Fresh Produce Takes a Leap at the Market

Farm Market Report for August 4, 2015

Keith Helmuth

Once we move into August, we know that farm and garden produce up and down the St John River Valley will be coming into full abundance. The scene this past Friday at the Woodstock Farm and Craft Market gave good evidence that we live in a fortunate and productive land – some might say especially blessed.

After a worrying dry spell, regular and adequate rainfall is again coming our way, and we are now getting some truly warm summer weather. However, our Maritime region still sits in a cool weather trough created by the jet stream as it loops south over the northeast zone of the continent.

Meteorologists tell us that Atlantic Canada is the only region on the planet where summer temperatures are cooler than normal. The entire rest of the world is hotter than normal, in some cases much hotter.

As compared to regions that are truly suffering from the heat, and, in some cases, from fire, we should certainly be counting our blessings – at least for now.

Friday at the Woodstock Farm Market is now a cornucopia of fresh produce. Here’s the list from last Friday: peas, broccoli, cucumbers (pickling and slicing), dill, green and yellow beans, beets and beet greens, radish, new garlic, celery, zucchini, onions, lettuce (8 kinds), high bush blueberries, carrots, summer cabbage, kale, tomatoes (ripe and green), and new potatoes.

The peas, broccoli, and ripe tomatoes sold out early. A large crop of summer cabbage is coming on fast. If you want to buy a bulk amount, consult with Matthew Culberson on Friday. A bulk buy would be great for making sauerkraut for winter, or for making big batches of coleslaw for potlucks and church picnics.

Cabbage is a member of the brassica family, which is now well accepted in medical literature for its cancer preventing compounds. In addition, cabbage is rich in vitamin K and anthocyanins needed for good mental functioning. Cabbage is high in sulphur needed for skin health.

Cabbage helps detoxify free radical and uric acid build up. Rich in potassium, cabbage helps to normalize blood pressure. The betalains in cabbage have anti-inflammatory properties. And, guess what; eating a whack of cabbage has been used since Roman times to reduce the hangover effect of immoderate drinking. But, of course, no one around here would have that problem!  You can find all this, and more, by Googling “cabbage medicinal benefits.”

The Woodstock Farm and Craft Market is open six days a week, but Friday at 8 AM is when local produce, fresh from Carleton County soil, rolls in.