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Toledo Farmers Market

September 27, 2013
By Dawn Troutner - Toledo Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Market Report for September 21st

It was a cool fall night for the Toledo Farmers Market. This week at market Kristi, Devin, Dale, Chuck and Ginger, Dawn, Sheryl, Marie, Lois and Brenda, Bill, Frances, Jim, Vernon and Wilma, the Nieland Girls, and Karen had their tables loaded with fresh bakery, produce and craft items. There were plenty of tomatoes, onion, peppers, potatoes, fresh herbs, cabbage, egg plant, leeks, garlic, summer and winter squash, beets, green beans, cucumbers, jams, jellies, eggs, ceramics, leather goods, bakery, honey, pumpkins, gourds, sweet potatoes, apples, watermelons, honey dew, cantaloupe, pears, peaches, grapes and bohemie plums. There is still five weeks of market left, be sure to come out on Friday nights on the east side of the Courthouse to make your purchases from 5-7 p.m.

Fruit is plentiful this market season. The fruit trees are loaded with branches bending and breaking with the weight of the delicious fruit the tree bears. Apples offer an astounding array of varieties and wide range of fruit flavors. You may be looking for a baking apple to make that delicious family apple crisp recipe or an apple that is good for a tasty snack. Those apples have been at market. Pears are sweet and juicy this growing season. They are delicious eaten fresh, used in baking, cooking, and jam making. Pears are less widely grown than apples, but they are just as easy, are vulnerable to fewer pests and disease, and much tastier. What do you do with a bohemie plum? Plums are excellent for use in jams, desserts, pies, and crisps. They are rich in flavor and are wonderful eaten fresh from the tree. Peaches are sweet, juicy, and delicious. Those fuzzy peaches are delicious eaten fresh or used for making jam or desserts. But peaches are fussy trees that require cold weather over winter, protection from frost in spring and sun in summer. A fresh peach is well worth the fuss.

Article Photos

Dawn Troutner
Toledo Market Master

Grapes are highly ornamental as well as productive. They look wonderful trained over an arch or sued to create a screen. Grapes can be grown for wine-making or eating fresh. I prefer my grapes made into jelly. Melons are close relative of the cucumber. Melons fall into two main categories, sweet melons such as cantaloupes, honeydews, and musk melons. Those melons have a dense juicy flesh. Watermelons have a crisp pink, watery flesh. Those are a few of the fruit crops available at the Toledo Farmers Market.

This week I noticed leeks at the market. Leeks can be planted to provide a succession of crops from late summer all the way through the winter months. Early varieties are generally taller, with longer portions of blanched stem, while later crops tend to be shorter with a darker stems and tougher texture. Which ever variety you purchase, they are delicious used in stews, casseroles, soups, or served up with a white sauce. There are a lot of different varieties of egg plant at the Toledo Farmers Market. Egg plant comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are easy to grow but don't do well in cold conditions and will be killed by frost in cool regions. The last newest member of the vegetable crop that has showed up at market is the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are not related to potatoes at all but are actually members of the bindweed family. But like a potato their orange or white flesh is delicious roasted, baked, or mashed. You can store a sweet potato inside for several months, but they will need to be "cured" first. Leave in the sunshine for four to seven days to toughen their skins.

That's the latest crops appearing at the Toledo Farmers Market. Be sure to come out and make you purchases before it is too late. See you at market.



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