Monday Morning Farmer's Market

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It's July 2nd and I'm finally able to come up for a breath of air, albeit hot, humid, Midwestern air! I'm thankful for the opportunity to return to the simple things that I enjoy, like visiting a local farmers market on Monday morning. It's been a couple of weeks but this morning, at 7 a.m., I grabbed my bags (probably should have grabbed the camera too...sorry about that) and headed over to peruse the produce and pick up strawberries for jam.

 I needed beans and lettuce as we're "between crops" in our potager. New red potatoes with fresh dill and lemon are a staple in our summer menu and bi-color sweet corn is amazing right now!  As I made my way through the market to my favorite purveyor of berries I began to notice the absence of strawberries at virtually all of the vendors.

I finally made my way to the last vendor from Michigan and, thankfully, she had strawberries!  Imagine my surprise when she told me that this would likely be the last week of Michigan strawberries!  WHAT?!? No kidding! According to my "berry lady", summer berries are coming into season about five or six weeks ahead of schedule in Illinois and Michigan this year due to the unseasonably warm winter and spring that we had.  This means that strawberries are finished this week, blueberries and raspberries are at their peak, sour cherries are ripe. It also means that I'll be busy tonight canning strawberry and sour cherry preserves! 
Thankfully, I was able to grab enough strawberries and sour cherries to make preserves! She also told me that free stone Michigan peaches could be ready as early as next week!  This means that I'll be making peach preserves and peaches sometime in July instead of August! Wow, am I glad that I went to the market today!

Is there a farmer's market near where you live and if so, do you take advantage of it for fresh produce?