We are at the beginning of the Missouri summertime, produce harvest season. Much more is ahead of us in the coming months.
I was visiting with a vendor last week during market and as we were chatting we were admiring all of the brightly colored produce. I mentioned how the color of the food really reflects the season. In the spring, all of the early produce is green. Just as the earth is waking up and greening, much of our food is green. Then spring gradually moves onto summer. As the sun gets brighter, the temperature warmer and the days longer, the color of our food changes and again mimics that intensity of the summer weather. The bright reds, oranges, greens, purples and yellows shine boldly.The flavor of the summer produce intensifies as the sunshine and heat increase. Have you ever heard of the Brix measurements in food?
Each week the amount and variety of fresh, seasonal, local, tasty produce covers my counter and fills my refrigerator. It’s now time to enjoy the fresh flavors, but soon it will be time to think about preserving the bounty. For years I have been making pints and pints of bread and butter pickles and pickle relish. Canning tomatoes in various forms is also a favorite. Making jellies, salsas, chutneys and other hot water bath, low acid or high sugar preserving is pretty easy. This spring I was in a two day class to get certified in processing and low acid canning. It was quite interesting. Over the next few weeks I hope to share some recipe ideas for preserving and canning. Some if it does not require a lot of special equipment and can be fairly easy. Taking the time to preserve when there is a bounty can save time and money in the future months. And the food that one preserves themselves really does taste better.
Meanwhile enjoy all of the local, delicious, fresh food now. The market vendor list is growing. The produce is bountiful. This week enjoy blackberries, peaches, plums, summer apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and more. The weather has been cooperative and has extended the season of some of the more early crops. Beets are a good example of produce that we are still seeing each week, as well as some kale and chard.. This has also been a banner season for potatoes.
We will continue to host the University of Missouri Extension Nutrition department. They will be visiting with us throughout the market season sharing information about local, seasonal, food, healthy and nutritious food options, recipes and more. Visit the site Family Nutrition Education Program
Baetje Cheese- Award Winning, Artisan Goat Cheese
Bee Simple– a unique variety of locally grown sprouts and micro-greens
Biver Farms- a variety of local, seasonal, certified organic produce
Buila Family Farm– a variety of local, seasonal produce
Cham Bakery- locally made pita breads and traditional Middle East pastries
Del Carmen– locally made traditional Cuban black beans, black bean soup, dips, hummus
Ivan– a variety of local, seasonal produce
Eckenfels Family Farm– locally raised, pastured beef and pork cuts, farm fresh eggs
El Chico Bakery- fruit filled empanadas and cookies
Farrar Out Farm– locally raised, pastured beef, pork and lamb cuts and organically raised produce
Flower Hill and Rosy Buck Farms– salad mix, sprouts, eggs, edible flowers, bouquets
iScream– a unique variety of locally made ice cream treats including vegan and gluten free
Ludwig Farms Creamery– a variety of cows milk cheeses
Maplewood Richmond Heights School– locally grown seasonal produce as well as seeds and cut flowers, plants
Ozark Forest Mushrooms– a variety of unique locally cultivated mushrooms, dried mushrooms and other related delicicies
Red Guitar– a variety of locally crafted artisan breads
Ringhausen Orchards- summer apples, Red Haven peaches, blackberries and plums
Riverbend Roots Farm-a variety of local, seasonal produce
Seed Geeks– a large variety of non GMO seeds, handmade soaps and a unique variety of local, raw honey “goodness” including spun honey
The Tamale Man– a variety of fresh made tamales, sauces and agua fresca
Thierbach Orchards– locally grown Red Haven peaches, White “donut” peaches, red plums (maybe nectarines)
Three Girls and a Tractor– a variety of local, seasonal produce including sweet corn and locally grown, sweet Missouri pecans
Three Rivers Community Farm– a variety of local, seasonal produce
Non Food Vendors this week
LifePack– locally roasted, fair trade coffee beans from Colombia and handmade beaded jewelry
Essential Spa Solutions-homemade soap, salt scrubs, a variety of body care products as well as pet shampoo
Goose Creek Soap– handmade soaps, lotions, scrubs, balms and salves
Don’t forget to thank Schlafly Bottleworks for sharing the space and supporting the market, local small businesses and family farms. Enjoy a complimentary Schlafly beer sample and live music each week.
Please visit the website, check out the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram market pages. Please “Like”, “Share”, “Retweet” and whatever else you do to make the market shine on social media
Thank you for your support.
See you at the Market,
René Sackett, Market Manager