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Farmers Market dishing out produce, sweets

By Katherine Jones
For The Salisbury Post
Among the many items available at the Salisbury Farmers Market this week will be greens in a variety of types such as collards, turnip greens, tender greens, kale and mustard. I believe that most people consider greens a Southern comfort food, myself included. What could be better than a meal of greens simmered with fat-back, baked sweet potatoes and corn bread?
While Southern comfort foods have a bad reputation for having too much fat and sodium, the fact is that greens are jam-packed with nutrients. They provide an excellent source of the vitamins K, A, C and E as well as calcium, folate and dietary fiber.
Greens are part of the Brassica family of vegetables, a primitive form of cabbage. Historians are not sure where greens originated, but have been traced to the eastern Mediterranean area and Asia Minor thousands of years ago. Research conducted by the University of California at Berkley have recently discovered that elements in Brassica vegetables such as collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Greens in our area are usually harvested in the fall from September through December. Fresh greens can be refrigerated for up to three days and can be frozen after cooking.
The Farmers Market still has a large selection of fruits and vegetables, baked goods, plants, hand crafts and meat products.
Fruit and Vegetables
Cress Farm, Eagle Farm, Oxendine Farm, Larry Pruitt and Country Garden are still providing a good variety of fresh produce. Items available this week are peas, October beans, cabbage, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, onions and peanuts. Also, a large selection of apples such as Fuji, Stayman, Winesap, Granny Smith, Rome, Golden and Red Delicious and many more. The pumpkins are still making an appearance. In addition, the greens are plentiful.
Baked Goods
How Sweet It Is will have pumpkin pound cake and pumpkin pies along with a variety of muffins, pies, cakes, breads and cookies. The Bread Basket offers many types of breads, pies, cookies, fried pies, cakes and pastries.
A new vendor is Mary Owens who makes baby quilts, tree ornaments and hand embroidered pillow cases.
Flowers and Plants
Owens Greenhouse, Joyce’s Flowers and Garden Greenhouse have some beautiful pansies. Joyce also has impressive mums in many colors and Country Garden has some outstanding lettuce bowls. There are also some perennials ready for transplanting from Owens and Joyce. Dawns Greenhouse will have a new fall crop of herb plants. Seng Leng still has the attractive cut flower arrangements that we have enjoyed for several months.
Katherine Jones 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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