It’s time once again for me to sing the praises of the Farmer’s Market…All hail the farmer’s market! Bow down to the farmer’s market!…
Yesterday, the Toms River market had it’s “Peach Party.” We decided to brave the disgustingly sticky, hot weather to check things out. Here’s a few pictures to give you some “local color”:
The bash included drawings every hour for a basket of peaches and a little something extra (perhaps a peach cake or…peaches and cream ravioli??? We didn’t win, sniff); samplings of peach iced tea; and some local restaurants cooking up a few treats. We were able to sample some pan-seared mahi mahi soft tacos with peach salsa and cilantro cream from The River Market-we’re marking that as a place to check out soon.
The first farm vendor I go to is the organic one: sadly, Toms River is as far south as they go, so I’m stuck with only conventional produce on my other local market days (although some do grow organically, cannot afford the cost to be certified; ask your vendor at your farmer’s market how they grow your food-you never know!). We were able to pick up some gorgeous zucchini (.70/lb-where else can you get organics for so little?!?), fresh garlic (right out of the ground, not dried), sweet corn, and a small watermelon. Then it was on to the other vendors for tomatoes, blueberries, smoked mozzarella, artisan whole wheat ciabatta- and of, course, peaches!
The real joy, of course, is taking home all that beautiful food, giving it a simple prep, and eating it. A simple salad of smoked mozzarella and tomatoes (dressed with the fresh garlic, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil), a loaf of ciabatta, and thou…the best lunch ever.
Followed by watermelon for dessert…I don’t think this photo does justice to the ruby red of this picked-only-yesterday beauty:
Yes, this is yet another love letter to the local farm market from me; but if you haven’t utilized yours yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. For example, by the time my local supermarket was carrying “Jersey Fresh” blueberries from Hammonton, I had already been purchasing them for a month already at -you guessed it-the farmer’s market (and they hadn’t been in storage for too long, either). You just can’t beat the price and the taste. And, no, the NJ Department of Agriculture didn’t hire me to write that!