Thursday, July 22, 2010

Market Roundup: Buckman and Hillsdale

All I can say is, I'm sure glad I was wearing my sunglasses. And it wasn't because the sun was streaming down for the first time in several days.

There I was, innocently walking down the aisle at the Buckman Farmers' Market, when I turned a corner and was nearly knocked over by the brilliant, fluorescent glow coming from the tomatoes at the Denison Farms stand. So bright it looked like each one was lit from within, they would have made stunning party lights strung along a wire.

In hues of yellow, orange-yellow, red, purple and green, these heirlooms were so gorgeous I was grabbing them up by the armload before sanity returned and I limited myself to two each. (Or was it three?) I know the tomatoes in my garden won't be ready for at least another four to six weeks, so it's good to know where I can get my fix. I just need to remember to bring my shades.

Details: Buckman Farmers' Market (formerly Eastbank). Thurs., 3-7 pm. At SE 20th and Salmon in the parking lot of Hinson Baptist Church

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The Hillsdale Farmers' Market has always had a reputation as being a cook's market with its impressive roster of many of the highest-quality vendors in the city, some of them exclusive to this market. A regular at several other markets in town but a relative newcomer to Hillsdale, Lyle Stanley of Gee Creek Farm can be counted on to have right-out-of-the-earth produce and to be wearing his trademark Indiana Jones-style hat. Like many market vendors, he's been experimenting with what are known as value-added products, in his case flours and flour mixes that are ground from grain grown in the area. On the day I visited, he was showcasing kamut, spelt and whole wheat bread flour, along with packages of a wheat-free five grain cereal and whole wheat pancake mix. Reports are that these are selling well, and you can expect the offerings to expand.

Details: Hillsdale Farmers' Market. Sun., 10 am-2 pm. At the intersection of SW Capitol Hwy. and Sunset Blvd. in the parking lot of Wilson High School behind the Hillsdale Shopping Center.

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