Early Greens and Bedding Plants in the Market

Farm Market Report for June 21,2016 Keith Helmuth

stall outside june2016

The high tide of summer will soon be upon us and we can look forward to increasing varieties of local produce coming into the Woodstock Farm and Craft Market.

It seems only yesterday, when we looked out over the hills and valleys, that the deciduous trees were showing their first faint tints of light green amidst the dark shades of spruce and fir. Now, the great green tide has once again rolled across the land and the austere lines and shades of winter are only a memory.

Truly, the annual leafing out of deciduous trees across the northern latitudes is “the greatest show on Earth.” It is so common, so regular, we hardly notice, but if we stop and think about it with open eyes, it is an astounding transformation of landscape and an exuberant bursting forth of life’s unquenchable urge to flourish.

Farmers and gardeners get on board with the season. With seeds and bedding plants they turn bare brown earth into a green carpet that yields up the nourishing variety of foods we all need. Crop by crop, the season progresses and week by week we watch the bounty increase at the Farm Market.

First to come in are the bedding plants, both vegetables and flowers. And now, it is the early greens, along with the bedding plants, that are peaking on Friday Market Day.

The outside stall of Matthew and Angie Culberson is brimming with Romaine lettuce, several kinds of leaf lettuce, spinach, green onions, chard, and fresh herbs. The Culbersons are starting early with green tomatoes, which are now growing in crop shelters and have already reached a good size. The ripe tomatoes won’t be far behind. Bags of washed and trimmed carrots and onions from last year’s crop are also available.

Before we know it, beet greens with baby beets, new carrots, new potatoes, and the first squash will show up. The season is shaping up for a good crop of snap beans as well. Beans that were planted during a spell of early, warm, weather are doing well. Some of us who planted later, when it had turned wet and cold, have had to replant. And now the earwigs are out ready to munch out the bean cotyledon before it has a chance to emerge from the soil with its first leaves. So goes the battle. When life flourishes, all of it flourishes, even the pests.

The strawberry crop will soon be in and, as usual, the Farm Market will be serving up strawberry shortcake for Canada Day. Canada Day comes on Friday this year so it will be a double-barrelled event for the Market – the regular Friday Market plus the holiday crowd.

The Market will be open all day on July 1st right up to the fireworks at twilight. Sarah Sherman at the Market café is aiming to have enough strawberries and shortcakes for the whole day. From experience in previous years, getting there early is a good idea.