Blooming azaleas, dogwoods, green stuff sprouting all over my front and back yard...and the pollen that goes with all of the above. Makes me think I must be looking at life through greenish yellow lenses, not those rose colored ones I am used to. The birds are chirping madly, the weather has been so pleasant for my morning coffee on the front porch, letting the dog greet all of the folks strolling down my Southside street.
But the one thing that really made me think that Spring is upon us was the final rush of planning for the opening day of Pepper Place Saturday Market on Saturday, April 14.
The farmers have been working on getting ready, getting the their fields ready, planting seeds, seedlings, fertilizing, irrigating, watching the weather, doing all of those things that farmers have to do to grow the food that we get to buy and enjoy at the market. Depending on the weather, we will see all sorts of herbs, tender spring lettuces, lots of bedding plants, maybe even some early strawberries, never better than when picked sweet and fresh.
Personally I will put some of those strawberries over some Greek style yogurt, maybe sprinkled with a little sugar if needed, or if a special occasion comes along, I might just layer them with some lady fingers, sponge or pound cake, some custard or whipped cream and make that quintessential English dessert, a strawberry trifle. Especially if you macerate the strawberries in some sugar so they give off a little liquid that you can mix with some dry sherry and drizzle over the cake layers. Let it set up for a few hours in the refrigerator, and enjoy!
The benevolent landlord of Pepper Place is Sloss Real Estate, where Cathy Crenshaw, her amazing assistant Wanda and other staff are the umbrella under which the Market operates. This past Saturday Cathy missed the market, but she had an acceptable excuse as she was getting married that day.
Personally, I have been getting all of my bandanas ready, my market tee shirts clean, and I hope that you all have been getting ready for the market, cleaning up your canvas bags for produce, because it is you, the customers, that really make the market special!
See you on Saturdays till autumn has come and gone!
The market always needs volunteers and sponsors to keep it going. Get more information at our website
pepperplacemarket.com on these opportunities for helping make the market happen, and learn about special events too.
Read the full story online at www.bham. weekly.com and search for Franklin Biggs.
Urban gardens are springing up everywhere, this new one has been in the works since last year near the Hopewell Church. The goal is not only to provide fresh, healthy food, but to provide jobs for at-risk youth and prisoners released from jail, to prevent recidivism (though it is too late for the country girl). Virginia Ward and Karyl Panion of the Hopewell Women in Agrculture were out for a meeting at the garden.
Supplying 16 restaurants in Birmingham, J3 Organics is one of the few urban gardens that actually runs as a business— and not a non-profit—striving to make it as a real model of sustainability. And with its proximity to the city, located behind a storage shed lot on the Bessemer Super Highway, it is poised to meet demand at a moment’s notice.