Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clarke County Farmers' Market, the past ten years

About ten years ago (I'm guessing, I can't remember for sure) we had a great abundance of pumpkins in our garden.  (Ron often gets excited about new varieties and over-plants.  The bounty depends on the weather and that year was perfect for pumpkins.)  So he and Calob, then 10 (or so), hauled pumpkins to the town square and set up a table at the local farmers' market.  They made pretty decent money.  Soon Ron was making plans for the next summer's garden and utilizing the opportunity to make a little extra money on a more regular basis.

Seeds and live plants were ordered or bought locally.  We attended a training so that we could accept the checks issued to WIC participants and senior commodities recipients.  A couple of areas were tilled up and planted.  Meanwhile while Ron experimented with varieties of plants in the garden, I experimented with various recipes in the kitchen.

We've had good growing seasons and poor growing seasons through the years.  Sometimes we sweat it out in the heat and humidity.  Sometimes we get rained on.  Sometimes we sit with jackets on and a blanket covering our legs.  Each year we tweak our plans and try to make improvements.

Our boys have grown up in our market.  They don't remember not being a part of market.  Colby and Brody were both born after we were involved in the market.  When we started out, we were the youngest vendors by about 30 years.  Many of the vendors were old enough to be my grandparents.  We now have several young families vending at the market and you can bet you will see kids playing in the grass or on the bandstand when you visit the market.  Several of those older vendors are still there, some are no longer with us.  We have become quite the family--celebrating births and mourning deaths together.  We are a very small market, averaging about 10 to 12 vendors at mid-summer during the height of the season.

There is more to say about our market and our personal involvement in it, but I'm going to save that for another post.  I am going to share a favorite recipe from my kitchen here:

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 1/4 cup white sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon

1.  Grease two loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together.  Add zucchini and mix well.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.
3.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for about 60 minutes.  (I bake this alongside the pumpkin bread and it takes 1 hour.  On its own it would probably take less time.  It's ready when it starts to pull away from the side and the center springs back when you tap it.)

I learned early on that you can grate the zucchini without peeling it.  This saves time and I imagine it adds nutrients to the bread.  This bread is moist and tastes like cinnamon.  Yum!

1 comment:

  1. YOU know how I feel about the market! I cannot imagine a summer w/o it!! :)