Thursday, August 25, 2005

A New Market Experience

I went to check out the Windsor Farmer's Market ( ) where I will be doing a cooking demonstration at their Tomato and Pepper Festival on September 18th. I wanted to meet Glenda Castelli, the market manager and introduce myself.
It is a smallish market that has some good produce - lots of great tomatoes, and friendly farmers. Yet, at this week night market there were as many prepared food booths as farmers. It was the last week and it seems like people attend to have dinner and sit out on the lawn and socialize. I suspect that the Sunday morning market I will attend will be different .
I find the "market' world interesting. Each market is its own story with new characters each time. This time I met Tom Noble of Armstrong Valley Farms from a small town called Guerneville. His heirloom tomatoes were large and something to behold. His melons were ripe and ready. Tom had somehow managed to misplace his tags and couldn't tell which tomatoes or melons were which. They probably all tasted great so it doesn't matter but some people want to know what they are eating. In the back of Tom's pick up there was a box of sauce or juice tomatoes, large heirlooms with small defects or bruises. Most farmer's will have some of these and if you are ready to process large quantities of tomatoes and don't want to pay top price, just ask around. You might be amazed at what you can get. Remember that the farmer's goal is to go home with money and no product. Help the farmers out when you can. It'll be good for both of you. Treat your farmers with respect and they will do the same.

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