Friday, November 1, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

It's official, the summer growing season is over! The heavy frost that most of the area experienced last weekend, killed off the last of the summer, non-hardy crops. When I say "non-hardy", I mean the crops that can't withstand the frosts, for instance tomatoes, basil, zucchini, eggplant, etc. But, there are LOTS of vegetables that survive and thrive with colder weather and frosty nights and mornings! For instance farmers say (and eaters agree) that carrots and collards both get better when they are "kissed by the frost". Both seem to get sweeter as the weather gets colder. I don't know the chemistry behind this, but I think it has to do with the sugars in the crops becoming concentrated during the cold night. Don't quote me on that, though. For the rest of the fall and winter, there will be lots of greens, root vegetables and storage crops!

One fall/winter crop that has made an early appearance is Brussels sprouts! Usually, Brussels sprouts don't make their first appearance until the week of Thanksgiving. Farmers have told me that this summer and fall's growing conditions have been particularly good for Brussels. The weather this summer, when the plants were started, wasn't as oppressively hot and humid as usual and the fall has been slightly cooler than normal. Brussels sprouts need a longer period of cool weather in order to fully mature. So, it's looking like this year will be a good year for Brussels sprouts!!

Even though the nights are cooler and more frosts are ahead, there are still some farmers that will have a limited amount of summer time crops. As usual, farmers are innovative and always thinking of new ways to extend the seasons. Some of them are still growing tomatoes, green beans and peppers in greenhouses and they will continue to be a small supply of these things for the next few months.

With wintertime around the corner, the Market will soon be changing to Winter Hours. Below is are some important dates to remember as the winter comes...

Tuesday, November 26th, 2-5pm - PRE-THANKSGIVING MARKET! This year we'll be holding another special Market for you to stock up on the freshest, local food for your holiday meal. If you are looking for a local turkey, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders to holiday birds!

Saturday, November 30th - MARKET CLOSED. This is the one Saturday during the year when the Market closes. Have no fear! We'll be open all winter!

Saturday December 7th - WINTER HOURS BEGIN! This Saturday, the Market will switch to our Winter Hours and will be open weekly from 10am-Noon. We'll be open rain, snow, sleet or shine! And you'll get to meet some new vendors too!

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Upcoming Events
Saturday November 23rd, 10am - Chef in the Market! Amy Tornquist & Matt Lardie from Watts Grocery will be cooking and sampling some Thanksgiving-y dishes!

Mark your calendars!! TUESDAY NOVEMBER 26th - Pre-Thanksgiving Market, 2-5pm! Stock up with your local needs for your holiday meal. Also, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders for Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Fresh this Week....
FRUITS: Persimmons - Native & Asian Varietues, Scuppernong & Muscadine Grapes, Raspberries, Asian Pears
VEGETABLES: PEANUTS, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CARROTS, FENNEL, DAIKON RADISH, WATERMELON RADISH,  Acorn Squash, Arugula, Beets, Bitter Gourd, Broccoli, Bok Choi, Butterbeans, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards, Cucumbers, Delicata Squash, Edamame, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Basil, Catnip, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sorrel, Parsley, Roselle), Eggplant, Frisee, Galangal, Green Beans, Green Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabil, Lambs Quarter, Lettuce, Malabar Spinach, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, October Beans, Peppers, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Pumpkins, Purple Hull Peas, Radishes, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Spaghetti Squash, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Turmeric, Turnips, Zucchini, and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Rabbit, Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Rabbit Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses.
PLANTS: Bedding, House, and Flower Plants.
FLOWERS: Tuberose, Celosia, Gomphrena, Dahlia, Zinnia, Mixed Bouquets
SPECIALTY ITEMS: RAW HONEY, creamed Honey, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Handmade Baskets, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

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