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Season in full swing at Farmer's Market

By Roberta Follett and Elise Rieschl

Congratulations to Debby Johnson of Cloquet, July winner of the Carlton County Farmers’ Market gift basket! She received a variety of spring greens, crabapple jelly, strawberry jam, a couple of bags of chocolate-covered honey caramels, a bar of soap, a ceramic trivet and a bouquet of flowers. Debby mentioned she is a SNAP recipient and appreciates the fact that our farmers’ market accepts EBT cards. She also participates in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Market Bucks program, where she receives $5 in market bucks each week she spends a minimum of $5 on fresh produce at the market, using her EBT card. Debby comes to the market because she loves buying fresh produce and says our vendors have been very helpful.

This week, beans, beets, snow peas and strawberries are available, as well as chard, herbs, kale, a variety of lettuces, spinach and spring onions. In the next few weeks, be on the lookout for baby potatoes, blueberries, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes and raspberries.  Most weeks, cut flowers may be purchased at the market too.

Sweet William is pleasantly fragrant and last up to two weeks in a vase.

The variety of baked goods at the market includes fresh breads and sweet breads, cinnamon rolls and sweet rolls, cookies, cakes, pies and muffins.

Two vendors sell frozen fresh chickens and several vendors sell fresh eggs.

While you’re at the market, check out the artistic and interesting art and craft items. Look for yard and garden flowers made from recycled cans, hand-thrown pottery, homemade soaps, shopping bags made from recycled materials, towels, dishcloths, aprons and so much more…  If you make art and craft items, consider joining the market. Just talk to Bobbie at the information desk the week before you wish to sell.

Here is a useful tip about storing your fresh greens, herbs, and lettuce.  First soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes to refresh them. While they are soaking, lay out a double layer of paper towels on the drain-board, then use a gentle spray to clean both sides of individual leaves and lay them on the paper towel in a single layer. Let the leaves air dry for 15 minutes. Place a layer of dry towels on top of the greens, roll them up in the paper towels, place them in a loose plastic bag and store them in your crisper. When stored this way your greens should keep for several weeks.

If you have a helpful hint you’d like to share, stop by the information booth and let us know. We are always looking for nifty new ideas!

If you need fresh produce midweek, the Carlton County Farmers’ Market is open on Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. in the Four Seasons Event Center parking lot in Carlton. We will also have a booth at the upcoming Carlton Daze, July 25-27. Come join the festivities!