The fall chill is settling in up north in Michigan. Today was a cold misty rainy day for the final outdoor Sara Hardy Farmers Market in Traverse City. Despite the cold and rain, the market was still filled with vendors with an abundance of products and a crowd of shoppers enjoying the beautiful fall crops along with other products from baked goods, to honey and maple syrup, cheese and butter and homemade soaps and beauty products. With so much to offer it is sad to see the market come to an end, but we take solace in knowing that many of the vendors will be moving to the indoor market on Saturdays at the Grand Traverse Commons.
I love the fall crops. Today in my 9 Bean Rows CSA bag I found potatoes, onions, broccoli, acorn squash and carrots along with the usual greens, eggs and bread. I also picked up some cherry tomatoes sweet enough to compete with the Halloween candy. Another vendor at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market had a great deal on MacIntosh apples for the last market so I bought a peck of apples. I am looking forward to making and canning some applesauce. Even when I get to North Carolina I will still be able to enjoy the taste of these deliciously sweet and tangy Michigan apples!
It has been another great year at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market to enjoy the wonderful produce grown way up near the 45th parallel in northern Michigan. At the beginning of the market, ramps were plentiful and asparagus was soon to follow. Many of the farmers take advantage of hoop houses to start crops or grow greens early in the season. Warmer weather brought new crops including the ubiquitous cherries. Well into fall, squash, potatoes, onion and the cruciferous vegetables are the stars of the market. Throughout the outdoor market season, there is a slow progression from one crop to the next, each with its own appeal.
This week, I am going to be roasting squash, enjoying my eggs and potatoes and bread for breakfast or maybe lunch or even dinner. The swiss chard might find its way into some bean soup. Some of the onions I got this week and last along with last week’s garlic will last well into the winter if I keep it in the cellar closet. With some many wonderful farm products at the market, it is easy to eat fresh and healthy food.