Hello fellow eaters:

This past Sunday evening, instead of doing laundry, instead of sweeping up the dog hair taking over my floor, instead of putting away the piles of bills and receipts and call sheets from the past two months, instead of cooking food to take to work for lunch for this week, I went with my neighbor to a cherry tree behind a foreclosed and empty house and picked sour cherries. It was the easiest fruit picking I have ever been involved in: very ripe, easy to reach, and tons of them; it was cherry picking heaven. We picked about five gallons! We proceeded to make some jam (not enough, it turns out! Half of it is already committed to relatives and friends), and we continued pitting while the jam processed; indeed, we continued pitting cherries until past my bedtime. The rest of the cherries simply got frozen for making pies later in the year. I burned my finger and tongue tasting it, but the jam is delicious. However, this jam making session revives an old mystery that began with a cherry tree now several years gone: where is the other pollinator? Several years ago when the pruning and canning guild first came to be, there was a fabulous cherry tree behind a neighbor house. It was a good producer, but it was very tall, so it required both courage and ingenuity to pick the cherries. That wonderful tree had a split trunk due to pruning choices (or neglect) in the distant past, and several years ago a big part of the tree came down after a windstorm and the rest had to be cut down. I had always wondered where the other cherry tree was, since a cherry tree wants a buddy for pollination. So, we have found another cherry tree probably close enough to be the pollinator, but the original cherry tree has been gone for several years now, and here is this dwarf cherry tree absolutely full of cherries. So, there might be yet another tree! And, all of these trees are on different properties, so it makes me wonder whether the folks who planted these trees were working together and maximizing fruit across several yards, or whether several different families planted tree that pollinate each other purely by accident. Whether strategy or dumb luck was involved, i have been the beneficiary of their efforts, so here’s to putting off the chores in favor of jam. Ask around amongst your neighbor and see if anyone has a tree that needs a buddy or fruit in need of sugar and heat and jars or simply a partner in crime for jam-making.

– Julie

Saturday @ GSFM

Cooking Demo

Mark Ritchie from Wooden Knight will be featuring his own new dry spice rubs as well as other market produce in a slider tasting. The demo starts at noon–show up for cooking ideas and samples!

Vendor Highlights

EcoVillage will have greens (arugula, collards, tuscan kale, red russian kale, curly kale, mixed cooking greens, spinach); green onions, radishes, kohlrabi, strawberries, blackberries, and herbs (basil, dill, parsley, sage). They will have recipes available for kohlrabi and ham bake, tabouli, tuscan kale salad (samples this week), beets and kale with feta cheese, creamed spinach or collards.

Wooden Knight will be bringing their signature salad mixes, cilantro, red beets, beet greens, “Just Desserts” homemade cookies (the Strawberry Breakfast cookie has been highly popular), and their dry spice rubs. They will be featuring the spice rubs in the slider tasting that they will be doing for this week’s chef demo. They will also be making various side items from what else will be available at the market this week.

Anita Nooneman from Bethany Church will have the lovely South African textiles, jewelry, and utensils, and Rose will have plants to sell (I would like to note as an aside that the success rate of her plants in my yard is very high, in spite of the borderline neglect they suffer).

Shelby’s Soy Candles will have candles, oils, and soy bars.

Dawghouse Bakery will be back with their wide variety of fresh, homemade dog treats.

& more! See you Saturday.