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For locally grown produce head to Jasper’s Farmers Market

By Xavier Chatagnier

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Summer is here and its onion season, which is terrific because it’s also cucumber and potato season! I love a cucumber, onion and dill salad with vinegar. It’s low calorie, massively tasty and healthy too. Onions are high in vitamin C, B-6, folate and potassium.

Zach Hensen has onions—and I mean a ton of gorgeous onions. He planted 1,500 onions this year and they are ripe for the picking. Zach will also have cucumbers, squash, zucchini, patty pan squash, lettuce, Swiss chard, mushrooms, radishes, sugar snap peas, garlic and eggs. Whew, a veritable smorgasbord!

Jenny Fellenbaum (our awesome market manager) has beautiful squash and cucumbers. She had a table full of squash last weekend and sold out by 8:30 a.m.! The Johnsons have red new potatoes (think onion and dill again), eggs and probably squash.

My friend Karen takes great advantage of squash season and makes her squash casseroles in small foil tins and freezes them. I was lucky to be a beneficiary last year. Let me tell you how great her squash casserole was on a cold dreary winter day! Squash casseroles freeze like a dream and actually you can freeze extra chopped onions as well.

Big Ridge Beef is scheduled to be at the Jasper Farmers Market this Saturday June 8. They have really good grass-fed beef and pastured pork. They only come once a month, so bring a cooler. Jackie Carlisle won’t be at the market this Saturday but will be on June 14. Chef Tony Pisconeri plans to be at the market with his sourdough breads, focaccia and pizzetties. Irene has cinnamon rolls, cakes and pies.

Yes, Floyd brought back my bluebird house. It was meant to be a gift but it is too awesome to give away. His bird houses are exquisite works of art. There was a new potter at the market and my friends almost bought her out. Yes, of course, I had to buy a few pieces as well. It’s never too early to buy Christmas gifts.

We missed out on breakfast at 61 Main last weekend because we went back to Canton for Vivian’s best ever sorbet. Vivian will have my favorite Key Lime pie sorbet and coconut creme this week. Alas, we can’t do it all. This Saturday we are stocking up early at the Jasper market then heading northbound to the Ellijay market to see Donny and Carolyn Hunter. Donny will have beets, lettuce and squash. Fresh beets last forever in the refrigerator. After a quick visit with Donny we are heading back down for a 61 Main omelet.

Chad McKinney loaded Home Restaurant up last week. My lettuce just fizzled but Chad’s is going strong. John Lupi bought carrots, lettuce, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, cabbage, radishes and herbs from Chad. He also bought my first bucket of basil and dill. Stacey Arnold grows amazing micro greens and supplies all the local restaurants. Jenna of 61 Main, also supports our local farmers.

Our Jasper Farmers Market is the only 100 percent local market around. Our farmers are the real deal: If they didn’t grow it or make it, they can’t sell it! Jasper Farmers Market hours are Saturdays 7:30 a.m. until noon. It is in the park and ride lot, 1/2 mile westbound from downtown Jasper. We will soon have a Wednesday market starting June 19 from 2-5:30 p.m. Eat Local and Shop Local.

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