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Toledo Farmers Market

August 23, 2013
By Dawn Troutner - Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Markets this week have typical mid August markets. They have been rather slow. But that doesn't stop our dedicated vendors and customers at the Toledo Farmers Market. We have a new vendor at the Toledo Farmers Market that manages the Main Street Market in Marshalltown. Bill is impressed with the dedication we have here in Toledo. He is impressed with the way our little market runs. Whether it is the team work our vendors show each other, or how the community follows our no parking signs, or the dedication our customers show us. When you have great teams working together things run smooth. I would like to thank all for the dedication we see at the Toledo Farmers Market. THANK-YOU vendors and community members. You help make our little Toledo Farmers Market a successful one.

Our great team this week was Kristi, Devon, Cindy and Calvin, Darold and Ruth, Chuck and Ginger, Dawn, Cheryl, Brenda, Marie and Lois, Bill, Jim, the Neiland girls, Kathy and her group, and Linda. Some of the items on the tables was sweet corn, onions, peppers, summer squash, potatoes, cucumbers, black berries, beets (red and golden), fresh herbs, jams, jellies, popcorn, nut meats, eggs, bakery, cabbage, green beans, swiss chard, danikon radishes, ceramics, leather items, dried pepper powder, sweet corn, peaches and tomatoes to mention a few. Be sure to come out to the Toledo Farmers Market and meet the GREAT team we have.

The Werners had luscious peaches this week. They smelled and tasted so delicious. When you are selecting fresh peaches look for peaches that are intensely fragrant and yield to light pressure at their stem ends. Tree ripened peaches will leave you with tastier results than commercial variety peaches. Come to the Toledo Farmers Market to purchase your garden ripened peaches today.

Article Photos

Dawn Troutner

Tomatoes are the hot topic this year. They are far and few in between. Ripening seems to be very slow this garden season with these cool fall-like temperatures. It takes six to eight weeks from the time of pollination until tomato fruit reach full maturity. The length of time depends on the variety grown and of course the weather conditions. The optimum temperature for ripening tomatoes is 70 to 75 F. When temperatures exceed 85 to 90 F, the ripening process slows significantly or even stops. At these temperature, lycopene and carotene, pigments responsible for giving the fruit their typical orange to red appearance cannot be produced. As a result the fruit can stay in a mature green phase for quite some time.

Some think that the light conditions have a lot to do with the ripening process. Light conditions have very little to do with ripening. Tomatoes do not require light to ripen and in fact fruit exposed to direct sunlight will heat to levels that inhibit pigment synthesis. Direct sun can also lead to sunscald of the fruit. Do not remove leaves in an effort to ripen fruit. Also, soil fertility doesn't play much of a role.They do know that high levels of magnesium and low levels of potassium can lead to conditions like blotchy or uneven ripening or yellow shoulder disorder. But the slowness to ripen is not likely due to soil conditions and adding additional fertilizer will do nothing to quicken ripening. If you are impatient you can remove fruit that are showing the first color changes. These fruit in the mature green or later phase could e stored at room temperature (70-75 F) in the dark. A more enclosed environment would be best as ethylene gas, released from the fruit as they ripen will stimulate other fruit to ripen. The trick is to pick them when they are showing the first signs of ripening and keeping them at room temperature to get the tomato flavor you are longing for. Do not refrigerate, as this will absolutely destroy their flavor.

Many question whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Botanically speaking, the tomato is a fruit and can be further classified as a berry since it is pulpy and has edible seeds. But, most use the tomato as a vegetable in savory dishes. Personally it doesn't bother me if it's a fruit or vegetable. All I know is I love tomatoes and can eat them as a fruit or a vegetable. See you at market.



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