Overheard at the Farmers' Market

Market farmers (and gardeners) will likely be leaving many crops unripened in the ground this fall, according to one of the vendors I talked with at Saturday’s Northfield Farmers’ Market. Summer started two or three weeks later than expected, then we plunged into a semi-drought. As a result, many vegetables are still blossoming–confused about what time of year it is. That certainly is the case in my garden. I have tons of blossoms on the cucumber vines, and my one green pepper plant–which has produced only a couple of peppers–now has more blossoms on it than it has had all year. The vendor remarked that he has dozens of melons in the field that will likely be hit by frost before they ripen. The average first frost in this part of Minnesota is Oct. 5–a week from today.

One benefit of the late start and recent warmer weather is that tomatoes are still producing, and I also overheard an interesting idea for salsa at the market. Take a few tomatoes or tomatilloes, a couple of hot peppers, an onion cut in quarters, and some garlic cloves. Roast them in the oven for a half hour or so, then chop in the food processor with some lime juice and cilantro.  I tried the recipe last night, replacing the lime juice with lemon and the cilantro (which is not popular in my house) with parsley. It was a good salsa, but whoo, hot!

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