The Market Report, May 30

Summer is just around the corner, and it shows at the market. While the selection is still focused on vegetables of the lettuce variety, warmer-weather vegetables are beginning to peak through.

But that wasn't the highlight of my visit to the market Saturday. No, the highlight was a conversation inspired by a previous Market Report. After reading that blog, Bunny Henderson, who runs a stand at the market, told me to stop by some Saturday to learn about composting.

So I did. "I remember reading your blog and it said something about being face-down drunk and it reminded me of this part of my book," she said, flipping flipped through the pages of Digging It: How to garden your way out of the recession.  She then arrived at the section on composting and pointed to a sentence that spoke of the advantages of peeing on your compost pile.

While this may not have been the most conventional way to strike up a conversation, Henderson, a retired schoolteacher, has definitely written an awesome book.

Digging It seems like it could be coming from the 1940s -- those storied times of victory gardens. It's incredibly insightful, and approaches home gardening in a way that makes someone with no experience or knowledge (i.e., me) think, "Well, maybe I can do this!"

But until I have my own little plot to garden, I'll continue scavenging the market for the unusual, different and always delicious. This week I elected for some turnips, because my only real contact with them exists in a Simpsons episode. You know, the one where residents of Shelbyville (the rival city to Springfield) all sit back and enjoy tall, refreshing glasses of turnip juice. While I don't plan to do that, I do plan to use both my Japanese sweet turnips and their greens, roasting them all with some sesame oil.

Staying with the Eastern theme, I grabbed some baby bok choy (one of my favorite veggies!) from Oxford Farms. The bok choy will be meeting the searing heat of a wok mere minutes from now.

Finally, those long stalks in the back are rhubarb, which are used in pies, and...and....pies. As far as I know, rhubarb is a one-trick pony in the food world, but this pony runs really, really well when put in a tender tart shell with some strawberries. Rhubarb's tartness is just so unique -- and daunting, without the addition of some sweetness. 

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