Despite a cold, wet spring that affected fruit farmers, primarily, and a late summer cold snap that left others wondering how the end-of-the-season produce would fare, it's been an excellent growing season.
The Saturday market was bigger and better than it has ever been, with its bevy or growers, producers, food vendors, artisans and Music at the Market (which City Weekly sponsors). I was grateful to hear The Folka Dots for the first time one afternoon (which led to an interview that can be read here). The Tuesday market is a no-fuss, in-and-out shopping experience, and that's what shoppers can expect tonight as they go to pick up one last round of produce, meats, cheeses and sundries.
The Downtown Alliance also introduced two engaging programs to help consumers connect to their food and their farmers beyond the markets. The first was Farm Tours, which you can read about in my blog review and print write-up. The other was the Pickled Canners Club classes, which showed that canning isn’t just for grandmas any more. With classes like “Drunken Cherries,” “Bloody Mary Bar” or “Saucy Summers,” they taught that imbibing and food preservation are a match made in a jar, or something like that.
For those interested in canning, most farmers will still have tomatoes, among other late-season veggies and fruits, available for bulk buys. Inquire at the market. Or you can check out a book written by canning maven extraordinaire and guest presenter at the market, Sherri Brooks Vinton; her book is called Put 'Em Up and can be found at local booksellers.
And if you can't make it today, there is one day left at the Wasatch Front Farmers Market, Sunday 9 a.m.-2p.m. at Wheeler Farm.
Thanks to all the farmers for doing what you do; I certainly know what hard work it is. Here's to getting fat, drinking whiskey and lying low until the spring!