Scenes from the farmers market

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I hadn’t been to the local farmers market, The Capitol Market, all season long.

It’s just that I have had lots of veggies come my way from my father-in-law’s garden, and I sometimes order from the Monroe Farm Market, which delivers to Charleston.

I think late summer and early fall are the absolute best times to visit the Capitol Market, though. The market is absolutely bursting with vegetables from the peak of the season, plants, flowers and farm products. I stopped by on my way home from work to check the selection and price a few things I plan on getting in the next few weeks–winter squash for storing, a box of apples to make into apple sauce and can, and some plants.

I found a true feast for the eyes. Beautiful late day light, so many colors and textures, and some really great people to talk to.

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Garlic from one of my favorite producers. I’ve never bought their garlic before, but they have fabulous hydroponic tomatoes that are available before any other fresh tomatoes–key when you are longing for that first ripe tomato in May, and the field tomatoes won’t be ready until the end of June.

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The booths were all fully stocked with fall farm products; Indian corn, winter squash and pumpkins. A lot of people seem to buy this stuff to decorate their porches with it. I buy the winter squash and pumpkins to store. Last year, I had a Long Island Cheese squash in my garage until February. They are supposedly some of the best for storing.

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I chuckled because I knew a lot of these varieties. I think it’s because I’m a seed catalog nerd. I pour over those in January and February when the snow is flying. Guatemalan Banana squash, blue hubbard, cushaw, turk’s turban (not in this pic). But there was one I didn’t recognize.

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This big bright orange boy in the middle. It was like the color was fake or something it was so bright. Gorgeous!

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Of course, fall produce and products aren’t the only things left. There were still tons of tomatoes, peppers, beets, zucchini, green beans, eggplants and the like. August and September are prime months for the full summer bounty.

Look at these beautiful October beans! So pretty!

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I walked back to my car through the inside. It’s open year-round. There are so many neat things for sale inside. There are permanent booths selling a variety of things; a meat shop, a seafood supplier, a wine and cheese shop, a local choclatier, and a produce supplier that carries lots of neat dried beans, pastas, olive oils, dried goods and other goodies.

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It’s hard not to be in love with this place. At the end of October, the produce booths outside will clear out to make way for Christmas tree farms to bring in Christmas trees and other evergreen products. Then, the outside booths will be empty until spring flowers are ready about April. I’ll be back next week to pick up a box of apples to can and probably a rosemary plant to put in the ground.

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