Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alas, The Market is Closed

One of the most anticipated days in the spring is the re-opening of the Whistle Stop Market. Only a mile from our house, the Whistle Stop offers fresh local produce all summer and most of the fall. Last weekend, the market closed for the winter.

Early every morning, local farmers pick vegetables and gather fresh eggs and bring them to the market.

No one seems to know why the market is named Whistle Stop. There never has been a train anywhere near the area. That was the name of the market when the current owners bought it, and that is the name it stayed.

In the fall, the main attraction is an extensive display of North Carolina apples.

There are many varieties, one for each person's taste or purpose.
Onions, potatoes, squash, and all seasonal vegetables are available. And they are all fresh and delicious. Boiled peanuts are very popular here. I must admit, I have never tried them. Fresh berries, peaches, plums and all local fruits are available in season. The market sells many varieties of corn all summer long, and in the fall, all sorts of nuts are available.
By far, the most popular summer items are tomatoes. I never knew there were so many varieties and we have tried most of them. Fresh tomatoes and cucumber with a little oil and vinegar make up our salads for most of the summer.
Inside the market are preserves, jams, jellies, honey (real Sourwood honey), pickles and relishes. Local baked goods are also available.
Like most local markets, the Whistle Stop sells antique kitchen ware.
Seasonal decorative items are always for sale. I took these photographs on closing day, so the pumpkins, gourds, dried corn, etc., predominated.
So we will now have to subsist on "store-bought" tomatoes and vegetables. But we know that, come the spring, the Whistle Stop will once again supply us with the freshest, most delicious vegetables that western North Carolina has to offer.


Shelley said...

Lovely photos - I love markets like this. You evoked such wonderful memories!

Cicero Sings said...

Such a bounty of goodies. It IS so sad when the local markets shut down for the winter.

Cheryl said...

Looks wonder you love it so much....
we have something similar in our village but it stays open all year......

Dog_geek said...

How cool! I wish we had something similar, to be able to get food with fewer miles on it. We have our twice a week farmer's market, but it would be nice to have something a bit more permanant!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

I love these kinds of 'markets.' We used to have one named Pumpkin Center---and I loved going there in the early fall --for all of their harvest goodies. It left our area---and I miss it!!! Thanks for sharing!

Jayne said...

What a great place Carolyn. :c) Oh, and uh, don't worry about trying the boiled peanuts... bleh.

Kerri Farley said...

Looks like a fabulous place for produce!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I don't think I've ever seen that place before. Did you ever see the movie Fried Green Tomatoes? That was the name of their cafe. Whistlestop.

The Birdlady said...

I love farmers markets....and fall apples.

NCmountainwoman said...

Shelley - We really love the fresh fruits and veggies.

Cicero - We don't have room to grow a big garden like you do, so the little market really helps us out.

Cheryl - I wish ours would stay open all year. We do have a larger fresh market in a nearby town that is year round.

Dog geek - We have "tailgate" markets in the summer and we also visit them.

Betsy - Oh, I would really miss our market if it left.

Jayne - I know that some people just LOVE the boiled peanuts. I'm told it's all in the way they are done, but I'm still not excited about trying them.

Kerri - Oh, it is.

Wanderer - Yes, I loved "Fried Green Tomatoes." Our Whistle Stop Market was there long before the book or movie.

Helen - The apples are wonderful this year. A bit smaller than usual, but simply delicious. Last year, we have few apple because of the big "Easter Freeze."