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Meet the farmer: Clyde Howard’s produce, jams and pickles

On Saturday mornings, you may have seen the table covered in jars on Prince Edward Street.

The choices can be overwhelming: triple berry, blackberry habanero, cherry bourbon, dill pickles, black bean salsa, and more. Also on the table are fresh-picked fruits, quarts of peaches, apricots, cherries, along with blueberries, raspberries, and maybe some black raspberries if you’re lucky. Squash, potatoes, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables round out the selection.

Clyde Howard, 72, grows everything himself, and he and his wife then put up much of the bounty in jars to sell throughout the year.

“They have the best jam around,” said friend Jerry Hall, who helps behind the table on Saturdays. “His wife makes the best bread and butter pickles.”

He started selling at the market at Hurkamp Park 43 years ago, when he had his own painting business but also maintained his large gardens. He eventually started growing fruit, too. Now, he harvests a wide variety throughout the year, including less common boysenberries, quince and grapes. He says it’s a lot of work, and this year, the cold, wet weather has caused him to lose a lot of plants.

Howard, who tried Northern Virginia markets, said about downtown: ”I think it’s the best market around.”

Read more about the local farmers market vendors in the Meet the Farmer series.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/frontburner/2013/07/05/2907/