Spring! As in strawberries appeared for the first time at Oak Park. With several stands selling strawberries and asparagus we had a little Chrismas theme going. Once again, a shopper had two choices in strawberries: strawberry or honeyoye*/primetime/earlyglow/jewel. That is, one could buy strawberries from any of the Michigan vendors like Skibbes, Krug or Barry's Berries and get a basket of strawberries, or one could go to Nichols and choose from an assortment of sizes, shapes and flavors. Mrs. Nichols let the Condiment Queen sample a bunch, although by the time we get home we never remember which is which.
The most interesting new vendor at Oak Park is an organic vendor called Blue School House Farms. They are a small outfit near Peoria run by a young couple. During the week, she works a day job while he tends to the farm. On Saturday, they bring all they harvest, along with a crawling baby to Oak Park. They have a slight advantage of geography over the rest of the vendors--I know no one else this far south. We'll see what that added heat does for them. They are marketing some interesting heirloom things. I mentioned their spotted lettuce last week. This week, they had these giant stalks of broccoli. They looked like something a bride in Berkley would carry down the aisle. They also had some golden raddishes that I purchased. I would be remiss if I did not also mention that they had fancy strawberries too, not as many types as Nichols, but types. Blue Schoolhouse Farms presents their food in a series of crates that really showoff the foods. I mean it totally lured me into those radishes.
Nichols had brocoli too, abit normal size and the first sugar snaps. Nothing else new. Still a lot of filler, plants, soap, dried fruit, very old apples, filling out the stalls. Contrary to last week's rumor, a commercial quality stand seems to have snuck back in. In the SE corner, not nearly as big as before, but there was a very aggressive group of tables selling oh so round and red tomatoes, button and portobello mushroom and pencil asparagus. The only thing missing then, is our Avedon-made-famous honey seller.
See you next week!
*Nichols had strawberries labeled "honeyoye". At one point, when we were talking berries with Mrs. Nichols, we asked about that. Mrs. Nichols said they were supposed to be honeyeye, but one of her workers could not read her writing. Well, maybe her worker knew something, because on the linked website, there is a varital named honeyoye and none named honeyeye.