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Oak Park Farmer's Market 6/22/02

Vital Information | Jun 22, 200211:46 AM

It was a schvitzy day at the market. Summer fruits started showing up with the humidity. Barry’s Berries even had some blueberries and sweet cherries showed up at a few other places. Although my mom said she bought some peaches and nectarines at the Division Street Market, the Oak Park Farmer’s Market Police would not allow such contraband fruit into our village. Still, it seems a lot like summer on this second day of summer.

Our first stop as always, was Nichols. Last night, I learned from Ms. VI that I had horribly mis-reported the state of their strawberry crop (and speaking of mis-reporting, I think I have been calling the fine Michigan fruit/veg people Stibbes when in fact they are Skibbe's). Yes, Nichols would have strawberries this year, only late harvested types she corrected me as we were talking farmer’s market last night, and yes, they were there today. Five varieties. I spent the whole morning making the family memorize with me the names of the strawberries: honeyeye, jewel, allstar, latestar and earliglow (with an “I”), although Hannah insisted through the car ride home that I told her to remember morning glory*. All of the strawberries were petite. We sampled the jewels, “extremely sweet” said the Condiment Queen in her usual verbose manner. We purchased them and the earliglow although by the time we got home, I have no idea which is which.

We picked up quite a few other products from Nichols today. Tons of green things still. We grabbed swiss chard and bok choy from a selection that included some Chinese spinach, kale, something that looked like maple tree leafs and probably a few other things. Tons also of pea things, and we shelled out for some sweet peas (not bad at 2 pints for $5). Per Hannah, we also got some snow peas. Tons also of broccoli including some purpled-headed, but since we have not got around to cooking last week’s florets, we passed. In fact there were plenty of things more we passed on this week: daikon radishes, pricey dried mushrooms (honey-something), a very leafy kind of cabbage, various lettuce leaves. It is however, so nice to know it is there for next time. We did get two kohlrabis, one of each hue today to pass to Zim for some Kashmiri magic.

The last spears of asparagus beckoned to Ms. VI. We got ours at Barry even though another stand promised theirs had been picked only 17 hours earlier. Our remaining purchase, early, early zucchini, which called out to Ms. VI because they were still dirty.

The donuts were fine today but not very fresh tasting. I mean not fresh as in not still warm. I wonder when they were actually made. The coffee was a bit stronger than last week, but someone from Hayes should still drop by and adjust some setting as the java being served from their beans each weeks is not quite the best advertisement for their product. The kids split a frosty canister of apple cider, they’ve been buzzed the rest of the morning.

See you next week.

*After ReneG had memorized the entire 99 item late night menu at Triple Crown Seafood, the least I could do was try and remember the names of the Nichols’ strawberry varieties.

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