Farmers Market update

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

By Sue Davis
For the Salisbury Post
The dog days of summer are the hottest, most sultry days of the year between July and September. The name has survived from Ancient Roman writings. During this time Sirius, the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun. For those of us who enjoy the bounty of summer we find at the farmers market, these are difficult days to shop and cook. It has been even more difficult for our vendors, who tend the crops, water, pick and deliver the bounty to us. This summer has been hard on them.
During a normal Salisbury summer, the vendors can tell us what they hope to have at the market the following week. Sue Eagle, from Eagle Farms said that they don’t know week to week what will be available. Okra, yellow and green squash, bell peppers and cucumbers are plentiful. There are also shellie beans as well. To spice up your dishes there are also many varieties of hot peppers. If you are looking for sweet melons, cantaloupe and watermelon, you will be delighted with the rich, sweet flavor this year.
If you did not get to the market last week, you missed a summer cooking demonstration by Toi Degree, family and consumer education agent for the Rowan County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Toi used many of the vegetables available at the Salisbury Farmers Market, including green and yellow squash, bell pepper, tomatoes, eggplant and onions. The vegetables are sliced thin, sautéed in olive oil and cooked for about 5 minutes. They are a good complement to meats or served as a main course with pasta. If there are favorite dishes like tomato and cucumber salad or ratatouille which you have put off preparing, this week might be the perfect time prepare it.
Joyce’s Greenhouse has a selection of perennials and some annuals to refresh flowering plants spent from the heat. Seng Yeng is ready to make you a fresh flower arrangement from your choice of colors and flowers. There are always fresh baked breads, sweet treats, pies, focaccia breads, pasture raised meats and chicken, fresh eggs and many crafts.
The Salisbury Farmers Market is open Wednesday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. until noon at the corner of Bank Street and South Main Street in downtown Salisbury.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener volunteer.