One of my favorite parts of summer is the Collingswood Farmers Market. It is less than a mile from our house and filled with everything I need to make a perfect summer meal, like this one:
Full disclosure: the rice and beans were in my pantry! But the scallops, steak, corn and tomatoes were all purchased this morning from local and regional farmers (and fishers and butchers). I love having the market so close—it’s a great supplement to my own garden and keeps me out of the grocery store.
I do love food shopping; but not at one place. I’ll take an entire day in the non-Farmer’s Market months to go store to store. But in Farmer’s Market season, I just stroll the market and grab everything I need in 40 minutes.
I love staying close and love having our gardens to pluck ingredients from as well.
The green onion was plucked from my front yard garden. Last year, my friend and colleague Nicole told me if I saved the whites from my green onions, I could root them in water and then plant them in the garden. So I did and that onion divided and multiplied. Now, I have a never ending supply of green onion, available on-demand.
The rest of our gardens are starting to take off. We had a bit of a delay starting everything between sports and then Lily’s surgery. But, we’ve got some pepperoncini peppers (I sliced some and tossed in the foil packets with the corn plus some basil and chives); a few early wax beans. The cucumber plants are making slow progress; I sure hope they take off! I’ve got pickles to make!
I have a ton of mint; as always. Last year I dried bushels of mint to make tea. This year, I’ll do some of that and also have plans to make some minted blueberry jam and some mint syrup for iced team and mojitos.
I am trying my hand at growing loofahs this year (from seed!) and then popcorn. I love making fresh popped rosemary brown butter popcorn all summer long for backyard movie nights. (And I’ve got to pull out that mint to make room for my rosemary to flourish.). We also had a nice small, but consistent run of strawberries. And hopefully, grapes, peaches and Asian pears this year, plus raspberries, blackberries and hearty kiwis in a year or so.
I’ve got a tiny pumpkin patch cooking, too. I hop I get a couple! And Mike has his hops growing on our fence. Hops are such a cool, aggressive plant. I love how the hops looks dripping on the vines.
We should have endless tomatoes. I started some from seed and we had hundreds of volunteer tomato plants pop up from fallen fruit last year. I transplanted some and then left others where they were. We’ve already got some green tomatoes that I cannot wait to have ripen!
Speaking of volunteer plants, I think I have some sunflowers popping up from last year, too. Or they might be aggressive weeds—I am too hopeful to pluck them just yet.