Nanci Paluzzi of Laughing Crow Homestead smiles for a photo under her mask last weekend at the Johnson County Farmers Market. Photo by Dennis Shekinah
Submitted by Jennifer Skarsaune
As summer comes to a close, farmers in Johnson County continue to bring in their harvest. There are still another few weeks to enjoy all the tasty fresh summer veggies, and the Johnson County Farmers Market is the place to get them while they last. By the end of the month, green beans, cucumbers, eggplant, sweet corn, summer squash, zucchini, watermelon, and tomatoes will start to be slim ‘pickens’, but there will still be fresh locally grown veggies to be had.
As autumn sneaks upon us, the squash harvest has already begun. Residents can find delicata, spaghetti, acorn, and butternut squash at the market, and soon cushaw squash and pumpkins and gourds will make an appearance. Also available are peppers, potatoes, onions, leeks, beets, carrots, celery, cabbage, collards, kale, swiss chard, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Harbin Hill Farms is growing a trial crop of ground cherries similar to tomatillos with a slightly sweet, tropical flavor and a texture somewhere between a tomato and a grape. They can be eaten raw or used in sweet or savory dishes and soon available at the farmers market.
Locally grown beef and pork are still available at the market as well as farm-fresh eggs. Now is a good time of year to stock up on local honey too. Baked goods vendors will have a variety of bread available and an assortment of breakfast items, including Danish, muffins, and scones. Jams, marmalades, hot sauces, chili spices, and sauerkraut can also be found at the market and soaps, salves, and balms.
If the summer flowers have faded, locals are encouraged to come down to the market for fall mums, pansies, and violas. There are also houseplants for sale at the market.The farmers market is accepting craft vendors or any vendors with locally grown or handmade products.
For more information, visit the Johnson County Farmers Market website or inquire at the market on Saturday mornings at Ralph Stout Park.