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Toledo Farmers Market

July 6, 2012
By Dawn Troutner - Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Market Report for June 29

This fabulous Friday brought 11 vendors with tables full of luscious bakery and delightful produce. The sidewalks were bustling with customers eager to make their purchases. Veggies are really starting to show up at market. This week there was radishes, spinach, lettuce, kohlrabi, turnips, beets, green onions, fresh and dried herbs, gooseberries, raspberries, broccoli, cauliflower, and summer squash to name a few.

Be sure to come on out to the Toledo Farmers Market on Friday's from 5-7 p.m. and check out the tables for yourself.

Article Photos

Dawn Troutner

The veggies are starting to grow and so are the weeds. Every year I tell myself I am going to keep track of the number of hours I spend weeding. Well I never have, but I sure do plan out the future, think about the past, and enjoy the present. As you know, I believe in spending time with Mother Nature. I really would enjoy it more if she would just give us a little rain shower for about 3 days straight. I am not sure that would be enough water, but it would help

The summer squash, aka zucchini season has started. Summer squash are harvested when immature, that would be while the rind is still tender and edible.

All summer squashes are the fruits of the species Cucurbita pepo, though not all squashes of this species are considered summer squashes. The name "summer squash" refers to the short storage life of these squashes, unlike that of winter squashes.Summer squash grow on a bush-type plants that do not spread like the plants of fall and winter squash and pumpkin.

Did you know every part of the squash plant can be eaten, including the leaves, and tender shoots, which can be cooked in omelets or made into soup. Summer squash include Cousa squash, Pattypan squash, Scallop squash, yellow crookneck squash, yellow summer squash, and Zucchini.

Summer squash develops very rapidly after pollination, they are often picked when they are too large and over mature. They should be harvested when small and tender for best quality. Most elongated varieties are picked when they are 2 inches or less in diameter and 6-8 inches long.

Patty Pan types are harvested when they are 3-4 inches in diameter. Slightly larger fruit may be salvaged by hollowing out and using them for stuffing. These larger fruits may also be grated for baking in breads and other items. If your plants become oversized, with developed seeds, and hard skin just throw them away. Go over the plants every 1-2 days. Squash grow rapidly, especially in hot weather and are usually ready to pick within 4-8 days after flowering.

Summer squash has both male and female flowers, but only the female flowers produce fruits. You can pick the open male and female blossoms before the fruits develop.

The female blossoms, with tiny fruit attached are a delicacy when dipped in a batter and fried. Because you harvested the summer squash when they are still immature, they bruise and scratch easily. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to harvest and wear gloves if possible, the leaves and stems are prickly and can scratch or irritate your unprotected hands and arms.

Just come to the Toledo Farmers' Market and purchase your summer squash and avoid the dangerous summer squash patch. See you at market.



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