Oak Oak Park Farmer's Markert 8/27/05
When I recruited Ann Fisher to write the market report this week--I attended a bat mitzvah--I did not realize she would REALLY put me to shame with the quality of her report. A little put to shame I could stand, but this. Perhaps I will count on Ann all weeks.
Corn from The Farm* continues to be terrific. Makes you proud to be from Illinois. The ears weren’t quite as big as last week, but still plenty large. In my experience, good corn continues until almost the middle of September, so we should have a few good weeks left. I was intrigued to find that the Angelic Organics CSA corn wasn’t nearly as good. I suspect The Farm is growing sweeter varieties and Angelic is growing more pest-resistant ones.
Tomatoes everywhere, in every color. I bought some beautiful little “garden peach” tomatoes from Scotch Hill Farms. In the bowl on my windowsill they’re almost indistinguishable from the shiro plums from Skibee. Nichols says they have 80 varieties. I wouldn’t doubt it. Sandhill Organics continues to offer tastings of its heirloom varieties, and this week was also selling bags of tomato puree, suggesting it be used a soup base. They also seduced me with Swiss chard that looked like it belonged in a Rembrandt painting. Nichols also had the most beautiful “exotic eggplant” display–red, purple, green–and made me really regret I didn’t have my camera with me. They and the place at the northeast outside corner of the market were selling lemon cucumbers, pictured here. Since they were the size of lemons, and cost 75 and 50 cents respectively, and I heard the woman at Nichols say they really just tasted like cucumbers, I passed them by.
I’m loyal to Skibee for my apples. I love to be able to mix and match from all their crates. In addition to the Paula Reds that they had last week, the first real Macintosh were in. A sign, of course, that fall is on its way.
Barry’s Berries blueberries continue to be excellent and they were selling a lot of raspberries as well. We’re seem to be past the Red Haven peaches, to my regret, but they and everyone else still had a lot of choices of peaches, plums, and nectarines.
I spent some time talking to the man from Scotch Hill Farms. The scent of their pet soaps, while not unpleasant, makes it harder to appreciate their produce. But when I moved a little way off to taste the yellow tomatoes, I was glad I’d stopped. They’re still offering CSA shares, this week down to seven weeks. It’s $27.50 a week, pesticide- free but not organic. They always have a couple of sample bags available for $25. If I hadn’t felt compelled to check out a variety of vendors to fulfill my guest blogging responsibilities I might have been tempted. Maybe next week.
*Surely I can’t be the only person who thinks of Spriritual Midwifery every time they see the name of that vendor.