I just cut up the cantaloupe from Saturday’s farmers market this (Tuesday) morning as part of breakfast. The smallish, flawless melon passed the sniff test at market, giving off a faint perfume. Three days on the kitchen counter had magnified the scent; cutting it open confirmed the results. And the taste? Ambrosia.
You know it’s good when your five-year old wants more and asks, “What’s that called again?” then proceeds to mispronounce it as he tries to save the name in the memory banks for future use.
Yes, the fruits are in high season at the farmers market. Five Penny Farm provided a real treat – local raspberries by the pint. Raspberries just don’t travel or store very well but it’s hard to find locally grown. These berries were firm and well shaped and with a good balance of sweetness to raspberry flavor. We are counting on more this week.
Other local fruits available include peaches (probably only through mid-August or so), several varieties of apples, blackberries, last of the blueberries, melons both musk and small watermelon and, of course the fruit everyone calls a vegetable, the tomato. You’ll find plenty of heirloom varieties, basic red slicers, saladettes and romas.
This cool, damp weather has the farmers worried about another year of blight that rocked the tomato growing world up and down the east coast last year. So if tomato means summer to you and you want real tomato flavor, not the cardboard from Mexico, Florida or California, this market is for you. But get there soon as once the blight starts hitting, the harvest can really be shortened.
Speaking of tomatoes, we are holding the first annual Tomato Tasting Contest at the market on August 21st! This contest will be open to all, including market and home growers for the sole purpose of finding the best tasting tomato in Floyd County. Look for more details around town and in this column as the day approaches.
Rain greeted the vendors during set-up this past Saturday. That usually means a poor market but that was not the case. We had some decent traffic throughout the morning with a noticeable surge as the market ended with several folks trying to buy things as the market was breaking down. Makes me wonder if the heat was keeping people away these past weeks. Under the pavilion is the coolest place to be in downtown Floyd, even on the hottest of days. So remember, heat, rain whatever… we’ll be there with local goodness each Saturday morning.
See you at the Market!
Mike Burton is the Director of SustainFloyd