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Toledo Farmers Market

August 22, 2014
By Dawn Troutner - Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Market Report for August 15, 2014

It was a slower market this rainy Friday evening of the Toledo Farmers Market. I am hoping everyone was enjoying the Iowa State Fair or the last camping trip before school starts. Slow or busy, the Toledo Farmers Market must go on. Kristi was there with her delicious bakery and Devin's veggies. Devin was on vacation. Caryn was there with jams, popcorn, kettle corn, caramel corn and snack mixes. No cotton candy this Friday evening. Darold had cucumbers, onions, peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, green beans, tomatoes, and potatoes. Chuck and Ginger had bakery, popcorn, hot pepper powder, summer squash, potatoes, beans, peppers, cucumbers, and leeks. Dawn had zucchini, beets, edamane, jams, rosettes, seasoning for vegetables, fresh herbs, potatoes, purple beans, onions, and yellow beans. Cheryl had ceramics, scrubbies, and home made towel sets. Lois, Brenda, and Ethan had zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, egg plant, peppers, and cucumbers. Cindy and Rod brought cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and green beans. Joe and Barb had jams, bakery, summer squash, peppers, tomatoes, kale, okra, leeks, and nut meats. Shay Lynn snuck in with tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, green beans, onions, beets, and egg plant. Will and Thea had tomatoes, sweet corn, gourds, cucumbers and their sweet smelling candles and home made soaps. Red Earth Gardens had plenty of kohlrabi, zucchini, carrots, okras, radish, egg plant, potatoes, green beans, cabbage, cucumbers, and mustard.

As you can see the market is in full swing with tables full of plenty homegrown produce or home made items. Be sure to come out on Friday nights from 5-7 pm on the east side of the courthouse and visit your favorite vendor at the Toledo Farmers Market.

Article Photos

Dawn Troutner
Toledo Market Master

Green tomatoes, not reds ones are in most gardens. That is opposite of what should be. We should have tomatoes everywhere. I go out to the patch everyday and look and look for that red tomato. What makes a tomato turn red? Variety could be one of the reasons. Smaller fruited varieties will turn red faster than large fruited varieties. A tomato will not turn red, even forcing by any little trick, unless it has reached the mature green stage. Temperature is another factor in the ripening of the tomato. Tomatoes need the temperature to be between 50 & 85 F. If it is cooler tomatoes will stay a stubborn green. If it is warmer then 85 degrees the process that produces lycopene and carotene come to a screeching halt.

Tomatoes are also triggered to turn red by a chemical called ethylene. Ethylene is odorless, tasteless, and invisible to the naked eye. When a tomato reaches the proper green mature stage, it starts to produce ethylene. The ethylene then interacts with the tomato fruit to start the ripening process. If you have a consistent wind, that can carry the ethylene gas away from the fruit and slow the ripening process.

So the tomatoes that you pick before the last frost, or have fallen off the vine will only ripen in that brown paper bag if it's at the mature green stage. In the end Mother Nature is in charge and you can't hurry her along.

If you have lots and lots of green tomatoes make some Sweet Jalapeno Relish. It is so yummy.

Sweet Jalapeno Relish

1 gallon ground green tomatoes soak with half cup of salt for 2 hours. Squeeze out the juice and cook with 25-30 ground jalapenos, 3 to 4 ground green peppers, 1 quart finely diced celery, 1 quart of ground onions, 2 quarts white vinegar, 1 pound brown sugar, 1 pound white sugar, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon mustard seed, 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Put into hot sterile jars and process in hot water bath for 30 minutes. If you want it hotter you can either add more jalapenos or throw in some chilies or cayenne peppers. I hope you enjoyed this relish as much as we do.

See you at market.



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