Farmers Market Report
This year has proven to be a "fruit" year. Peach trees are so loaded with ripening fruit, their limbs are bending nearly to the ground. Some varieties are losing limbs as they break under the weight. Apples, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and pears have been abundantly on display. Applesauce, jelly, preserves, cobblers and pies are filling local homes with home-cooked aromas.
Sweet corn is still available. Local watermelon and cantaloupe, vine-ripened and fresh-picked, from the growers in Conesville and Columbus Junction, are at their peak. Cabbage, chilies, green beans, potatoes, turnips, kohlrabi, squash, onions, carrots, green peppers are all in good supply. A huge selection of fresh, vine-ripened, juicy tomatoes make up beautiful displays of red, yellow, golden and even purple. A selection of locally grown garlic varieties attest to the skills of growers intent on supplying for a diversity of tastes.
The availability of so many different types of tomatoes, chilies, garlic, cilantro and fresh fruit is a reminder that the date of the 14th annual Washington Farmers Market "Tasters' Choice Salsa Contest" is this Thursday evening.
Salsa contestants (expert or beginner) need to furnish a quart of their own, homemade salsa by 4:45 p.m., Thursday evening, Aug. 29. Please label each quart with the salsa's name, maker's name, address, and heat level (mild, medium, hot). Numbered bowls for tasting and chips will be furnished.
Tasters (everybody) will sample an array of flavors and textures. Past years' contests have produced many choices for top salsa: Peach, blueberry, tomato, tomatillo, mild, hot, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber and black bean are a few examples. Double-dipping will not be allowed. After sampling, tasters will be asked to vote for their choice of best and second-best salsa.