Posted by Richmond Register Staff Report, Sunday, May 10, 2015: Richmond Register Article
An abundance or wide variety of garden vegetables may still be weeks away, but early strawberries are in. Forty gallons of fresh, locally grown strawberry’s were on sale Saturday when the Downtown Richmond Farmers Market opened at 9 a.m. But only early birds got some of the Sweet Charlie variety that Tammy Marcum of Waco brought to the market. By 10 a.m. they were gone.
Shoppers should have better luck next Saturday. That’s when Marcum said she expects to have 100 gallons for sale. The market includes children’s activities each Saturday, and enough strawberries were set aside to treat the children with some strawberry shortcake. Some vendors also had a few chocolate-covered strawberries to sell.
Just as the strawberries sold out, four judges sat down to evaluate five different dishes and one drink made from locally grown strawberries. The variety of recipes showed just how versatile the strawberry can be in the hands of creative cooks. They ranged from strawberry wine and chocolate-covered strawberries to strawberry cake and bread and even strawberry salsa and guacamole.
Each submission was so good and so different, the four judges said, choosing was difficult, even if the eating was easy. Each judge rated every entries on a scale of one to 10, and when the ballots were counted, Angela Bradley’s strawberry cake with thick icing and three large strawberries on top came in first. Marcum’s chocolate-covered strawberries were second, and the strawberry guacamole of Brandon Betts, the 2014 winner, was third.
Not far behind were Stephanie King’s strawberry wine, Marylene Lefurgy’s strawberry bread, and Amy McGovern’s strawberry salsa.
The judges included: Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes; Mike Jackson, father of Jackson’s Restaurant owner Sean Jackson; Richmond Register editor Bill Robinson; and Maj. Tony Terry of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
The strawberry festival is one of three the market celebrates each year, said organizer Melodie Lincavage. It will celebrate tomatoes July 25 and pumpkins Oct. 3.
The market includes an education session each Saturday, and next week Marcum “will teach you everything about growing tomatoes,” Lincavage said, “including how to avoid and treat tomato blight, which can be a real problem in Kentucky.”
Lots of tomato plants were on sale yesterday, and those who missed them should be able to buy some next week, Lincavage said. Also, the market will begin its regular mid-week sessions this Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., she said.