''It rained all night, the day I left, the weather it was dry ... "

Tis Sunday morn and according to my weatherman (intellicast.com), "it rained all night" in western Kansas,  and it is still raining as I am writing this.  Many of our friends and neighbors out west have received up to an inch of rain overnight and a few up to two inches.  The rain front is moving ever so slowly eastward, that I might suggest it will be perfect for planting wheat.  More accumulation is forecast, with rain maybe reaching us by midweek.  When you get to read this on Thursday, you will know if the forecaster got it right!

In addition, this weather system stretches from just north of the Rio Grande at Pecos, Texas (El Paso got a sprinkle), through Clovis and Tucumcari, New Mexico, Vega and Dalhart, Texas, and much of the Panhandle — then a bit of eastern Colorado, all of far western Kansas, a wide swath of the Husker state and South Dakota.  For those folks who live just north and west of the Minnesota Twins, they also got wet.  "And the rains came.

The United Way Chili Cook-Off starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.  There is lots of time to come by Harvey County Farmers Market and get your very own special ingredients for your unique chili (or stew) kit!  Presently, options for tomatoes include about seven varieties of "regular" red tomatoes (and some green ones, too), two varieties of yellow 'maters, and several "heirloom: choices with a distinctive blush color.  There is also  a handful of various red, purple and yellow, grape and cherry tomatoes with an emphasis on Black Cherry and Yellow Pear.  

Several vendors have some nice potatoes and at least one has candy onions.  

In the pepper aisle, six colors are represented including red, green, yellow, gold, purple and pale — mostly bells; other choices are banana, jalapeno, anaheim, chili and pablano.

Someone once told me; "Food should have color!"  

We are now officially in fall and the end of theseason. Decorative produce is in ample supply,  pumpkins in all sizes, gourds, native corn and foliage.  

Plus there is a good selection of squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon, too.  And we still have green beans!

Make a "to do" list for Saturday morn, downtown Newton has free parking, visit your favorite shops, HCFM and finish with chili! 

Directions:  From Elbing Grain, travel south on Elbing Road to First Street. Then west to Newton Main Street, north to Sixth Street, then east to 121 East Sixth.   HCFM is just one-half block west of Newton City Hall.

Open 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. 

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— Norm Oeding is a Harvey County Farmers Market board member.