Friday, August 3, 2012

What's New at Durham Farmers' Market?

This week, the Durham Farmers' Market will see the first of the "fall" (late summer) asparagus crop.  Almost every year, there's a small quantity of fall asparagus. This second crop takes some extra work on the part of the farmers. They usually set aside an area of their asparagus field to encourage a second fall harvest. If they encouraged a fall harvest on their entire crop, spring yields could be diminished. During the summer months - after the spring asparagus harvest - farmers must do some extra cutting and pruning, as well as mulching. Fall asparagus also depends on the amount of rainfall over the course of a summer. In extremely dry summers - like last summer - there is no fall asparagus. Quantities of fall asparagus are often small, so if you are looking for it, its probably best to arrive early!

Last week, there was another interesting crop among the lovely mounds of melons and 'maters there was a small leafy pile of sweet potato greens. At this time of the summer, there aren't many green leafy things around the Market and so they really stood out while walking through the Market. Sweet Potato Greens are just that - leaves from the sweet potato plant. Sweet Potato Greens are often used in African and Filipino dishes. They are also very rich in nutrients - Vitamins A, K and C as well as folate or folic acid. Research also shows that they are a good source of polyphenols and anti-oxidants, both of which have cancer fighting qualities.

Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES: WINTER SQUASH - Butternut, Acorn, Delicata, Curry Squash, and more!, SWEET POTATO GREENS, AMARANTH GREENS, Arugula, Beets, Beans (Green, Yellow, Roma, Filet, Longbeans), Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Collards, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Edamame, Field Peas, Fresh Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley),  Green Onions, Garlic, Gourds, Kale, Lambs Quarter, Lettuce, Peppers (Sweet, Hot, Yummy, and Padron), Potatoes, Okra (Red and Green), Onions (Red, Yellow, White), Pea Shoots, Purple Hull Peas, Salad Mix, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Summer Squash, Tomatoes - Field Grown & Heirloom! Tomatillos, Turnips, Zucchini
FRUITS:  FIGS, Apples, Pears, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Peaches, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Ground Cherries
MEATS AND EGGS: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Cornish Game Hens, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork,
Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged cow and goats milk cheeses.
FLOWERS & PLANTS: Celosia, Gomphrena, Tuberrose, Lilies, Lisianthus, Gladiolus, Sunflowers, Zinnias,  Black-Eyed Susan, Strawflower, Mixed Bouquets, Vegetable & Herb Seedlings, Landscaping Plants, House Plants
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Raw Honey, Flour, Pecans, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Pasta, Breads, Cookies, Pastries, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Stained Glass Art, Handmade Baskets,  Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Soaps, Yarn, Roving, and much more...