I always enjoy visiting the Spring Park Farmers Market whenever I’m in Tuscumbia, Alabama on a Thursday afternoon. Last Thursday, July 21, I stopped by for the second time this summer.
Participation by farmers and other vendors is down this year—and that disappoints me. I had hoped to buy more sourdough bread from the Red Gingham Gourmet but she didn’t have a tent last Thursday. Pat of Pat’s Jelly (Leighton) was also missing.
The five farmers present offered up a beautiful array of fresh produce, flowers and herbs. Peaches, corn and peas seemed to be at the height of production. But there was plenty more to choose from. Tomatoes, blueberries. Okra is just starting to come in so look for that—if you’re early enough.
Bad farming conditions may have contributed to overall low participation. First there was drought, then heavy rains. Then unpredictable rains. An unusually hot May and June didn’t help production. Northwest Alabama has dealt with especially unpleasant heat and humidity this summer and that doesn’t help productivity. When it gets too hot, blossoms don’t produce fruit. The threat of a big thunderstorm likely hurt last Thursdays public turnout. The storm stalled out over Florence, though, and never made it across the Tennessee River to downtown Tuscumbia.
All of that aside, I enjoyed Kevin Kilburn’s cooking demonstration last Thursday. Kevin made corn cakes from fresh corn, a black bean salsa, and combined those items with grilled chicken for a healthy chicken taco-like entreé. Everyone loved them. I’ll cover Kevin’s demonstration in a separate post. Look for it tomorrow by midday.