Commonwealth Journal

May 9, 2013

Downtown Farmers Market begins season Saturday

By Jewell Florea
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

For more than 20 years Downtown Farmer's Market has been a Somerset institution where Pulaski County growers can sell their colorful and flavorful assortments of produce and fresh food to a host of loyal customers.
For the 2013 growing season, Downtown Market will be open for business starting at 7:00 a.m Saturday, May 11. On Saturdays the market is located in the parking lot across from the First Methodist Church at the corner of E. Mt. Vernon St, and South Central Ave. in downtown Somerset. The market moves to Food Fair's parking lot on Wednesdays, and on Somernite Crusie weekends throughout the growing season.
Our growers will fulfill your dreams by growing the best, largest and sweetest vegetables available this year. Visit with our market and take home a mess of in-season fresh greens, onions, lettuce, radishes, dried apples, and many different kinds of garden and flower plants.
Nothing compares to a sweet locally grown cabbage and smelling the fresh aroma that greets your senses as its tender leaves are cut. Regardless of how you prepare it, raw or cooked, the difference between a farm fresh cabbage, just cut in the last 24 hours, to factory farmed cabbage-heads, shipped weeks old to a warehouse, and then to the supermarket, is incomparable in taste or quality. Flavor is seldom considered in factory farming systems. Durability during shipment is their main concern.
Our vendors chose varieties with desirable flavor. Our customers purchase radishes that add the just right, tangy taste to your salad, made with fresh lettuce bought from our market. I remember picking the first fresh greens of the year, along with my mother many years ago. They grew wild alongside the wet weather creeks in early spring. Dock, dandelions, cresses, are just a few of the many young tender sprouts of edible greens that came up through the snow. They brought much needed vitamins and hope for a new season of plenty, after a long winter of beans and cornbread.
And of course, a little later we also picked poke, a weed known to most old-timers. This nostalgic plant with its large leaves and stems has graced many a table in the early spring. It is also a conversation piece with some, who question the toxic properties it possess before heating. My grandmother battered and fried the stalks. It served two purposes. It filled the craw and was good for the constitution.
As the year progresses we will have luscious local tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, apples, grapes, rhubarb and many other summer fruits and vegetables.
Make a habit to come to the Market each Saturday and Wednesday so you will have fresh veggies all summer long. You will be happier and healthier for your effort. You will also be supporting our local farmers, who work hard to provide you the best tasting food around. Our growers are proud to provide this important service to our community.