Monday, August 20, 2012

The Local Farmers Market

We went to the Farmer's Market last week.  In our little town, it's open on Saturdays.  It's small, maybe 20 vendors, but it's growing.
In the next town over, there is a larger one with 50-60 vendors on Saturdays.  On Tuesdays, it's open again but with a smaller number of vendors.  Maybe about 10-12.  This was my small purchase last week.
A young couple was selling melons.  I asked about that larger white round object (pictured above).  They said it was a Snow Melon.  Now, I've never even heard of a Snow Melon, never mind seen or tasted one.  
They were so enthusiastic, explaining how they grew their melons, how delicious the melons were, the best time to eat them, the best way to serve them (always chilled from the fridge) and how special the fruit was to them.  They were such a sweet couple.  
They offered samples while explaining they had a very small crop this year so each one was very special to them.  
It was absolutely delicious.  Better than any melon I've ever tasted.  I paid her price without batting an eye and looked at it the same way she did, as a precious commodity to be appreciated.
Then I asked about the striped things.  To be honest, I didn't know what they were, if they were a vegetable or fruit.  (I know, I'm limited.)  The young man stepped in and explained they were Tiger Melons.  He was thrilled to share his favorite way to eat them: slice them and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It was his favorite summer dessert.  I bought two of the four that remained.  On the way home, we bought vanilla ice cream in anticipation of the sublime experience we were about to enjoy.   
Once home, Colson and I sliced them, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and oohed and awed over every mouthful.  The young man was right, it was a delicious dessert.
That's just one of the benefits of a Farmers Market.  Had I seen these products in the grocery store, without a doubt, I would have passed them by.  Even if I was adventurous and had purchased them, most likely, they would not have had the same fresh flavor because they would have been shipped a long distance.
Now pictured below is a squash I've bought several times from the Farmers Market.  The first time I saw it, I thought it was an early Halloween gourd.
Feeling the total novice, I asked what it was.  The vendor happily told me it was Paddy Pan Squash.  (Never heard of that either.)  He explained it was currently his favorite versatile squash.  You can eat it raw with the skin, chopped in salads or you can cook it just like you would any other squash.  I got a great crash tutorial.  

It's my go-to squash these days.
It's been the same way with heirloom tomatoes (I should have taken photos), even honey.  Most vendors let you sample the product first.  They all explain how it's grown or harvested and you learn what's growing in season right where you live.  
Since I missed Saturdays market, I can't wait until tomorrow. Who knows what new thing I'll find.  I'm hoping for Snow and Tigers!

Bye now 
from Whippoorwill Road.


  1. How lucky are you to have farmer's market around you, Bernadine. I love farmer's markets, love their fresh produce but nothing around here. My hubby's patient gave us some of those patty (or is it paddy?) pan squash, first time I have ever seen them too and they are pretty. Those melons look awfully good!..Christine

  2. I'm just starting to take advantage of our Farmers Market. Perhaps one will begin in your area. They are beginning to sprout up in a lot of towns and cities. Here's to hoping!

  3. the melons sound like a great experience. the way you described their enthusiasm for them makes them special, too. :)

  4. How fantastic that you have Farmers Markets so close! We have one in town but it seems to be mostly craftspeople. I'd love to buy locally produced foods that I either didn't plant or didn't grow well for me.

  5. TexWisGirl and Leigh, Next time I'll try and get pictures of our little markets and some of the vendors. I was looking forward to going to the Market today but I'll be in Atlanta instead. Oh well, there's Saturday to look forward to.

  6. Farmer's market are the best. I'm right with you on that.