By CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN
Summer is in full swing. The time is now ripe to swing by your local farmers’ market to stock up on local, fresh, and nutritious foods.
The Frostville Farmer’s Market is situated on the beautiful grounds of Frostville Museum, a living history of 19th century Ohio. Customers can tour the various historic buildings while shopping the market, listen to the bands that play weekly and grab a bite to eat from the Frostville Kitchen or Elle and Cornelia’s food truck.
“We are in our 14th year and are growing by leaps and bounds. Currently, we have more than 50 vendors on the roster and average between 35 to 45 vendors each week,” Angela Obbish, market manager said. “New vendors come in almost weekly. There is a great mix of farmers and growers, food purveyors, artists and crafters. Four times a year, we hold an antique, vintage and farmers’ market event. We had one on June 15 that was a huge success. The upcoming ones will be held on July 20, Aug. 24 and Sept. 21.”
Obbish spoke with numerous vendors to ask what customers can find at the market and to inquire about what effects the weather has had on seasonal availability. Here are some of their responses.
Joey Rhoda of Lucky’s Loosestrife in Garfield Heights said that visitors to his booth at the Frostville Farmers’ Market can expect to find tomatoes, red candy onions, squash, assorted beans, peppers, blackberries, gold berries, ground cherries, cucumbers, plums, apples, possibly peaches and maybe the first melons in July through August.
“The early spring weather really caused some issues with my crops. They bloomed a solid six weeks earlier this year than the year before, which meant they were in full flower mode during two separate snow storms. Due to that, I lost most of the crop and barely have any peaches this year,” he said. “And then for the market garden, my greens are essentially trashed, tatsoi and bok choy bolted within one to three weeks of planting, making it good for nothing but compost. The large heads of lettuce I planned to offer on some of my first market days bolted and turned bitter during a week of straight nineties. On the other hand, crops like blueberries and beans all fruited super early and gave heavy harvests. So, there’s some good with the bad for this odd weather.”
“I always try to grow something new every year. One of my biggest passions is fruit, so naturally I wanted more in the gardens. I’m growing a gorgeous selection of heirloom melons and watermelons this year. Some of the watermelons, like Lemon Drop, have beautiful yellow skin hiding an even deeper yellow flesh, while some of the melons, like Crane and Sweet Freckles, have really cool speckled skin with bright orange flesh. Along with these, a few other new crops are gold berries, purple sugar snap peas and dragon tongue beans,” Rhoda added.
Debbie Anderson of A and D Gardens in Geneva said, “Everything is coming in early this year.” She will be selling blueberries, peaches, nectarines, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, corn, peppers, pickles, cabbage, onions, cantaloupe and watermelon in the next few weeks.
Tom Bollinger and Amanda Shalkhauser of Honest Farmers Produce in Grafton said that July visitors to the market can expect to find French Breakfast radishes, regular radishes, white radishes, red and golden beets, green and striped zucchini, yellow summer squash, carrots, green beans, yellow beans, assorted cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, lunchbox sweet peppers, and red and green okra.
In August, they will be bringing purple skin and purple flesh russet potatoes, purple skin and white flesh russet potatoes, German Butterball potatoes, red potatoes, Kennebec russet potatoes, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers and rutabaga to the market. There will also be green, yellow, red and purple sweet peppers, sweet banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, hot chili peppers, hot banana peppers, tabasco peppers and habanero peppers.
“The early spring weather helped establish plants early. Seeds with inherently low germination rates at cold temperatures will likely produce bumper crops this summer and fall,” Bollinger said. “While the early spring helped establish plants, no year is perfect, and we have experienced the loss of some of our tomatoes, which we did have to replace because of critters, storms early on and wind. We have been getting lucky with the rain recently, but we have had days in which we have had to hand water crops to keep them alive in the heat. The groundhogs and rabbits have been an issue this year, and we have lost some beets and beans to them. We also continue to struggle with insect predation on our squash crop. We use only organic insecticides, including beneficial insects, bacteria and fungi, which can be effective but aren’t perfect.”
“Even though we had a warm spring, you can’t plant too early because you never know if we’ll get a late frost and the crops will suffer,” Rachel Wiegand of Second Spring Farm in Grafton noted. She said that she will be bringing tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, a variety of peppers, kale, onions, garlic, eggplant, squash and zucchini to the July and August markets.
“We will have garlic, various types of onions, lettuce, potatoes and rhubarb,” Bill and Carol Kovacs of Dragonfly Farms and Provisions in North Olmsted said. “Crops were a bit slow in general, but garlic was actually early this year. We also have jams, apple butter, plants and flowers.”
Ken and Sandy Ressler own Elm Run Farms, a fifth-generation farm spanning 125 years in Orville. In addition to offering beef, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs and maple syrup, they have partnered with Triple Creek Farm to carry their lamb.
Kris and Evona Gaughan of Gaughan Bee Dancin’ in Medina, offer green beans, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, kohlrabi, kale, beets, zucchini, yellow squash and assorted herbs. “With the warmer weather and less rain, I was able to get the plants in the ground sooner,” Kris Gaughan said. “I was surprised to see mature vegetables already. The strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries were all early. We also have honey, whipped honey and honeycomb, along with beeswax candles and several other bee products.”
Earthly Delights Mushroom Company of Parma, operated by Colin Casteele and Zach Douglas, currently have Blue Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms, along with mushroom grow kits for each. They are working on growing a couple of additional varieties of mushrooms for the market.
Neal and Cathy Klabunde of Strongsville operate Dirty Fingernails Nursery, Westwood Honey Farm and Livin’ Greens Premium Microgreens. They grow many varieties of hardy perennials, hanging baskets and nutritious microgreens that they bring to the Frostville Market, along with honey, comb honey, habanero-infused honey, beeswax candles and pollen.
Rebecca Sakaley of Shady Acres Farm Ohio in Columbia Station brings beautiful floral bouquets to the market.
Paul Kawczak of Paul’s Plants in Seven Hills sells houseplants in a variety of repurposed containers and outdoor starter plants such as vegetables, herbs and specialty plants.
Erik Misenis of Art of Sharp Ohio in Grafton, a knife sharpener, is another regular vendor at the market.
Frostville Farmers’ Market, 24101 Cedar Point Rd. in North Olmsted, is open outdoors from May through October on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The indoor market in the events barn takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, November through April. Visit the market’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/frostvillemarket for updates.
Mushrooms & Beans (serves 4-6)
(courtesy of Earthly Delights Mushroom Co.)
Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
½ lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 15-oz. cans of pinto beans, drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chipotle powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground black pepper
3 C. of vegetable or mushroom broth
14-oz. can of diced tomatoes
Salt
Olive oil
Method:
In a pot or dutch oven, cook the onions and mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil until they are brown and the mushrooms are soft.
Add garlic and spices and let cook for another minute.
Add pinto beans, tomatoes and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour or until the liquid reduces somewhat, stirring every 15 minutes. If you want the beans thicker, cook for another 30 minutes or until the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
Have any leftovers? Try making refried beans.
You can pan fry these in some oil and mash them up really good. We promise they will be miles beyond any canned refrieds you have ever tried.