Friday, October 28, 2011

Durham Farmers' Market - Get Cooking for Fall!

It's Halloween weekend! That mean jack-o-lanterns, costume parties and trick-or-treating. Like many holidays, Halloween's (and its related holidays - All Saints Day, Day of the Dead, Samhain) timing has its origins in the changing of the seasons.  Oct 31/Nov 1 is the approximate mid-point of Autumn.  It marks the half way point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.   Cultures around the world hold festivals and holidays on almost all of the season changes (solstices & equinoxes) as well as the mid points of the seasons.

Early celebrations of mid-fall included Celtic cultures observance of Samhain, a harvest festival.  It marked the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half" of the year.  As they moved into the darker half of the year, they had huge bonfires in celebration.  It also had element of a Festival for the Dead.  Many cultures around the globe held Festivals for the Dead around this time of year to honor and recognize family and community members who have died.  These festivals all have different elements that show up in our current version of Halloween.  Lights are lit, candies and treats are given, effigies are made and costumes are worn.

As we move into the darker half of the year here in Durham, you'll notice some subtle changes here at the Market.  As the first frost looms in our farmland, we'll start seeing fewer and fewer summer vegetables like okra, field grown tomatoes, eggplant, beans, squash, cucumbers.  But, don't let that keep you from the Market this fall and winter, there are lots of exciting things in season during this time of year.... innumerable varieties of greens, sweet potatoes,  cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, winter squashes, pumpkins, and persimmons, just to name a few!  Another change to be aware of is that during the winter, the Markets hours change.  Starting December 3rd, the Market will be open from 10am-Noon, every Saturday through the end of March.

This weekend, you'll find lot of pumpkins, big and small, round and oblong, smooth and bumpy, orange and green and white and more!  There will also be lots of Halloween themed treats from our bakers and food artisans. 
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Asian Pears, Scuppernong Grapes  
Vegetables:   CAULIFLOWER, BROCCOLI, KOHLRABI, Asian Greens (Tatsoi, Bok Choy, etc.), Arugula, Beans (green, yellow, Roma, filet, purple), Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers (sweet, hot, Padron), Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,   Tomatoes (red and green), Turnips,  Winter Squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn), Zucchini 
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia

Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevron, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork

And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants

Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

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