Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Second Week of Farmer’s Market is just in time for Mother’s Day

            Week two of the Zanesville Farmer’s Market is upon us.  Make a special date with your mother to come to the Muskingum County Fairgrounds on Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon.  Picking out the perfect hanging basket or flat of annuals is the perfect way to show her just how much she is appreciated.  And don’t stop there—actually helping her clean out flower beds and working together to plant them when you get home is an even better gift to your mother.  Ohio is known to have late frost after Mother’s Day.  So, if you do go ahead and put in tender annuals, be sure to check the forecast and cover them if there is any chance of frost.
            The first week of Farmer’s Market was a quite a success.  Many customers and vendors had not seen one another since the end of last October.  Obviously, there was a good bit to catch up on.  The most prevalent topic of conversation was, of course, the harsh winter and how glad everyone was to be back at the fairgrounds on a fine spring day.
            Mrs. Cherry and I discussed how the fruit trees had faired with the late freezes.  She thought that their apple crop would be decent but sadly informed me that there will be no peaches in the state of Ohio this year.  This sad news makes me wish I had canned more peaches last summer.  I think we are down to the last one or two jars in the cellar.
            She and I also discussed how disappointed we were in the state of our herb gardens.  Many herbs are perennial and supposed to be winter hardy but this year many did not make it through the cold temperatures at all or were greatly stunted.  Most of my large sage bush died.  Only one small branch showed signs of green, so I trimmed off all of the dead, hoping this small portion will make a comeback.  All of my lavender died as well as my thyme.  If your herb beds suffered the same, you can find replacement plants at the farmer’s market and it shouldn’t take long for them to flourish.
            Never fear, though, no polar vortex could dampen the spirit of my mint patch.  We were still able to harvest plenty of this aggressive herb to make our annual Mint Juleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby this past Saturday.  Here is an easy and very tasty side dish featuring mint. (  I would probably use spearmint for this one, but peppermint would work as well.  

Cannellini Beans in Mint Marinade

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and well drained (or use 3 1/2 cups freshly cooked beans.)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup finely minced fresh mint leaves
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Drain beans into colander and rinse well until no more foam appears.  Then let beans drain until they are fairly dry. (Sometimes I blot dry with paper towels if they don't seem to be dry enough.)
While beans drain, finely chop mint. In a plastic bowl big enough to hold beans, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in mint, then add beans and gently stir until beans are coated. Allow this to marinate at room temperature for several hours before serving.  The beans will keep in the fridge for several days, but let come to room temperature again and stir before serving leftovers.

Planting potatoes!

Cool arrowhead (or spearhead) I dug up while planting potatoes.  Best one I've ever found!

Cool painting of my onion patch by my artist friend Nora Daniel.  (Trust me, this photo doesn't do this sweet little painting justice.)

My niece and nephew came to visit from Cincinnati.  I love these two!

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