The Farmers Markets have begun. So far there are two in town, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. In late June another will start up right downtown. I like that because I can ride my bike there, and that’s also where the Jodar Farms poultry shares will be available for pickup.
For now I’m happy enough to hit the other ones. The emphasis this early in the season is on local products like salsa, mustards, pasta, soaps, baked goods, tamales, barbecued meats, coffee (locally roasted at least) and tons of ornamental plant and vegetable starts. I was also intrigued to learn Horsetooth Hot Sauce now makes bloody Mary mixes.
There are also fresh vegetables like spinach planted last fall, baby lettuces, chard, radishes and rhubarb galore. Asparagus is in season, but so expensive I’m making do with my own little patch for now. Carrots, onions and potatoes are also available. An organic, aquaponic fish-and-greens farm has beautiful heads of lettuce, bok choy and exotics picked fresh that morning. Combined with the thinnings from our cool weather garden – beets, radishes, kohrabi, scallions and garlic scapes – fresh salads have begun to hit the dinner table.
Good, because the frozen and canned goods are becoming sadly depleted. The tomatoes, chard and beans should last until we have more on the vine, and there are still applesauce and tart cherries for fruit smoothies until the strawberries come on. I’ve been trying to use up bits and pieces – the last frozen peppers on a pizza, a bag of pureed pumpkin in a custard, stewed tomatillos received from a friend combined with roasted poblano peppers to make a sauce for chicken. I’m hoping to empty the big freezer enough to defrost it in a month or so, before this year’s freezing begins.
It’s been cold and drizzly – and the writing comes first – so the warm weather vegetables are just going in the ground. Broccoli and cabbage have been in for more than a week, but tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squashes, eggplants and peppers have been planted bit by bit, in five minute increments when I surface from my fictional world. The frost free date wasn’t until a couple days ago, though, and nights have been chilly, so I don’t feel behind.
Soon I’ll have pictures of the gardens, but right now they’re not exactly photogenic. Lots of wee starts, far enough apart to grow nice and strong, but for now it’s mostly dirt.
Otherwise known as potential.