Farmer’s Markets, Milkweed, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Nothing says summer like the local farmer’s market — the fruits and vegetables are fresher than the grocery store, there are more organic choices, and you can use your own containers. It’s good for us, good for the farmers, and good for the planet.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

But humans aren’t the only ones who need to eat in summer. There’s one more thing that defines the season for me. It’s a roadside market for a Monarch caterpillar — a milkweed plant.

Milkweed about to bloom, complete with bug visitor.

Milkweed about to bloom, complete with visiting bug.

Here it is when it’s blooming —

Milkweed flowers.

Milkweed flowers – taken on last summer’s trip “home”.

It’s almost August now, time for the seed pods —

Green milkweed pods.

Green milkweed pods.

If you grew up in the country, like I did, you took these roadside plants for granted.  Once, on an autumn trail ride, I saw an entire tree covered with migrating Monarchs.  Now I wish I could get these butterfly snacks to grow in my backyard. I miss seeing the plants, miss seeing the fall butterfly migration go through, and though I plant as many caterpillar-friendly plants as I can, I don’t get nearly as many takers as I used to.

But on the bright side, it’s summer, and if you’re among the corn-fed (like me) let’s go back to the farmer’s market for one more thing to be thankful for —

Farmers Market Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn — Yum.

Hmm, looking back, I see that, instead of “Summer Lovin'”, maybe I should have saved these photos for a “Summer Eatin'” challenge.  I must have succumbed to writing-while-hungry.

What’s your favorite thing about summer?

More on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

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10 thoughts on “Farmer’s Markets, Milkweed, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

  1. I have been canning! Tomato Jam, Apricot Jam, jalapeño Jelly! I don’t think it is fair that everything is ripe in summer when it’s hot and you spend hours over a hot put getting facials, it should be cold out side so we could appreciate it more… Send yellow corn…. All we are getting is bi-color and white corn!

    • Donna! Remember when you came with me to visit my parents and we churned butter? My dad always planted ‘golden bantam’ sweet corn but you’re right, even here it’s hard to find anything but bi-color and white. And yes, all the good stuff is available at the same time. I haven’t even had a watermelon yet, too busy eating blueberries and peaches. Good for you for canning. Thanks for commenting –Sandy

  2. Summer eatin’ 😀 I was actually snacking on pretzels as I was reading this! I so prefer visiting markets in summer as it’s warmer. In winter, outdoor roofed markets are very, very cold. Sometimes they are even colder compared when you’re standing under the winter sun. That’s one of my least favourite things about summer. Favourite thing? Eating ice-cream in the warm weather.

    Those seed pods look huge, like they are about the expload any second 🙂 I hope you took something home from the market with you, the things there look really yummy.

    • Now I’m just realizing that for the purposes of summer eatin’ I should migrate hemispheres. Our outdoor markets run to December but by then there’s not much left in the way of local produce. But here it is the end of July and I haven’t even been making ice-pops yet. Summer goes too fast. On the seed pods, they do explode in fall, with lovely milkweed-seed fluff, little parachutes bearing seeds. Thanks for commenting — Sandy

  3. What I loved about summer was corn and tomatoes from Dad’s garden at every meal. Even breakfast! Add my mom’s sweet tea (not for breakfast) which I remember as being so sweet I’d pour it over pancakes today. No matter how many times I’ve tried to recreate those meals, I have been completely unsuccessful. Why do you suppose that is?..

    • I have a theory about the flavor of home-grown vegetables being like the flavor of wines and cheeses from different regions — so to me, “home-grown” is always the best, and no tomatoes or corn grown here in Georgia will ever taste quite like those from my mother’s garden because they weren’t grown there (not to mention missing the magic of my mother). Sounds like I need to visit MO right about now and eat some sweet corn — though my parents’ garden is no longer there, I could get pretty close! (not much luck on recreating my mother’s meals though, but not for lack of trying) — thanks for commenting! – Sanduy

  4. Summertime and Farmer’s Markets just go together SO well. All the sights, sounds and smells make me happy. Not to mention the occasional free sample taste test. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

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