consumption of apples. According to Russ Parsons, author of “How to Pick a Peach,” when the taste for apples in the US rebounded, the apple names we knew as children were replaced with new names like Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp from off shore growers. U.S. apple growers began to plant these foreign varieties.
At the Salisbury Farmers Market, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Mitsu and Winesaps are all available. Gala from New Zealand is a good sauce apple, holding its shape while cooking; it has a buttery flavor. Mitsu apples have firm flesh with a light note of ginger; it is juicy and crunchy similar to a Crispin. Winesaps are more tart taste than the newer varieties. Ask your vendor at the farmers market to help you select the right apple for your needs. Store the apples in an open or perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator close to 40 degrees with humidity.
New This Week
Joyce’s Greenhouse and Owen’s Greenhouse and Nursery both have flats of pansies. The variety of colors seems almost limitless. Pansies are the most recognizable cool weather plant. They will grow and bloom though out the winter and into mid spring when you are ready to plant summer annuals.
Fresh, raw peanuts and fried peanuts and boiled peanuts are available at Eagle and Cress Farms. Eagle Farms has rough skin, crisp flesh Asian Pears. These pears are sweet, coarse-grained and very juicy.
Fruits and vegetables
Many types of greens are available, including turnips, flat leaf kale, curly mustard greens, collards and flat leaf mustard greens. Eagle Farms has turnips with and without leafy tops. Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, hot peppers are still available from every vendor. Several varieties of pink and purple hull peas, crowder peas and October beans are all available. Dawn’s Greenhouse has fresh cut herbs and herb plants which can be kept all winter in a kitchen garden. Country Garden Greenhouse and Dawn’s Greenhouse have cole crop plants like cabbage, lettuce and collards for your late fall garden. Country Garden Greenhouse has red, green and mixed lettuce bowls for your patio or porch. These bowls will last up to 6 weeks, and can be replanted and kept on a porch for many months.
Flowers, plants and herbs
Dawn’s Greenhouse has Dream Pillows, Therapy Pads and lavender sachets. Dawn is creating a newsletter to help spread the word about growing fresh herbs and using them for a healthier life, sign up at her booth. Dorothy Allen of Frogholler Farm 16 has Lavender Wands to freshen your drawers and closets. She also has some great ideas for using herbs, including a regimen using warm Rosemary to improve hair shine or to gain smoother skin. Ask her to tell you about ways to use dried herbs. Let Seng Yeng create you a fresh flower bouquet from colorful stems from her garden.
Breads, pasta, meats and eggsThe Bread Basket has apple and pumpkin bars using the fruits of the season. She also has pies, eggs, granola and fresh baked whole wheat, multigrain, sourdough and specialty breads. Emma Ruth has offered a challenge. Is there a bread or bar you remember as a child you would like her to try? Last week one of her customers asked for a spice bar with cream cheese icing. Stop by The Bread Basket and see if she was able to recreate the recipe. How Sweet It Is has multiple varieties of flat breads for a savory lunch treat. Chris’s muffins are good to munch while you shop or with a cup of coffee after you are finished shopping. She has pumpkin pies to give you a taste of autumn.
T&D Charolais Beef has a variety of cuts of top quality beef. Their cuts of beef are great for grilling, roasting or slow cooking.
Crafts and other items
A good selection of aprons, hats, shopping bags trick and treat bags and other fabric crafts are available. Mrs. Booker Aprons are found in many local kitchens. Frogholler Farms has embroidered towels, wash cloths and a bamboo fiber face towel that is soft to the touch, holds the lather and dries as soft as when it was first new. These are great hostess gifts, teacher gifts or stocking stuffers. Dorothy has what appears to be an unlimited selection of embroidery designs for you to choose from to customize your selection.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener Volunteer for the Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.
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.

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