Summer has officially arrived and today was the perfect summer day. I love this time of year when I travel through rural areas and the farms are bailing hay and cutting wheat, there is just something calming about it. I had planned to head north of Kansas City today but after double checking new vendor applications a little closer I realized I would be traveling down 71 highway again. For some reason I was thinking El Dorado Springs was north of the river.
After leaving Raytown, Mo I headed south to El Dorado Springs which is east of Nevada. I have never been through El Dorado Springs before and was surprised to find out it was a fairly good size town. I am always glad to find an abundance of restroom options since they are often very far and few between. Mike and his wife Krystal are new to growing for markets, they have always grown their own garden to provide food for their family and friends but never on a large scale. This year they decided to farm their 8 acres to sale at a farmers market. This is a big task considering Michal works full time and Krystal takes on line collage courses and takes care of their two adorable children. Michael was at his day job when I arrived so Krystal and the children walked with me through the fields. They are really keeping ahead of the weeds, everything looked wonderful. This year they planted mostly sweet corn, which should be ready to harvest any week now. They staggered their plantings but everything caught up so it might all be ready at the same time. In addition to corn they also planted water melons, cantaloupe, squash and green beans. The Williams family will be renting space at the Sunday farmers market if not this week definitely by the 5th of July.
I had to rethink my day so decided to head to Debbie and Hank Hubbard’s farm on the way back to Kansas City. The Hubbard’s have a few locations they farm. In the spring they mainly have bedding plants from their greenhouse at their home which is located in Adrian, Mo. Debbie also has a licensed kitchen where she cans pickles, pie fillings and tomatoes. Vendors who sell canned items have to complete a Better Processing Cource and send in samples of their products ph levels to be tested. By the time I made it to Adrian, Hank and Debbie were at their other location in Cleveland, MO which is about 26 miles from their home. This is the location where they grow tomatoes, mainly Jet Star and Beef Steak, and a huge amount of pumpkins. As we walked through the tomato field Hank showed me a few damaged tomatoes. Apparently wild turkeys like tomatoes but they don’t eat the whole thing just the middle. At their other location they also have peach, plum, nectarine, and cherry trees. The Hubbard’s are at the market most Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturday you will find them in the middle farmers shed in stalls 58 and 59, Sunday they are in the 1st farmer shed in stalls 18 and 19.
I won’t be visiting any farms next week since it is the 4th of July weekend and the holiday falls on a Friday. For all of you planning cookouts for next weekend sweet corn is now in season and field tomatoes are also starting to come on. I think I have a BLT in my future.
Sweet Corn Relish
· 6 ears of sweet corn
· 1 red bell pepper
· 1 red onion
· 2 Tbsp. minced flat leaf parsley
· ¾ cup sugar
· 2/3 cup cider vinegar
· 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
· 1 tsp. kosher salt
· ½ tsp. cracked pepper
· Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob and boil in salted water until tender.
· Drain then cool to room temperature
· Meanwhile, chop the pepper and onion then place in a large bowl
· Add the parsley, vinegar and spices. Stir in the corn and chill for several hours.
· Serves 4 to 6