It's Strawberry Season!!!

This week, local strawberries will be showing up at farmers market booths all across town for the first time this season!

This week, local strawberries will be showing up at farmers market booths all across town for the first time this season! by Linda Cottin

It’s Strawberry Time!!!!! The much awaited spring gardening delicacy has finally arrived. This year’s extended cold weather, coupled with a lack of sunny days, delayed the local strawberry season by almost an entire month. The good news is, the wait is over and local strawberries are beginning to ripen. Wohletz Farm, along with other local farmers, will be hauling their first supply of fresh picked strawberries to area farmers markets this week. Lucky market patrons will be able to pick up a pint or two Wednesday, May 22 at the Clinton Parkway Nursery Farmers Market, 4900 Clinton Parkway, from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm and on Thursday, May 23 at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market, 1832 Massachusetts, from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, May 25 at Downtown Lawrence Farmers, 824 New Hampshire Street, Market from 7:00 am – 11:00 am.

    “Fragaria × ananassa, commonly known as strawberry or garden strawberry, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness.” Wikipedia

“Fragaria × ananassa, commonly known as strawberry or garden strawberry, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness.” Wikipedia by Linda Cottin

Strawberries are a great anti-oxidant and are very low in saturated fat and sodium. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, manganese and potassium. More importantly, fresh picked strawberries are delicious!

Once a year - there is nothing wrong with serving strawberry shortcake for dinner.  Especially if it is made with fresh picked strawberries and homemade short cake!

Once a year - there is nothing wrong with serving strawberry shortcake for dinner. Especially if it is made with fresh picked strawberries and homemade short cake! by Linda Cottin

Start a new family tradition this year and serve Strawberry Shortcake for dinner! Make it extra special by serving it with fresh baked shortcake (also available at your local farmers market) and top it with whipped cream or ice cream made from local Iwig Dairy cream.
Strawberries, ice cream and fresh baked local short cake will all be available at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market on Thursday along with some delicious strawberry scones from The Yeast We Can Do. Keep your eyes open for more local products made with fresh local strawberries in the weeks to come from several Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market vendors.

Carrots, radishes and lots of local greens are will be available this week at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market.

Carrots, radishes and lots of local greens are will be available this week at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market. by Linda Cottin

Aside from fresh strawberries, short cake and Iwig Dairy ice cream, Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market vendors will have a wide array of local produce and fresh bake goods, including many gluten free selections. Many farmers will have another week’s worth of tender asparagus and several booths will be overflowing with fresh picked greens, lettuces, radishes, turnips, carrots and mushrooms. Fresh Picked, with Steve Mason, Lauralyn Bodle, Lisa Grossman and Matt Kirby will provide music for the event and Mister Bacon BBQ will be on hand serving up pulled pork sandwiches, chick pies and pig pies. Of course, Free State Brewing will be there to pour a cold one for the 21 and over crowd too.

Seasonal greens are abundant at local farmers markets this spring.

Seasonal greens are abundant at local farmers markets this spring. by Linda Cottin

This Thursday will be the final day of the “You Name the Price” Benefit Sale during Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market. Over a thousand dollars worth of new merchandise will be offered. Choose what you want and pay what you like. All proceeds will go to benefit Central Garden located at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School in Lawrence. The money raised from the sale of Cottin’s merchandise, will support the garden’s summer program. The Central program is open to all Liberty Memorial Central Middle School students – including new 2013 -14 students as well. Beginning Tuesday, May 28, 2013 students will meet in the garden each week, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am – 11:00 am. Stop by and join the fun anytime – no helping hand will ever be turned away!

Central Garden is located at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School in Lawrence.

Central Garden is located at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School in Lawrence. by Linda Cottin

Next week Cottin’s Hardware & Rental will kick off their Grand Re-opening event during the farmers market. Make a purchase from any one of the vendors at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market and receive a $5.00 certificate, good toward any purchase inside the store on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Cordley Elementary School Chess Club will return with public chess tables at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market next week - May 30, 2013.

Cordley Elementary School Chess Club will return with public chess tables at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market next week - May 30, 2013. by Linda Cottin

The Cordley Elementary School chess club members will return for the summer next Thursday. Public chess tables will be set up down the center of the market arena and everyone is welcome to play. Last season hundreds of community members turned out to watch or play chess at the market, along with members from more than a dozen area chess clubs.

Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market is held every Thursday through October in the back parking lot of Cottin's Hardware & Rental.

Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market is held every Thursday through October in the back parking lot of Cottin's Hardware & Rental. by Linda Cottin

Come join the fun Thursday, May 23, 2013 at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market. This week’s vendors include:

Avery's Produce - Seasonal vegetables including – Asparagus, spinach, red Russian kale, Pac Choy, greens, radishes, turnips, onions and more

Mellowfields Urban Farm – Lettuce, greens, radishes and more – sustainably grown less than 100’ from their market space!

Stony Ridge Farm – Farm fresh eggs, jams, jellies, gluten free bake goods, sweet breads, local honey, 100% grass fed beef and short cake!

Wohletz Farm – Fresh picked strawberries

Kroeger Country Meats - A variety of locally made pork sausages and their tasty beef jerky.

Upward Spiral – Pizza crusts, breads and more

Sophia's Herbs – Dried herbs and teas

Lamborn Farm – Grass fed beef and pasture raised pork

Valley View Farm – Farm fresh eggs, free range roasting chickens and lots of greens

Nut Nation – Locally roasted pistachios and seasoning rubs

Mr. Bacon BBQ – Pull pork, Pig Pie, Chick Pie and more

Free State Brewing – Locally brewed hand crafted beers

Wakarusa Valley Farm – Mushrooms, salad mix, carrots, radishes and other seasonal produce

Cook's BBQ – Pork skins, canned peppers, peanut brittle and more

Pinwheel Farm – Lamb, wool products and seasonal produce

Johannes Family Farm – Organic grains, several varieties of seasonal greens and more

Fieldstone Farm – Fresh picked asparagus

Queen of Tarts Bakery - Notting Hill brownies, scones, sweet breads and strawberry white chocolate tarts

Coal Creek Farm - Pasture raised pork, vanilla extracts, asparagus and more

The Yeast We Can Do - Fresh baked goods including Wohletz strawberry scones, sweet breads, caramel corn, pies, gluten free bake goods, jams, local produce and more

Jennifer's Maude & Mary Cookies - Artisan cookies using local ingredients and sprouted grains with gluten free and vegan varieties

Vinland Valley Nursery - Locally grown live plants including herbs, flowers, vegetable starts and ornamental items. Vinland Valley’s plants are also available daily at Cottin’s Hardware & Rental throughout the month of May!

Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market is located in the back parking lot of Cottin’s Hardware & Rental, 1832 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS. The market runs Thursdays, through October from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Authorized market vendors accept SFMNP coupons, WIC vouchers. Vision cards and credit cards are also accepted. Shoppers can swipe their cards inside Cottin’s Hardware & Rental during regular business hours in exchange for wooden Market Tokens. These tokens may then be used to purchase items from any market vendor. Credit card purchases are subject to a $1 service fee and must be made in $5 increments.

Tagged: Local Prodcue, Free State Beer, Cottin's Hardwar Farmers Market, School Garden, Mister Bacon BBQ, Fresh Picked, Strawberries, Central Garden

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