Am I the only person who thinks a farmers' market is just like a candy store for kids? I love farmers' markets. I love wandering among the vendors to see what everyone is selling and to find the best produce. I just came home from the ASU Farmers' Market with a large, heavy bag full of beautiful okra, tomatoes, eggplant, thyme dinner rolls and an oatmeal cookie, just one. I am amazed at how much the ASU market has grown this year. The shed and landscaping are so attractive and the vendors are top notch. If you haven't gone this year, you are in for a treat.
The ASU Farmers' Market is open at 7 on Saturdays until they sell out; then again on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons starting at 2:00. There are several new faces this year plus some of my old favorites. Whiton Farms is back selling organic and heirloom produce. These people have a commitment to food grown without chemicals and with plenty of flavor. One of my favorites is a farmer from Bay who has the best okra, eggplant and squash around. He grows some unusual varieties such as white eggplant and yellow zucchini and his produce is absolutely blemish free. He always has several bunches of gorgeous sunflowers and zinnias as well. There are usually several bakers selling everything from jelly to sourdough bread to cobblers to cookies to cinnamon rolls. The thyme dinner rolls were from 3 Birds Baking and they always have an interesting selection of breads, cookies and rolls. The organic beef people are usually there and today I saw a vendor selling fresh pork sausage, tenderloins, etc. A few people sell farm fresh eggs. Last Saturday, a vendor had pulled up a trailer and was selling breakfast foods hot off the griddle! I plan to eat breakfast there Saturday while shopping for blueberries and melons.
People bring their dogs and children because you never know what you might encounter. One weekend, some children were putting on a magic show. My sister reported that they were quite professional and entertaining. Some local artists also bring out items such as photographs, bird houses and jewelry. So head out sometime soon and fill a bag or two with the best produce around and support your local farmers. I guarantee the produce is freshly picked, not shipped across the country and unripe to boot.
I have an update on my weekend cooking for those who are wondering how my risotto turned out. I must admit it was divine. I served a simple salad and some great bread with it. Since peaches are now ripe, I made a Very Berry Peach Pie. (see my recipe list) If you would like the recipe for the risotto, check out my other blog on jonesboro.com under blogroll. My next cooking adventure will be ratatouille. Some of you may remember the movie about the rat who cooked the best ratatouille. Anyway, I've wanted to make some ever since seeing that movie and now, thanks to the farmer in Bay, I have some lovely zucchini. I'll have a post on my ratatouille soon.