Storms came rolling in just as we set up on Saturday. Everyone battened down and sat out the first wave of rain, thunder and lightening.
After a couple of hours, it finally slowed down enough to open our tents. By lunchtime, the sun peeked out again.
Even though it would have been nice to have the storms hold off until later in the afternoon, the farmers in our group weren’t complaining. Our gardens had become dry very quickly in the 90-plus degree days that we have had consecutively for the past few weeks.
Early gardens are producing well. Fresh green beans and squash are doing particularly well.
Blueberries are in and one vendor will have a few ripe blackberries and possibly raspberries next week. Our blackberry bushes are loaded but it will be a while before we have ripe ones. It looks to be a good blackberry year.
Wild blackberries appear to be abundant. Although they are more difficult to pick than the thornless type in our garden, they have smaller seeds and are often much sweeter than the cultivated varieties.
Barrie picked a few ripe gooseberries on Saturday. They usually ripen around the first of July. The bushes are very prickly but the fruit is smooth. Their skin is a little tart but the flesh is sweet.
Unlike bright green gooseberries that grow wild up north, these are smaller and turn deep red, then purple, when ripe. They make wonderful jams or jellies as well as pies, cakes and cheesecakes.
As I mentioned in previous articles this spring, the late freeze we experienced damaged some of the fruit buds. It was a matter of waiting to see which fruits were affected. In our case, cherries and plums were the victims this year. We have no cherries and very few plums. All other fruits are doing well so far.
It is good that our Farmers Market vendors come from different areas. Where some areas had late frosts or freezes, others did not. This allows us to offer a nice variety of fruits and vegetables that we otherwise would not have.
Here is a list of some of the market offerings for this week:
Veggies and fruit: asparagus; blackberries; blueberries; cabbage; cucumbers; green beans; onions; peaches (South Carolina); tomatoes; yellow squash; zucchini
Meats: beef; chicken; lamb; pork
Other: Fresh eggs
Baked goods: sourdough breads and rolls; Friendship Breads; granola; cakes
Canned goods: jams and jellies; honey
Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
1 cup sugar