Baklava, daikon available at Farmers Market

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

By Carole Massey
For the Salisbury Post
Rainy days make for a quick pass through the Salisbury Farmer’s Market. It is a very hard thing to do, as there is so much to see and so much local produce becoming available. This past Saturday, there were mouth-puckering tart cherries, shiny bright red just begging to be put into a lattice work pie crust. Dawn Bartlett, Dawn’s Greenhouses, explained that the fruit comes from trees that have grown on the Bartlett farm for over 50 years. Her husband David’s grandfather planted the original trees. As Market Manager Harry Agner remarked, “These cherry trees are acclimated to Rowan County and therefore, are healthier and bear good quality fruit.” Dawn says the crop should be available for the next two to three weeks.
There was also something new at Carla Anne’s: baklava. All of the bread and pastry vendors, the Bread Basket, Carla Anne’s and How Sweet It Is, continue to have appealing displays of yeast and sourdough breads, both small and large loaves, sweet treats and novel herb offerings.
Strawberries are still in demand, and the Eagles should have them for at least another two weeks. After the first of June, local vegetables will be in season and we will be seeing a reduction in the South Carolina and Texas imports. But Cress says he has some sweet cantaloupes coming from across the South Carolina border that are right tasty. Cress Farms will also have some home-grown tomatoes, onions, Swiss chard and kale and a crowd pleaser, fresh roasted peanuts. They’ll also have some raws peanuts. Correll Farms, or the Red Barn, will have Napa and savory cabbage, beets, Diakon, squash and an assortment of fresh herbs.
Diakon is an extremely versatile vegetable that looks like a long, white radish that appears in Japanese cooking at almost every meal. Every part of the vegetable is utilized, from the root to the green top. They can be used stir fried or in salad or soup. The root can be cut into slender strips or grated and then seasoned with soy sauce and served over grilled fish, fried foods or even steak. David Correll does like to have the untried, unusual offerings.
All of the plant vendors have beautiful selections this time of year. Some of the vegetable plants are becoming scarce, but Country Gardens has a large variety of herbs and hanging baskets. Cathy Reynolds of Bluebird Acres has luscious perennials, including heuchera (coral bells). She also has colorful mixed annual hanging baskets and planters and will be bringing some eye-catching dragon wing begonias. Joyce Cable, Joyce’s Flowers, not only has perennials and bedding plants, but will continue offering herbs and hanging baskets with mixes of color. Joyce also has a jewel toned selection of homemade jams and jellies, some of which are sugar-free. There is also local honey glowing on her shelves.
As I said, the rain was coming down, the morning hours were about over, and I still saw dozens of plants and way too many sweet treats to tempt me. Saturdays at the market are such a social time, and next Saturday promises to be no exception. Extension Agent Toi Degree will again be having a cooking demonstration showing how nutritious, quick and easy vegetables can be prepared from a selection available that morning and donated by Farmer’s Market merchants.
Come on out and see what our newest winery, and No. 100 in North Carolina, Cauble Creek Winery, has to offer. They will be holding a wine tasting.
It is early in the season and the market is getting better every week. You don’t know what you are missing if you are not shopping the Salisbury Rowan Farmer’s Market.
The Salisbury Rowan Farmers Market is open Wednesday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m.-noon at the corner of Bank and South Main streets in downtown Salisbury. Website for complete information, recipes, information about vendors and vendor application.
Carole Massey is a Master Gardener volunteer for Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.