Market Report: Spring 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
In honor of the first day of spring, after one of the longest and snowiest winters imaginable, I had hoped to publish a list of opening dates for as many of Philadelphia’s Farmers’ Markets as are available. That didn’t turn out to be much, I’m afraid. Both The Food Trust and Farm to City, which operate a total of 43 markets between them, have pages full of information on each market - find them here and here - but no opening dates are yet listed for the seasonal markets. Two bits of good news while we wait, though. We can still visit the five year round markets at Clark Park, Fitler Square, Rittenhouse Square, Chestnut Hill and Bryn Mawr. And in a news post about The Food Trust’s Headhouse Market being chosen one of the “10 Best Spots For Foodies”, the opening date is given: Sunday, May 4th. It can’t come soon enough.
Market Highlights - Sept 4, 2013
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Much as we may want to deny it, summer is definitely heading out the door and fall is on its way in. You may be able to ignore the first few apples, but you really can’t argue with pears and hard squash. That said, there are still plenty of late tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, and even some peaches to be snapped up while you still can!
Market Highlights - August 14 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Although all the great summer vegetables are still there, this week’s marketing was all about the fruit for me. The full rainbow of plums are available now, along with peaches, nectarines, berries, melons, and just peeking behind them to remind us that fall is right around the corner, the first of the apples. Just before Labor Day, I will load up on all those plum varieties to make jam, but for now I grabbed a few each of the Italian and Santa Rosa ones, which may end up as popsicles this weekend to test out my fancy new molds.
Speaking of popsicles, I also grabbed my still-favorite of all: Vietnamese iced coffee.
Market Highlights - July 31, 2013
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Summer is still in full swing in the markets, with tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant both baby and big particularly catching my eye this week, making me want to make ratatouille, caponata, or maybe a lightly-cooked vegetable stew. The stone fruits are a little riper too, although they’re not quite at their peak just yet. I think the nectarines I bought are going to end up on baguette slices with brie, broiled, and maybe drizzled with a little honey for breakfast on Saturday, before I do my second round of farmers marketing for the week. Although the Saturday market is more varied, it does lack my favorite feature of the mid-week one:
Did you know Lil’ Pop Shop has a frequent-buyer card? Next week, I get a free popsicle for lunch!
Market Highlights - July 24, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
We’ve decided to highlight what’s going on in the area farmers markets, so this will be the first of hopefully many regular market reports. From the looks of the University City Wednesday market on Penn’s campus, summer is in full swing, with everything from eggplant to cane berries available now. I was tempted by all the heirloom tomatoes, corn, peppers and stone fruit, but because whatever I buy has to be lugged home on regional rail, I save my major marketing for the weekend instead. I just picked up some mixed cherry tomatoes, some lovely little sugarplums, a few peaches that should be great after a few days on my counter to reach their peak, and, of course, a popsicle from the Lil’ Pop Shop truck for lunch.
Volunteers Needed: Rittenhouse Market
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
With farmers’ market season fast approaching (and, in some cases, in full swing), there are some great opportunities to get involved and help keep them afloat. The folks at Farm to City are looking for a few good volunteers for the Saturday farmers’ market in Rittenhouse Square. Volunteer shifts are 2.25 hours long, and duties vary:
- Answering customer questions about the market and vendors
- Providing information on Farm to City programs and sustainable agriculture
- Conducting surveys with farmers’ market customers
- Taking customer counts
- Communicating suggestions and other feedback form the community to Farm to City staff
As you probably know, the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market happens every Saturday from 9am to 3pm at 18th and Walnut Streets, both on south sidewalk of Walnut St and west sidewalk of 18th Street. Volunteers are asked to commit to a regular volunteer shift (once a week, once or twice a month, etc.). That said, they’re open to any one who is willing to lend their time to this great cause!
*photo credit: Marisa McClellan
Crab and Cucumber Soup and a Fishmonger Recommendation
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The weather may have cooled considerably, and the interminable heat wave(s) may finally be behind us, but I’m not quite ready to give up on chilled soups for the summer. So, here’s one from Nigel Slater, a chilled cucumber soup topped with crab meat. The recipe is easy to follow and accurate, but one word of advice: be sure to dice the cucumber very finely, as it will determine the consistency of your soup.
