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Farm Freshness

Farm Freshness

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell A long-time Farmers Market participant, Donna Teter, has lots of variety among her sale items.

ELKINS — Summer Saturday mornings in Elkins offer excitement and activity almost as soon as the sun peeks over the mountains and casts a red glow among the streaming yellow bands of sunlight. A loud whistle in mid-morning affirms a train arrival, but this is not all that is sweeping into the town’s Depot area. Another Farmers Market is opening with its weekly fare.

Extending their open Saturdays this year until September’s end, purchases can be made from 8 a.m. until noon. Since rains got area gardens off to a late start, now may be one of the best times to assure a wider selection of vegetables.

Several vendors bring sweet corn, peppers, half-runner green beans, beets, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes usually garden-ripened and gathered the day before coming to market. We do not have to examine each item to see if it was sent across the country from California or beyond.

Additionally, one will often find honey, spices, herbs, plant starters, assorted nuts, fresh eggs, and even cold butchered meats ready for roasting. With peaches, apples, and berries available, one has difficulty going home unprepared to make a fruit pie or cobbler for the evening meal. I would not rule out members of the pumpkin patch joining the event during these last weeks.

Most of those who participate in the Market’s sales are also excellent crafters and it is often the case that hand-stitched pocketbooks, aprons and jewelry allow for gift shopping while stopping by each seller’s location.

Area honey producers find several buyers each Saturday.

Another desired feature is the availability of baked goods such as banana or zucchini breads with or without icing, apple pies, candies, cinnamon rolls, assorted cookies, muffin bread or peanut butter cake with rich peanut butter icing. Old-fashioned Party Mix can also be found. All of these items will be looking for your appetite.

One can quickly assess that those who have been loyal to the Farmers Market organization are certainly not one-dimensional. They collectively have an assortment of talents and they take initiative to bring to the market foods and fancies people enjoy eating and owning.

These area garden growers, who have dutifully risen before dawn on most Summer Saturdays to offer these goods, deserve high commendation for their regular attendance. In return, we must not forget them as they hope to have a successful last few weeks to sell their produce.

Enjoy a walk to the Elkins Depot during the next few Saturdays. The air will have that cool, crisp, Autumn feel and you will be rewarded with new and different foods only requiring some salt, pepper and a little butter when your return home.

After all, we live in West Virginia, and never forget that there are some pleasures here for which others can only wish. And, if you have good fortune, as I always do, several of your good friends will be there making purchases and you can share in some lively conversation. You will realize as you return home that Saturday has started very well and promises to be a perfect day.

The market’s colorful displays accent autumn’s turning tree-tops.