Three times a week, we have local farmers markets not too far from my home. I went for the first time last Saturday morning. I arrived at 9:30, which is early during the summer months, yet "late" for attending a farmer's market! I was talking with the vendors and was told that many had sold out already and left the premises! I guess it is true that the early bird does get the worm, or in my case, the blueberries! Yes, everyone had sold out of blueberries, but that didn't stop me from shopping! Friendly people with their tables set up with their home grown veggies, flowers, jams and relishes. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach, so I tried to have a little restraint. I settled for red potatoes, and 6 stems of sunflowers. My hopes for watermelon were also dashed as I was told it's a little early for them. July 4th seems to be the time that they are most available by local farmers.
I also read in the local paper that a elementary school parking lot was the site of a farmer's market on Friday afternoons. Perfect for those driving home from work. I contacted a friend and decided to meet her and her daughters at the place. This farmer's market was quite similar, yet very different than the one on Saturday. It was similar with booths of fruits and veggies, yet different with Hawaiian ices, vendors selling homemade soap, and a local restaurant selling fresh tamales and the salsas to accompany them.
Luckily for me, I found a vendor with blueberries!! I was so excited. It brought back memories of picking blueberries at my former in-laws garden. The perfect breakfast for summer is homemade blueberry muffins and hot tea! When I make blueberry muffins, I always add a tsp. of fresh lemon zest and juice to the batter. It just gives it a little hint of citrus with the blueberries. I also purchased some apples called "transparent". Now, I'm an apple lover from way back and I must say, I've never heard of them. The gentleman was older and said that they were an old variety he remembered from his grandmama. "Way before your time, young lady!" he said while telling me about the characteristics of this green gem. Not as tart as a granny smith, but it's on the tart side. I have tried just about every kind of apple, so I had to purchase some of these. The apples did have a slightly tart taste and the texture that I prefer. If you've ever eaten a Fuji, that is the texture I like in an apple. Plus, Fuji, is the apple I prefer to eat as a snack too.
The lady that sold me the sunflowers the past Saturday was at the Friday market shucking the corn and selling her garden's bounty. I was spoiled by my in-laws who grew the most delicious silver queen corn. Again, since it was just me, I tried my best to purchase only items that I would use until the next market day. Cucumbers and apples filled my shopping bag.
I can't wait to go back on Wednesday morning with hope that someone will have a fresh watermelon for sale! I'm curbing my watermelon craving with store bought, which is sweet and delicious, but awaiting the taste of one that is fresh from the garden! I'm sure that with the 4th of July just around the corner, the corn on the cob will be the first items to go! Grilled burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and a few salads are the perfect meal for July 4th!
More market adventures to follow as they are open until mid September! Yes, there are advantages to living in the south. Our gardens supply us with fresh veggies through then.