Markets: Cambridge 28th & Hamilton 29th September

It will be a pleasure to write this week’s blog because I am delighted to announce that the Spring stalls are returning like the first of the swallows.
Fancy some strawberries? Can you believe it? Still only September but you can get the first of the Strawberries from Kane’s Strawberries at Cambridge and Hamilton. Rebecca from Expresso Coffee was lucky enough to get the first taste of the season and as you can see from the expression on her face, it was pretty good! Still only the start of the crop though so if you are craving strawberries after such a long absence, you had better get in early. Word is be there prior to 9.30am or else you may miss out.
Big Berry is back with their delicious strawberry and raspberry ice cream but their strawberries are still a few weeks away. They have a small supply of spring vegetables too.
Hooray. The avo crop is going to be fantastic this year thanks to the mild winter. AVODGLADE ORCHARD’s Colleen Topham sent me their first e-mail of the new season saying that they will be in Cambridge from now on with their early Hass Avocados and at Hamilton we will have ROYACKERS AVOCADOS from now until the beginning of winter. Both growers have a range of varieties of avocados to keep the supply up throughout the next 8 months.
If you are into juicing it is a good idea to add some avocado to your juice as this makes it more substantial and ‘creamier’.It also adds essential omega rich oils boosting the magic antioxidants, which we have been told could be the secret of eternal youth?? – well, worth a shot anyhow.
Hooray again. Here is another spring favorite. Asparagus is due back in the markets on the 5th and 6th of October. Check out the Market Newsletter for some interesting background on asparagus. Don’t forget that perennial spring treat – Poached Salmon with Char grilled Asparagus and New Potatoes followed by a dish of Fresh Strawberries and Cream. – Scrape me off the ceiling somebody!
Ian Kerr (The Lettuce Man) wants you to consider trying out his hydroponically grown Watercress if it is new to you. Many market customers have been converted to the joys of this 'super food'. Watercress has more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals, and is brimming with antioxidants, which fight free radicals and can help to protect against ageing and cancer. Gram for gram, watercress contains more Vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folic acid than bananas.
All that and it tastes delicious! The leaves have a gentle peppery heat, which comes from the plant's mustard oils, while the stalks are succulent and cool.
Come to the yellow trailer at the market and try some watercress this weekend. It's a great way to add some interest to a salad or use it on its own as a punchy burst of green on the plate.
We have a new food stall at the Market called Bangin’ Bangers. They are grilling up a gorgeous Soggy Bottom sausage and serving it up in a real Volare bread roll with various toppings and sauces. The aroma wafting across towards my stall is divine and this has just got to be the poshest hot dog you have ever tried. It’s also an opportunity to try out some of the different flavours of Jono’s handmade sausages before you commit to buying you own package from the Soggy Bottom stall.

Seedlings are now available from Roach’s but as mentioned in last week’s blog the popular Organic Herbs and Seedlings aka Denise and Ian are not returning to the market this year. We know there is a demand for naturally grown seedlings and stallholders such as a Jen’s Plants are working behind the scenes to meet this demand. We are hoping that Kisten from Fletts seedlings will be back with her selection of vegetables and flowers and Locavore should be returning once their supply of organic seedlings increases. I will keep you posted as soon as I know more.

I just love this stall. There is a good variety of plants lovingly grown by Jen Cotterill and I think the prices are very reasonable indeed. She has a great range of ornamentals and I know for a fact that she is growing on Passion Fruit seedlings and these will be available around November.
In the meantime get that soil turned over and start planting your own antioxidant and nutrient dense goodies. Failing that, the Farmers’ Markets are your best source of quality local fruit, vegetables and flowers, meat and fish, bread and baking.
See you at the market.

Meg Daly
Celtic Cuisine