Midtown Farmers’ Market: Week 19–Signs of Fall

Winter Squash - maybe it should be called fall squash, or late summer squashI love fall; it is my favorite season. But for whatever reason, be it the cold summer we’ve had or how much I’ve been enjoying the summer, I am not ready for fall to be here. So it was pretty jarring to see crates full of large winter squashes at the Midtown Farmers’ Market this morning. Surely it’s not squash time already!? I usually make a point of buying whatever is new in the market any given week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy winter squash. Not yet.

Luckily, things are not all squash and storage potatoes. There were still plenty of tomatoes, and I got my usual sungolds and assorted heirlooms. Summer is hanging on enough for there still to be sweet corn. There is an abundance of peppers of all varieties–with the deals you can get on red bell peppers at this time of year they are impossible to pass up. Tomatillos are also in season, and you can still buy green beans, although they are getting a bit tougher than they were earlier in the year. Cucumbers are still available but they are either very large or, as with the ones I bought, very, very small. Perfect for cornichons! Herbs and lettuces, which have been available most of the season, are still available. The beets, potatoes and onions are representing the root vegetable contingent; I haven’t seen a lot of turnips yet. More of those in the fall.

In perhaps another sign of fall, apples are everywhere. None of the vaunted Honeycrisps yet (let alone any SweeTangos), but as much Zestar and Gingergold as you could ever want. Given my preference for unique produce, I went for the crab apples. Yes, crab apples. As the vendor pointed out, crab apples have an undeserved bad reputation and, sampling one, I had to agree. They were not quite as tart as I like, but they had good crisp texture and a nice, compact size.

With guests in town for Labor Day weekend, this time Martha’s sister and two nephews, our usual bike ride was traded for the car. This meant we were able to bring home fresh flowers (thanks to Sara!) and eggs, which are usually a bit tough to get home in one piece inside a backpack. Martha’s nephew John picked out some extra-sharp cheddar from the cheese vendor as well.

As you an see, the splendor of summer is still in ready evidence everywhere at the farmers’ market, but the trickle of fall crops will become a steady flow before too long. All the more reason to get to the market as soon as possible.

Corn, Flowers, Beets, Green Beans, Apples, Cucumbers, Eggs, Onions, Tomatillos, Parsley, Basil, Potatoes, Bell Peppers, Tomatoes

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