The mornings are actually cool now, as we are headed into the best weather of the year. Recent rains have revitalized all the autumn crops, and even second-growth zinnias and coxcombs are making an appearance.
These beauties are from the Downtown SFC Farmers Market at Republic Square. It’s Official: 2 Happy Children Farm does indeed have a fall crop of sweet corn. As far as I am concerned this is a total miracle - the ears are big, the kernels are sweet, and it’s very fresh; I tasted an ear at the market and it tasted like it was picked that morning. Farmer John and family will have it for approximately three more weekends. The soft, red persimmons are finally here, and Lightsey Farms has them at nearly all area markets, along with hard Texas pears, firm green Asian persimmons, and okra. The hard Texas pears are wonderful, crisp but sweet, and perfect for baking and fruit butter. Sometimes the Texas pears are lacking in flavor, but not this crop. Dad’s Granola has a special new flavor for just this week: Mixed Pecan. Sweetened with both agave nectar and maple syrup, and loaded with Texas pecans, it’s decadent.
Several vendors at all markets are selling the fall crop of field peas (black-eyed, crowder, and cream). Lightsey Farms has them for sale downtown, and STAR Market has them at Barton Creek; I believe Fruitful Hill has them as well. Pumpkins, both Sugar Pie and Jack-O-Lantern, are making an appearance. They are not the easiest squash to grow in this climate, but 2 Happy Children Farm, STAR Market, and a few others have managed. As a special bonus, pumpkin prices are lower at the Farmers Markets than at the more pricey area grocery stores. The ducks are molting, and that means fewer duck eggs; it is such a drop in production, that Munkebo Farm (Austin’s main supplier of duck eggs) is mainly selling their eggs at the Downtown SFC Market on Saturday. They may still be selling duck eggs to Central Market, but there have been none at Central Market when I have gone. If you want to be sure to get your fix of duck eggs, head Downtown. If Munkebo has none, Countryside Farm, who also sell Downtown, often has some. Cake and Spoon Bakery is doing a great business in Chelsea Buns these cool mornings, along with their Double GInger Scones, mini quiches, and tiny pies. This Saturday at the Downtown SFC Market (and the Cedar Park Market) they will also have seasonal Apple Cinnamon Scones, Cherry Frangipane Tarts, and Baby Pumpkin Cakes with Caramel Cream Cheese. Full Quiver Farm will be selling a limited run of Gruyere cheese, which is so perfect melted onto French Onion Soup. They also have a wonderful new batch of fermented sauerkraut, which is delicious served with IO Ranch Lamb's Rosemary Sausage.
Dewberry Hills Farm (Really Good Chicken™) will only be at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market this Saturday. They are running low on chickens to sell, partly because all the goldang chefs around town are snapping up their birds. (Well, I never!) Good thing Dewberry Hills is expanding (that new chicken house has got to be about done...) Johnson’s Backyard Garden has a new crop of sweet potatoes this weekend. Farmer Johnson also has lettuce, which is getting more plentiful as the heat wears off; Animal Farm (Downtown and Triangle) has lovely bags of baby lettuce and mesclun mix, and everybody’s got arugula.
If you just love Vital Farms blue eggs, they will have a new batch of them this weekend.
What is Jesse Griffiths cooking up this weekend?
Breakfast and Lunch at the Market
Shrimp, Okra and Chaurice Sausage Gumbo with parsley and rice; Pork and Dried Fruit Tamal wrapped in collard greens with green chili salsa and an egg; Sprouted Wheat Pancake with persimmons, pears, apples, and pecan butter; Machacado and Egg Taco with green chili salsa, cilantro, and onion; Apple Shrub Sweet and sour apple soda; and Cafe a la Olla.
The Dai Due Butcher Shop will be selling Chorizo Verde, their most popular product, this weekend ($11/lb.), as well as large Pork and Dried Fruit Tamales (4 for $20).
This is a crazy time of year, with summer produce still producing, and winter crops starting to dribble in. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding eggplant, arugula, basil, peppers, lettuce, field peas, winter squash, summer squash, okra, persimmons, pears, onions, kale, new potatoes, sweet potatoes, cilantro, pumpkins, and cucumbers.
See you at the Market!
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