September Market Bounty

18 September 2011 · 0 comments

A variety of hierloom tomatoes from King's Hill Farm at Green City Market

The fading of Labor Day memories and the shortening of the days makes it feel like summer is over. But a stroll through any farmers’ market this past weekend helped bring back that summer feeling. At yesterday’s Green City Market there was so much color that even the most careful shopper most likely came back with more than planned. Mother Nature knows how to entice.

Leaning Shed Farm small tomatoes

Glorious, delicious, sun-soaked tomatoes of so many varieties it’s impossible to keep up with their names anymore are at their peak. With numerous stands selling them, it’s a matter of buying what appeals to you. Lately, when I want big meaty tomatoes for slicing or making ratatouille, I’ve been stopping by King’s Hill Farm’s stand. When I want a variety of flavors, I grab all kinds from the huge selection (29 varieties this year) of small tomatoes Leaning Shed Farm’s Dave and Denise Dyrek grow. They’re perfect for heaping into a bowl on your counter (making it easy to pop them into your mouth) and perfect for popping into lunch bags, too. 

Genesis Growers peppers

And interesting peppers abound. Aficionados can be found surveying the overflowing selection at Genesis Growers where you can overhear discussions about different levels of heat. If you’re content with the standard red, orange, or green pepper, it’s good to grab a few to add even more color to your diet. And if you want to get more flavor bang for your buck, try the organic, multicolored ones from Iron Creek Farm.

Iron Creek Farm eggplant

One of my summer rituals this time of year is to make ratatouille, a great way to use deep-purple, glistening eggplant like the ones here from Iron Creek. It’s not well known (and some say debatable), but there are male and female eggplants. Male eggplants have fewer seeds and round and shallow bottoms. Female eggplants have more seeds and are distinguished by a deeper, elliptical indentation.  Taste-wise, I find little difference and usually buy one of each, but there are those who say male eggplants are less bitter.

King's Hill Farm melons

My bags were heavy and full by the time I came across this box of curious produce at King’s Hill’s stand. While the cantaloupe was recognizable, were the others melons, too? Turns out they are, some of which I’ve never seen and most the size of a tennis ball. I’m curious to try them, so they’ll be on my shopping list for next week.

Green City Market
1750 N. Clark Street
(Lincoln Park at Clark and LaSalle)
7:00 am – 1:00 pm
www.greencitymarket.org

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