Market Scene: Strawberry Season in Ohio
There is now more food than I can eat. Last Market Scene in the Midwest was paltry at best, but now the produce is piled high and shopping requires a little bit of restraint. This time the fiancée and I had to be even more careful—while we normally just head over a few blocks to the North Market in downtown Columbus for our weekly dose of fresh vegetables, this time we biked five miles up to the Clintonville Farmers' Market and were limited to only buying what out backs would fit and support for the ride home. It wasn't quite the harvest, but the difference in selection between a month ago and now is striking. (It wasn’t until we took off our helmets that we realized that we had also forgotten the camera, and since the market closed in an hour, we were limited to some grainy camera phone pictures of the actual market.)
First and foremost, the most exciting find was the enormous piles of strawberries—they seemed to pour out of every stall. Many looked fine, but Folck Family Farm just northeast of Springfield looked the best. They pick all their berries by hand, believing machines tend to bruise the fruit. The strawberries were definitely worth the care. They were bright and loaded with flavor—miles away from the grocery store version. The hardest decision was how many to buy.
Our next stop was one of my favorite farms in the famers’ market scene, The Wayward Seed in Marysville, Ohio. Because of their focus on heirloom varieties, I always encounter something I’ve quite heard of before. This time it was hakurei turnips and pac choi (which, I suppose, is essentially the same as bok choi).
I also picked up some beautiful garlic scapes and daikon radishes from Just This Farm in Galloway, Ohio. They were selling heaps of the garlic scapes, which they said could be chopped up and substituted for regular garlic.
Our final stop was at OMC/ Smokin T’s from Jefferson, Ohio. They specialize in smoking their meats. But we were there for their hormone-free and steroid-free chicken.
We did also got a smoked bone for our dog to chew on. He’s always excited to see what we bring home for him.
Seasonal Produce Guide
In Season Now
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.