Monday, August 23, 2010

Buy Local!!

For those readers who don't live in my area, we are blessed to have several farmer's markets in my town.  There is a big one downtown each Saturday morning that is very popular.  They have recently built a pavillion to cover the area, but tents spill out all over the site - the grounds of the old City Hall.  I think there may be some irony that the same site where the farmer's market is now, was once the slave market several generations ago.  Thank God He has brought something good to cover something awful.

There are a few other small markets with just a few tents on various days and places around town, and this one (shown above) on Southland Dr. on Sunday mornings that is growing and becoming more popular all the time.  (before you start thinking I'm a heathen going shopping instead of worshipping on Sunday morning, I left the church I was attending a while back, and I'm looking for a new church home) 

For those of us who have only a little room to garden, or experience crop failures, this is the next best thing.  I've bought some really nice produce at the markets his summer, and so much of it goes into the dehydrator, that I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy some of it fresh, too!!   Yesterday I got some huge peaches, some green beans and new potatoes, and Roma tomatoes. I'm happy to be able to support local growers, and I'm grateful for them - those who produce food for those who can't do for themselves.  I didn't see any egg sellers, but I wish someone would step up, especially with the new Salmonella recall. 

There are more than fruits and vegetables at the markets.  It seems to be a tradition that everyone bring their dog.   Big and small, cute and some barely under control, there are all kinds at the market.  Yesterday I saw this bruiser......

Remember....if you don't or can't grow your own....BUY LOCAL!!  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomato Season

I love tomatoes.  I have since I was a kid.  This time of year, when the tomatoes are coming in, I could just about live on them.   To eat a nice, juicy tomato with nothing but a salt shaker, and the kitchen sink to drip into - heaven.  Or tomato sandwiches - good crusty white bread, thick slices of tomato, and mayo......yum!      

I didn't grow the tomato in the photo above.  My office-mate gave me one.  It is called "German Pink," and is an heirloom type.   She grew it from plants she bought, but said her mother in Menefee Co has grown them for a long time. One website I found for organic seed (in Carmel, CA) described German Pinks like this:
Kentucky Family Heirloom. This was the only tomato grown by Lettie Cantrell of West Liberty since the ‘40s. Lettie died in November 2005, at 96 years. Her tomato won a “Best of Taste” award at our  Tomatofest in 2006 from over 100 entries. This produces big, regular-leaf, indeterminate plants with wispy vines that yield wonderful, large, 1-2 pound, slightly-flattened, pink tomatoes. Delicious tomato for eating fresh, cooking or canning. A great sandwich tomato." 

I agree - it was one luscious, meaty tomato, and I am trying to save some seed from it.   

My own tomatoes are a mixed bag this year.  The yellow pear salad tomato is still producing, the paste-type is just starting to get some ripened fruit, and of the 4 beefsteak types I have, 2 plants are enormous, healthy, but not setting much fruit.  1 sickly little plant had several large tomatoes on it that I picked (green) last night before it gives up the ghost altogether.   The 1 in a pot is finally getting some more blossoms after producing one nice, but lonely tomato. 

My whole garden has seen mixed success at best, but I will save that for the end of the season gardening round-up.

That's all for now from Wren Cottage.......