Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market Wednesday Market

This Wednesday at the Market
Today will be an exciting day at Market! We have decided to hold an impromptu TOMATO TASTING! Last week, as I was walking through the Market, I saw so many beautiful displays of tomatoes, like this one here... There were tomatoes in all shades of red, purple, black, pink, green, yellow, and orange. There were big tomatoes, little tomatoes, gnarly tomatoes and beautiful, round, perfectly shaped tomatoes.

As I was admiring all of the tomatoes, I listened to the farmers telling me about this years crop. The wet, grey weather has had a major impact on this year's tomato crop. For some farmers, because it hasn't been very sunny, their tomatoes aren't ripening. Farmers told me that their tomato plants are filled with big green tomatoes that just aren't ripening like they should. Tomatoes ripen much faster and more evenly when there is adequate sunlight. Other farmers reported that the excessive rain that we have gotten has caused more tomatoes to split on the vine or split after they have been harvested. Tomatoes, like melons or berries, take in this extra water and then sometimes explode when it is too much. Other farmers reported that the wet conditions have been an excellent breeding ground for plant diseases such as tomato blight. Tomato blight effects the leaves and stems of the plant. It causes brown spots on the leaves and stems which then exposes the fruit to direct sunlight and causes sunscald (which is like a sunburn). Tomatoes with sunscald don't look very good and sometimes it can have an effect on the taste. Blight may shorten the tomato harvest for some farmers.

But, for now, there is a great diversity of variety, color and size of tomato available at the Market! So, let's celebrate by tasting and comparing the different flavors, levels of acidity and texture of the annual tomato harvest. If you have ever thought "A tomato is a tomato is a tomato", I'd encourage you to stop by and have a taste of the diversity of flavors of tomato at the Market!

We'll start gathering up different varieties of tomatoes around 3:00 and then begin chopping them up for you to sample. All the different tomato samples will be label with the variety name and the farm where they were grown. That way, if you fall in love with one, you'll know where to find them! The tomato tasting will be held near the center of the Pavilion from 3:30 until 6ish.

See you at the market!
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
Follow the Market on Facebook and Twitter

Upcoming Events
Saturday July 20 - Canning Demonstration -- Assistant Market Manager, Shanna Bierman will demonstrate the process of making and canning Blueberry Jam! She'll do 2 demonstrations, one starting at 9am and the next at 10. Canning information and packets of pectin will be available.

Wednesday, July 24 - Canning Demonstration -- County Extention Agent, Nekeidra Morrison will demonstrate the process of making and canning low sugar Peach Jam. Demonstration runs from 3:30 to 5pm. There will be information about canning and packets of pectin to make jam at home available!

Saturday July 27 - Tomato Tasting! 9am - Noon. Chef Shane Ingram from Four Square Restaurant will host the tomato tasting. He and his crew will chop up lots of different varieties of tomatoes for you to sample and they will be cooking all kinds of dishes featuring the tomato! Lots to taste all morning long!

Wednesday July 31 - Storytime with Cynthia Raxter, 3:30-5:30. Local story teller Cynthia Raxter will be back to entertain kids of all ages with her stories!

Available Wednesday! 
Fruits: BLACKBERRIES, WATERMELON, Cantaloupe, Blueberries, Peaches, Raspberries
Vegetables:  PEPPERS - sweet and hot, TOMATILLOS, EGGPLANT, OKRA, BEANS - Green, Purple & Yellow, CHERRY TOMATOES, FIELD TOMATOES, Artichokes, Asian Greens Arugula, Beet Greens, Beets, Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Cucumbers, Collards, Frisee, Garlic, Green Onions, Herbs (including Holy Basil, Cilantro, Thyme, Oregano, and Greek Oregano, Marjoram, Dill, Holy Basil, Bergamot, Chammomille, Bay, Lemon Balm), Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Napa Cabbage, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Radicchio, Radishes, Salad Mix, Swiss Chard, Summer Squash, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini
Meats: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Pork
Eggs: Chicken and Duck  Eggs
Flowers: LISIANTHUS, BLACK EYED SUSANS, GOMPHRENA, DIANTHUS, DAHLIA, Statice, Lilly, Calendula, Sunflower, Godetia, Snapdragons and mixed Bouquets
Plants:  Vegetable and Herb Seedlings, House Plants, Landscaping Plants
Specialty Items:  RAW HONEY!, Mustards, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits,  Goat and Cow Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods - Breads, Pastries, & Pies, Preserves, Gluten Free Baked Goods, Fermented Items, Nut Butters, Pasta, Herbal Teas, Herbal Salves,
Crafts:  Wood Crafts, Pottery, Goats Milk Soaps

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