• Laurel Contributor

The Pickle Lady

by Jenny King

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

I can tell you: in my shopping bag from Highlands Marketplace.

The art of pickling and canning may be a lost art to some, but to the vendors at our local farmers’ market it’s thriving. There are pickles of all kinds, from relishes by Cheryl Anne to pickled jalapeños from Dr. John Baumrucker, to the amazing Bread and Butter pickles by Chip Wilson.

Chip is well known in our area for her many talents, and has been selling her pickles at the Highlands Marketplace for three years, where she’s known as “The Pickle Lady.” She shares a tent with Toni Foster who bakes the most heavenly pastries, quiches, pies you’ve ever put put in your mouth.

What makes Chip’s pickles special? First of all, she buys her cucumbers from local farmer Don Deal, whose tables are piled with fresh produce; and she makes them fresh every week. She uses her grandmother’s recipe and the cucumbers are sliced very thinly so they’re a delicious addition to sandwiches. They are that perfect combination of sweet and spicy. I don’t normally think of pickles as a breakfast food, but as I traveled around the market I must say they complemented the breakfast sausage by Durm Family Farms magnificently.

The Highlands Marketplace is held each Saturday at Highlands’ Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on Pine Street from 8:00 A.M. until 12:30 P.M. and will run through the end of this month. Thanks to our area’s extended growing season, you’ll find a wide selection of local produce along with eggs from happy chickens, fresh breads, honey, teas, and even yummy trout dip from Native Prime Provisions.

With the holiday season approaching, take a trip to Founders Park with your list in hand. The jams and jellies are always happily received, as are the hand-loomed textiles, adorable tiny wool animals (there will be a bunny and a lamb in my granddaughter’s stocking), jewelry, fine art, and stunning wooden pens, to name a few.

The Highlands Marketplace is a Saturday must-do. It’s a place to meet new friends, sample local fare, and spend the morning appreciating some not-made-in-China handiwork.

I hope to see you there.

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