The days are getting shorter, but the market is still as busy and full as it was in mid-July. Tomorrow is no exception!
Last year, the Franklin County Farmers Market’s most talked-about food sample was crispy corn cakes with fresh tomato-pepper relish by chef Scott Darnell, of Scene Restaurant and The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville. Chef Scott is coming back tomorrow and he will be offering chef demonstrations using Happy Jack’s Pumpkin & Produce’s seasonal veggies, including tomato-carrot soup, caprese salad, and Cast-Iron Skillet Mexican Street Corn. (Writing this on an empty stomach was a terrible idea.) Find Chef Scott’s samples and demos from 9 am to noon.
Also, new guest vendor — My Modern Jungle — is joining the farmers market with live-plant home decor. Spirit Runner Art Studio returns as a guest vendor and Morgan Rae Farms is back from vacation.
At the market in late August
The best of summer’s veggies are still growing in our area right now — tomatoes, corn, peppers, okra, onions, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini and summer squash. Fall crops will start picking up soon, including cooking greens and salad greens. Before you know it, we’ll be swapping butternut squash recipes. Apples are coming in stronger — McIntosh, Gala and Summer Treat this week — along with pears and watermelons are still available.
Veggies and fruits are far from the only items you can find at the farmers market. Vendors from Franklin and surrounding counties are producing meats, eggs, baked goods, honey, plants, spices and seasonings, preserves and sauces, beer cheese, soaps and lotions, wine and more. These are available to us all season long.
The farmers market is in the Market Pavilion at River View Park on Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to noon. You can shop with your debit, credit and SNAP/EBT cards; Food Pantry Fresh Food Vouchers; and WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks. Customers shopping with SNAP/EBT and the WIC and Senior Nutrition Programs can have their purchases doubled for free at the Farmers Market WesBanco Welcome Table, thanks to the Kentucky Double Dollars program, Community Farm Alliance, Friends of the Farmers Market and community supporters!
South Frankfort Food Share
The third South Frankfort Food Share of the season was last Tuesday. We had a spectacular thunderstorm show, but the Food Share is lucky to have a dry space to set up in the driveway underpass behind Second Street School.
Sixty shareholders took home 11 different types of locally grown vegetables, along with recipe packets and cooking and storage tips. (Check out the photo of all that was in this month’s Food Share on Facebook and Instagram.)
At the Food Share event, Chef Kevin Archer, of Zelda & Bramble Superlative Seasonings, offered food samples and recipes of his own; Gidgett Sweazy and Happy Raffaele, of Kentucky State University SNAP-Ed Extension, chatted with shareholders about how to use all of the veggies in their Food Share; and the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Service offered bags of kitchen tools to all first-time South Frankfort Food Share shareholders.
Having a Food Share once each month through the summer has given us a chance to build community around the idea of coming together to purchase food for ourselves and our neighbors and it’s turned into a fun event. We have just one South Frankfort Food Share left this year — Sept. 17. If you’d like to be notified when that ordering window opens, email us at FranklinCountyFarmersMarket@gmail.com.
What we’re eating now
I have found myself in a heavy zucchini and summer squash period — summer squash bread, zucchini crumble (find this recipe in last week’s farmers market enewsletter), zucchini and potato hash, creamy zucchini soup. Not one of these have disappointed!
High on the list of foods I want to eat is a breakfast of fried sweet Italian peppers with balsamic vinegar alongside fried eggs and toast. I don’t love peppers, honestly, but a meal or two of these sweet Italian peppers is something I look forward to each year.
Find seasonal recipe inspiration on the farmers market’s Facebook page and at the farmers market itself, where you’ll get free samples and recipes each week.
Lisa Munniksma is the community engagement coordinator for the Franklin County Farmers Market. Contact her at email@example.com.