By Tim Brelig and Kellie Diamond, skyfarmersmarket.com
Friday, August 10th, 2012 10:00 AM CST
Summertime at the SKY Farmers Market is the season for a wealth of luscious summer fruits and vegetables along with an intriguing variety of specialty items.
With dozens of growers sharing the same market, there’s a delicate balance between competition and cooperation at a farmers market. Good will and mutual respect as well as pride in the quality and integrity of our products and our market fuel our cooperation, while growers compete by distinguishing themselves in the market.
O’Daniels Farm distinguishes itself as a year-round producer of just about every kind of seasonal produce, including pasture-raised meat and eggs, all of it naturally raised without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Right now they’ve got a great selection of sweet and hot peppers, fresh cut herbs, and sweet corn among their many offerings at the market.
Groce Farm offers a great selection of melons – including honeydews, cantaloupes, specialty melons, and watermelons – as well as many unusual, heirloom, and old-fashioned produce varieties.
Plano Produce has fresh shelled black-eyed peas, apples, and pears amongst their wide range of fresh summer produce.
Au Naturel Farm grows a variety naturally-grown, chemical-free produce year-round. They raise meat and eggs, and bake artisanal and whole grain breads and scones in their new bakery. They love to dabble in the unusual and exotic, having introduced locally grown ginger to Bowling Green last season.
Coleman Brothers Farm has added meat and eggs to their produce selection this season, as well as a variety of nice heirloom tomatoes.
Red River Produce grows all of your local summer favorites including melons, okra, beans, and squash. In the fall they bring a beautiful array of all sorts of pumpkins to the market.
Along with many other small and large, mixed, niche, and specialty producers, all of these farms come together to create a distinctive local, seasonal, and sustainable marketplace in Bowling Green, each providing its own special contribution to the community and to you.
See you there!
One of the most reliable indicators of the time of year is the length of the days – lengthening from spring into summer, growing gradually shorter as winter approaches.
Many plants regulate their flowering based on the day-length, growing vegetatively until a specific photoperiod (hours of light) triggers flowering. They bloom reliably at the same time year after year by responding to the photoperiod. This is why some flowers can’t be forced to bloom out of season even if the temperature and other weather factors are suitable. They respond entirely to the light cycle.
Commercial growers use this photoperiodism to their advantage. They manipulate the hours of light plants receive either by using shades to block light during long days, or lights to lengthen the photoperiod during short days. In this way, flowering can be precisely controlled. Poinsettias and mums are both manipulated in commercial greenhouses by controlling the light cycle to bring them to market at a certain time.
Another way of managing the day-length response in plants is through breeding. For instance, some cut flower sunflower varieties are bred to be “day-length neutral” so that they can be grown year-round in greenhouses without being forced into early bloom by short winter days.
The main crop of strawberries, the June-bearers (which are more May-bearing in Kentucky), produce a heavy spring crop of berries then stop flowering and fruiting as the days lengthen. They spend the summer producing vegetative growth to support next season’s fruit. Day-neutral varieties don’t care about the photoperiod and continue producing flowers and fruit throughout the summer.
Although they will continue producing fruit throughout the summer, day-neutral strawberries require some pampering to keep them productive outside of the normal strawberry season. Excessive heat and humidity, drought, fast-growing weeds, insects and diseases all work against strawberry production in the summer. But a continuous supply of luscious strawberries throughout the growing season is certainly a strong temptation, and a reward that easily repays the extra effort.
JD Bakery and Cafe Serving Up Gold Rush Casserole, Baked Oatmeal with Peaches and Cream and Pancakes & Sausage Saturday at SKY Farmer’s Market. Fan their page and get down there Tue – Fri: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sat: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm. They will serve the breakfast from 7:00 am till 12:00pm! Also, fan them on facebook for more updates. Also, fan SKY Farmer’s Market facebook page while you are at it.