Thursday, July 19, 2007

Update for 7/21/07 Farmers Market

Wow, its been a busy week. We still haven't had any significant rainfall but tomatoes and peppers are still bearing very nicely. Salad greens are gone until the fall planting. They actually lasted longer than I thought. Targeting September for more salad mix. We'll have lots of tomatoes and peppers for the market. Cherokee Purple tomatoes are in. This is a much sought after heirloom. Mild tasting, often requested by chefs. We'll have may other varieties also. Sweet peppers are decent size and very crisp and sweet. We'll have blackberries and red raspberries again. They will likely sell out early again. They were gone in the first hour last week. We will also have more of Richard Cutter's blueberries. They sold like gangbusters last week. These blueberries won the blue ribbon and best of show at the Allegheny County MD fair this week. We were at Richard's berry yard on Tuesday picking and eating right from the bush. Just like the birds do. Awesome and heavenly blueberry flavor. As with almost everything this year, fruit size is smaller due to the lack of rainfall but the flavor and sweetness is enhanced. I was also lucky enough to have blueberry pancakes several times this week courtesy of Ruth. Speaking of the Allegheny fair, Ruth and I helped man the Allegheny beekeepers booth. It was quite a joy to show people the observation bee hive. Children delighted in finding the queen and in seeing honey in the comb. It also gave us numerous opportunities to explain the difference between wasps, that sting aggressively, and honey bees which do not. It also allowed us a chance to clear the air about the more aggressive Africanized bees. They can't survive our cold winters so they are pretty much confined to the dry southern states such as Texas and Arizona. Seems like we spent most of our time trying to clear up the misconceptions spread by the popular media. Tree fruits are a total bust this year. This week's Hampshire Review had an article about the local tree fruits. Gary Shanholtz was quoted as saying that the peach crop is 10% of normal and the apple crop is about 30% of normal yields. And of that, the fruit quality is not up to par because of the spring fronts, the cold month of May and the recent drought conditions. Looks like is a berry year, not a year for tree fruits. One last thing, if you are interested in the pastured poultry please be sure to get your order in, the first batch is gone. Batch 2 will be available the last week of July but only 25 birds. Batch 3 will be about Sep 1st. That will be about 100 birds. We don't want to disappoint anyone, but its first come first served, so get your reservations/orders in ASAP. Long post, but lots to cover! Hope to see you at the market on Saturday.

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