Farmer’s Market Time Again

Nineteen Years Ago Today:

On June 23, 2001, Mom writes: “Today was are at our first Farmers Market for the year as most of you know. We were blown away with customers. Our 2-table spread did look good if I do say so. Clyde baked 20 loaves of his great breads (he has 5 bread machines

jelly at the farmer's market

Gail and Clyde Martin with their jams and jellies at the farmer’s market.

We had the new red potatoes, Susan’s broccoli, our zucchini, greens,
beets, and turnips. We had a display of jellies, applesauce and turnip kraut
on a 3-tiered shelf that Owen made me. Plus the black walnut nutmeats. If
we kept up with the record-keeping we sold $251.50 worth of goodies.

Then at 1pm we came home and flopped for awhile. This was our biggest day since
we started doing this about 10 years ago. Saw so many of our friends from
last year, it was almost like a family reunion. Now we have to get ready
for the next market on Tuesday morning. Love to all. I just had to share the
good news. Gail”

Clyde and Gail Martin Farmers Market money

Gail Lee Martin shows off their hard-earned rewards for participating in the farmer’s market.

Some Background on This Email

It was a tremendous amount of work for two people in their late 70s to participate in the twice-weekly market. They loved it. The attention they received from people praising their jams, breads, and vegetables far outweighed the amount of effort it took to grow or make those and to load them and their tent onto the pickup twice a week.

Setting up their booth and interacting with customers in the hot Kansas summers was indeed hard work. The extra money they made each week supplemented their Social Security income. Being frugal children of Depression-era meant living a frugal lifestyle even sixty years later.

Making Turnip Slaw

Back in 2008, my mother published this recipe on the eHow website. Most people think of cabbage when making a slaw, but Dad grew too many turnips one year. They took their produce to the farmer’s market, but most people didn’t know what to do with turnips.

By creating recipes, Mom and Dad convinced more buyers to give the humble turnips a try. You probably have carrots, raisins, mayonnaise and sugar on hand and maybe even the lemon juice. Just get some turnips and try this refreshing summer recipe.

Click on the recipe to see it larger. You can even get the recipe on postcards to send to your friends.


Here’s the recipe as it appeared on eHow:

For a change from coleslaw, try this easy turnip slaw. This makes 6 to 8 servings.
Things You’ll Need:

3 cups shredded turnips
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Shred the carrots and the turnips using a grater or in a food processor.
Combine the shredded vegetables in a bowl with the other ingredients.
Stir the ingredients together well.
Cover and chill.


Wordstock said on 1/17/2009 – I will be trying this. It would be a different taste for us. I have never heard of turnip slaw before.
Mactraks said on 4/29/2008 – Oh, sounds so good! I hope library patrons bring me buckets of turnips this summer.

J is for Jars of Food

Over the years, Mom canned thousands of jars of green beans, corn and other vegetables. She made pickles and tried offbeat recipes like turnip kraut. Rows of jars filled the cellar and kept the family well-fed back in the fifties and sixties.

She continued to can fruits, vegetables and meats even though there was no longer eight people sitting down to dinner at the round oak table. Dad maintained a huge garden and in retirement, he even helped with preparing the foods for the canning process.

Having grown up during the Great Depression, they thriftily ate homegrown foods all winter.  They had more than they could eat, so sent visiting grandchildren home with jars of food.

When they took their tomatoes and potatoes to the farmer’s market, there was always a colorful display of Mom’s homemade jelly. They were particularly proud of the sand plum jelly as there were few places to find these wild plum bushes. People marveled at the dandelion jelly. The heritage recipe was passed down from my dad’s pioneer ancestors.

Gail and Clyde Martin with their jams and jellies at the farmer's market.

Gail and Clyde Martin with their jams and jellies at the farmer’s market.

Remembering their mothers canning foods back in 1930s, they collected vintage jars and displayed them on high shelves. One grandchild borrowed the antique jars to decorate the tables at her wedding reception. They were delightful filled with hand-crafted paper flowers.

Mom collected vintage canning jars to display in her kitchen.

Mom collected vintage canning jars to display in her kitchen.