Strawberries, Cherries, and More

Here's your chance to learn that all local strawberries are not created equal: Several top varieties are in production at once: sweet old-fashioned Shuksans and Hoods, bright-flavored Totem and Puget Reliance, and big, tart Rainiers (but just try 'em sliced with a little sugar, and you'll swear none is tastier). Go on; mix 'em up: Have a strawberry tasting! Cherries are peaking. All the sweet varieties are in top form, and if you're lucky, you may even find some sour pie cherries; can those to savor a taste of summer in midwinter. Cultivated blackberries and loganberries are showing up, too. You can still find tender little stringless French beans (haricots verts), but more robust beans are starting to show up, too. Get your pea vines and other eat-them-pod-and-all pea varieties and rapini (aka broccoli rabe) while they last. Baby bok choy's everywhere, too. Don't forget the Walla Walla sweet onionstheir short season will soon be over. And if you just can't wait for tomatoes, the heirloom varieties from hot central Washington will keep you going till your backyard starts producing. Finally, a first: After literally years of negotiation with the health authorities, fresh fish can be sold at farmers markets. Celebrate! Buy a flounder!

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