More importantly, if you’ve been looking for a fishmonger in Center City or South Philly that is as concerned about sustainable seafood as you are, try Ippolito’s Seafood. You’ll know where and how the fish was caught, and just how sustainable those methods and fish stocks are. I first learned about Ippolito’s and their business practices at a demonstration by the restaurant C19 at the annual Good Food, Good Beer, and the Rest is History (hosted by Slow Food Philly and Farm to City). Since then, I’ve been there at least once a week for oysters (raked from Virginia), swordfish (hook and line from New York), and even New Jersey fluke. I can finally try all those recipes in the River Cottage Fish Book without guilt.
A Day Trip to Maple Acres Farm
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Though the weather forecast warned of more rain this morning, I woke up to a beautiful day. I was surely not going to let it pass me and my son by. After walking our dog, we hopped in the car for a ride over to Maple Acres Farm in nearby Plymouth Meeting. I was on a mission for some hearty stew vegetables and my son was on another mission: to pick some flowers.
Maple Acres is a quaint little farm market that is open year round. It offers the feel of a road side stand with the variety one usually finds in bigger markets. I found some amazing carrots, each one as thick as three fingers, beautiful Poblano peppers that were just barely touched with red, some okra, two gorgeous (and HUGE) mushroom caps, and of course, the season’s first apples. I’m eager to hit the kitchen tonight and get my beef stew simmering with all of those local ingredients. But finding all of that fresh produce wasn’t even the highlight of my morning out. That came after our stroll through the little market, while my two year old and I meandered through the rows of Zinnias that Maple Acres opens to the public for fresh clippings.
There’s my little guy, picking out the perfect bloom for his older sister. He loved knowing that he could pick any of the flowers that he wanted, without a stodgy adult (me) telling him that we don’t pick flowers from gardens. Everything was fair game! The look on his face was priceless and we got a really healthy looking bouquet to bring home as well. If you’re looking for a Farmer’s Market that offers something fun for the kids as well, consider a trip to Maple Acres. The fruit and veggies will be worth the drive and the fun you have picking your own flowers will last a lot longer than the blooms themselves.
Headhouse Square Farmers Market Report - 9/11/2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Even though it’s technically still summer, post-Labor Day always feels officially fall-esque to me. The farmer’s markets reflect the change in that they start featuring more in the way of the things I associate with fall and winter—hard squashes, leeks, apples, root crops. I ran down to the market at Headhouse Square this morning, and sure enough, lots of those things. But it’s also the end of tomato season, and at least a few stands featured some really fantastic looking heirloom tomatoes.
I was curious to see what kinds of stuff would be at the market considing all the rain and flooding Pennsylvania and New Jersey have suffered over the last few weeks. Culton Organics was missing this week, which is a shame—I always love to see what they’re offering up. Blooming Glen had a little of everything—greens, bell peppers, potatoes, radishes, and squash. Savoie Organics had a huge selection of potatoes. Margerum’s, of course, offered up dried beans, herbs, and spices.
My own purchases . . . well, I went with the intention of getting duck breast from Griggstown Quail Farm, which I did, but I only wanted to get enough food to make a single meal. As it turns out, I have enough for, well, probably three:
- Cipollini onions from Root Mass
- Lacinato kale from Blooming Glen Farm
- Russian blush potatoes from Savoie Organics
- Puddle Duck Creek cheese from Hillacres Pride
- Butternut and Red Kobocha squash from, I think, Root Mass
- Duck breast from Griggstown
- Challah rolls from Wild Flour Bakery
I’ve been thinking about what to make since the second I left the market.
Sustainable Saturdays in University City
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Foraging! Wine and Cheese! Local Honey! Farmers’ Market! Seed Bombs! Get in this great series of events this coming Saturday! Farm to Table in West Philadelphia.
Walnut Hill Farm Stand Opens!
