Asparagus (May - June)
The beginning of asparagus season will be different each year, depending of the weather, and it will last about three weeks. If you are interested, you may wish to check out some Asparagus Facts or Recipes from Oceana County.
Spinach (May - First Frost)
Raw spinach is great in salads, no matter how Popeye wants to eat it! There are really two spinach seasons, the first in mid-spring and the second in mid-August.
Radishes (May - First Frost)
While radishes are available all summer, if you want those without the "bite" that some people prefer, get them early in the season, or ask your farmer if his are from a late-planted patch.
Lettuce (May - First Frost)
The basis of any salad is lettuce, be it head lettuce, bib, butterhead (Boston), red- or green-leaf. Our vendors
plant all season long so that what you buy is always young and tender.
Snow Peas & English (or Garden) Peas (June)
Despite the saying ("alike as..."), different peas have different character. Snow peas are meant to be eaten whole and often crisply raw (usually in salads) or cooked in stir-fry, while English peas are shelled and cooked. In either case, fresh is always better, since the delicate flavor does not keep or travel well.
Tomatoes (May - First Frost)
While some people like their tomatoes green, most want red, ripe, juicy-fleshed beauties. Tomatoes from the grocery store may look ripe, but nature has decreed that a tomato is at the peak of its perfection when conveyed freshly-picked from the vine to your table. (Jokes about supermarket tomatoes, picked immature, tasting like the cardboard trays they come in, arise from this fact.) Marsh Greenhouses offers tomatoes grown under glass beginning in May and until the field crop is available in late June. Our farmers grow many regular-season varieties such as Early Girl, Beefsteak and the ever-popular Bonnie Best. In September it is common to see people buying bushels of tomatoes for canning. (Technically, the tomato, having its seeds within the flesh, is a fruit, but is always thought of as a vegetable.)
Zucchini & Summer Squash (June - First Frost)
The humble zucchini, best-known of the squash family, is one of the most versatile vegetables found at the Farmers Market. Bought when it is small and tender and sliced, it is an asset to any salad. It is the basis of French ratatouille, the foundation of zucchini bread, and a positive contribution to any soup. Yellow or Summer Squash makes a first appearance about the same time as zucchini but ends its season in late August.
Cucumbers (June - First Frost)
A proper salad is inconceivable without cucumber, and it is of course the main ingredient in nearly every pickle recipe (connection to which is available on our Links Page).
Beets (June - January)
From the tenderest, tiny beets (which produce the best greens) to the long-lasting Fall survivors that make a pungent appearance from pickles to soup, beets make many dishes memorable.
Carrots (June - February)
Peter Rabbit's favorite is available from our farmers first in bunches, then baskets and finally in bags.
Leeks (June - March)
Most soups and stews benefit from the addition of leeks.
Cabbage (June - February)
One of our most versatile and long-lasting vegetables.
Green Beans (July - First Frost)
Many vendors offer green and yellow (wax) beans, as well as pole beans, throughout the summer.
Green Onions (June - October)
The availability of green onions after the first crop tends to be a little irregular as they have to be constantly re-planted, and proper growth depends on weather conditions, but they will be found on the majority of weekends.
Broccoli (July - First Frost) & Cauliflower (July - October)
Although they don't look the same, these two vegetables are of the species Braccsica oleracea, var. botrytis and are also kissing cousins to the lowly cabbage. All three are believed to have cancer-fighting properties.
Peppers (July - First Frost)
It always seems unfair that peppers disappear so quickly after the first frost of winter. The arrival of green bell peppers is eagerly awaited (and you can be sure that they will never be waxed, unlike those found in supermarkets). The ripening to brilliant, sweet red is actually a sign of fall, in that the first red peppers arrive about the time that school starts. New additions to our pepper repertory include yellow, orange, purple and black, but the hot news is that several kinds of Mexican peppers are grown by our farmers, along with traditional hot and mild Hungarian varieties. As a garnish or in a recipe, peppers are indispensable.
Eggplant (July - October)
This vegetable is an import (probably first cultivated in India) and a favorite of cuisines from Italy, through the Balkans to the Middle East. Smallish, firm eggplants with well-colored shiny skins will be the sweetest.
Potatoes (July - March)
Michigan's staple is the white potato. Redskin and russet (similar to "Idaho") varieties are grown by several farmers. A couple also grow the buttery-tasting Yukon Gold.
Squash & Gourds (August - February)
Many people love squash and use it in recipes that span the globe. Available from mid-summer to mid-winter, various types of squash require different kinds of storage. Many squashes store well and will be offered by our farmers after the end of the growing season.
Corn (Mid July - Early September)
For some people, summer doesn't start until the corn is in. Vendors at the Market offer both traditional and
the newest super-sweet hybrids, which are becoming increasingly popular. Aside from yellow corn, bi-color and white varieties (sold in few other places in Metro Detroit) are available.
Spanish Onions (August - December)
The most common onion on the Market is the sweet Spanish variety, which is useful for most cooking--or eating raw. It should be used soon after picking since it is a "wet" onion, whose moisture content works against long-term storage.
Lima Beans (August and September)
Turnips, Rutabaga, Parsnips (August - March)
Celery (Mid August - November)
Strong-tasting leafy vegetables such as Pak Choi (September through October), Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens and Collard Greens (all September through first frost) and Kale are the basis of many regional American and international dishes.
Brussels Sprouts (September - November)
Still on the stalk or cut and sold in quarts, brussels sprouts provide a healthy and appetizing side dish for most meals.
Cooking Onions (September - March)
These onions tend to be stronger than (sweet) Spanish onions, and if properly dried and stored will keep a long time. They are one of the last crops to come on the market.
Pumpkins (September - October)
"When the frost is on the pumpkin...." winter is nearly upon us, but we know what most pumpkins are used for! Special breed small pumpkins (sold through December) are meant for pies; if you are adventurous, you might want to try making pumpkin soup or using it in a stir-fry.