September seems like an interesting time in the world of agriculture, especially on the Central Coast where the lines between seasons are often blurred. On this late September day it feels like summer but there are signs of fall in the air. (The weather on this day can fluctuate easily between the two seasons. Record high for September 21st: 106 degrees, record low: 38 degrees.) So, I decided to head to the Paso Robles Farmers’ Market, held each Tuesday in the City Park downtown from 3-6pm to see what is being grown locally this time of year.
At the market, the types of produce offered turned out to be just as mixed as the day’s weather. The stands lining the sunny park under the slowly-turning trees offered everything from summer berries and watermelons to fall squashes. And, this sampling of the Central Coast has everything in-between.
One friendly local farmer posed with lemongrass, and another explained the process of turning squashes into hardened gourds: let the squash sit until it gets moldy, scrape the mold off, let it sit until dried then scrape skins off and let it dry some more. Each gourd is finished with a coating of polyurethane and some shoe polish to bring out the color.
A quick inventory of the fruits and vegetables available at the market would put most grocery stores to shame:
dry farmed watermelons
cherry tomatoes (red, yellow)
Looks like the Central Coast is the place to shop for produce in September.