Thursday, June 09, 2011
The farm that Erica and Nick from Philly Rooted (and Farm to Philly!) have been working so hard at has produced its first full crops and the farm stand, in cooperation with the Enterprise Center, is open for business!
Dickinson Square Farmers Market and annual “Junque” Sale
Thursday, May 26, 2011
There’s a new farmer’s market in town! Dickinson Square Park in Philadelphia’s Pennsport neighborhood will celebrate the beginning of the summer seasowith debut of its farmers’ market, in partnership with Farm to City, the first weekend in June. The neighborhood’s annual art market and “junque” sale will coincide with the opening day of the market.
The Junque Sale, now in its third year, will feature artisans, live music, hula hooping competition, and quality second-hand good from neighbors’ personal collections. Neighbors and guests are also encouraged to donate items to the white elephant table, sales from which will go to support the park and farmers’ market. Additional funds will be raised through the sale of raffle tickets; the winner of the raffle will receive a ready-to-hang printed canvas featuring a vintage photo of Dickinson Square, dated April 12, 1910. The sale will begin on 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, and continue until 2:00 p.m.
The Sunday farmers’ market (http://www.dspfarmersmarket.com/) will open June 5 on the northwest corner of Moyamensing Avenue and Morris streets and will continue every Sunday through October from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Three farms from the region—Darmo Family Farms, Down Home Acres, and Two Gander Farm—will bring organic, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, as well as eggs, flowers, honey, and other products to Dickinson Square Park for the first time. There are plans to add a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) terminal to the market by midsummer, which will allow low-income households to use their food stamp benefits at the market.
Winter Farmers Market Hours
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
This upcoming weekend will be the last for the Headhouse Square farmers market, but there are still other markets to be enjoyed throughout the winter. Support your local farmers through the “dark season,” and fill your pantry with cold-weather vegetables.
Winter Market Schedule:
Saturday, December 18th: Clark Park Farmers’ Market and Fitler Square Farmers’ Market
Sunday, December 19th: Headhouse Farmers’ Market is OPEN. Last day for the season.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY MARKET, Thursday, December 23rd: Clark Park Farmers’ Market is open
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 25th: All markets CLOSED. Merry Christmas!
SPECIAL HOLIDAY MARKET, Thursday, December 30th: Clark Park Farmers’ Market is open
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 1st: All markets CLOSED. Happy New Year!
Saturday, January 8th: Clark Park Farmers’ Market and Fitler Square Farmers’ Market
are OPEN on their regular schedules throughout the winter.
Green Aisle Grocery
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
If you live in the Passyunk Ave. area, or just visit its recently booming restaurant, bar and boutique scene, you may have noticed Green Aisle Grocery. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, pop in! This little grocery carries all kinds of local goodies like Pequea Farms yogurt, farm fresh eggs and Lancaster county vegetables and meats, plus prepared food from local restaurants, like hummus from Zahav. You can pick up fresh pasta and sauce for dinner, a nice chunk of pecorino to go with it, and some Fee Brothers artisinal bitters for an after (or pre-) dinner drink. Last time I was in I couldn’t resist the West Indian Orange and Rhubarb bitters, which you’re unable to fine in Pennsylvania liquor stores, and I added a pound of delicious One Village coffee for good measure.
Kensignton Community Co-Op Seeks Members
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Begun as a buying club, the Kensington Community Co-Op is in the middle of an ambitious membership campaign to expand the Co-Op and bring fresh, local, and healthy food to the Kensington community. If you live in Kensington, please consider joining up, and remember that creating safe, healthy and sustainable food stores not only help you and your family, but your neighbors, as well!
From the site:
The year ahead will be to raise enough funds through member investments, donations, grants and loans to purchase equipment, to buy a building, finance construction and hire a general manager. Once our funds are secured we will begin to narrow down our options for a location.
“Local Ownership Means a More Secure Future.”
Since KCFC is owned and operated by its members, it is their needs that the co-op most cares about, rather than the needs of corporate investors whose interest are often strictly the bottom line. Become a member of KCFC and your bottom line becomes our bottom line. Invest in your community today!