FLOTUS Shops at DC Farmers’ Market!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Hooray! Read the story on the New York Times website.
Opening day at Indian Valley Farmers’ Market
Saturday, July 04, 2009
I’m pretty sure there couldn’t have been more beautiful weather for today’s Indian Valley Farmers’ Market opening. Clear blue skies and sunshine were the perfect backdrop for local fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, wine, roasted coffee and flowers, homemade baked pies, cakes, breads and stromboli, and handcrafted rag rugs, glass earrings and glass watering bulbs. This year’s vendors include:
Annie’s Rag Rugs: Rugs made of 100% natural, recycled cotton and wool blankets.
Bakers on Broad: Specialty and traditional artisan breads.
Country Creek Winery: Variety of Pennsylvania wines produced and bottled by the winery; farmstead cheese made by Goot Essa.
Creations by Carmine: Beautiful hand-blown glass items including pendants, earrings, ornaments and watering bulbs.
Farmer’s Daughters: Fresh baked goods using Pennsylvania Dutch themes such as funny cakes, shoofly pies, whoopie pies, assorted cookies and breads; handmade crafts such as afghans, and hanging dish towels.
Frankie’s Favorites: All natural oatmeal cookies in four scrumptious flavors: oatmeal raisin, oatmeal raisin with coconut, oatmeal with dark chocolate ad pecan, and oatmeal peanut butter.
Nita-Baker: Delicious variety of strombolis, tomato pie, garlic knots, and many fresh baked sweets.
Peanut World: Fresh ground nut butters, roasted peanuts and a variety of healthy snacks.
R & L Home Baked Goods: Large variety of breads, cakes and cookies.
Rising Sun Coffee Roasters: Fresh roasted coffee in a variety of flavors; coffee drinks.
Willy’s Wood: Handcrafted cedar and pine furniture and wood products.
Ray’s Greenhouse: Vegetables, fruit, perennials, annuals; homemade jarred goods such as chow chow, sweet and sour beets, ketchup and apple butter.
Windy Springs Farm: Seasonal vegetables and fruit; jarred homemade goods including ketchup and spaghetti sauce.
Next Saturday’s market, which will feature the 2009 Field to Table Food Festival, is not to be missed. Be sure to stop by for exhibits from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 4-H, the Searching for “Berried” Treasure Contest, music, menu samples from local restaurants and activities for children. The market will open as usual at 8:30am; Field to Table events will run from 10am - 3pm.
This season, the Indian Valley Farmers’ Market will be held each Saturday until October 17, from 8:30am until 12noon (except in the case of special events) at the Telford Train Station on Penn and Main Streets in Telford, Montgomery County. Keep an eye on all market news and events at http://www.ivfm.org/.
Market Report: Headhouse Square
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Headhouse Square Farmer’s Market was lovely this morning. After weeks and weeks of rain (including Headhouse’s opening day last month), it seemed almost decadent to have such a beautiful Sunday. I arrived early - a few minutes before the official opening at 10am - and it was already hopping. By the time I left around 10:45am, the place was absolutely packed.
Blooming Glen Farm had gorgeous displays of fantastic-looking produce. I loved the basket full of arrowhead and purple cabbages, and could not resist taking a photo. I bought zucchini and fresh garlic from the stand, but I wanted to buy a lot more. With just two of us in the house and my limited time for cooking, I have to be smart about not overbuying. I was sorely tempted by the squash blossoms. Last year I bought some and made great cheese and pesto stuffed blossoms. Blooming Glen also had some pretty good-looking tomatoes, but I’m wary of tomatoes this early in the season. Hydroponic or not, the flavor always seems off to me.
The best deal of the day for me was the four pounds of fava beans I got from Queen Farm for a mere $2.00. I’m not sure what I will do with the fava beans yet - suggestions? They also had lots of Asian greens and great-looking mushrooms.
Three Springs Fruit Farm had tons of cherries, both red and white, as well as early apples, black and red raspberries, and blueberries. I’m always so tempted by their fruit stand. I bought cherries (they were $4 per pint), and they are some of the best cherries I’ve ever eaten - perfectly ripe with a deep, lush sweetness.
I was really excited to see Mark from Natural Meadows Farms selling his eggs. Since I’m not volunteering at Fair Food Farmstand right now (on an unrelated note, Fair Food has started construction on their new home in Reading Terminal!! I hear it should be another four or five weeks until they can move in.), I haven’t seen him in a while. I do love his eggs. If you’ve never seen them, you must get your hands on some - they are blue, green, brown, pink, and all colors in between from a variety of heritage breed chickens. I had a nice chat with Mark today, although I was horrified to hear how much professional processors are charging to slaughter his Tamworth pigs. While I realize federal regulations exist to protect the consumer, they also make it very difficult for small farmers like Mark to make a profit.
Margerum’s was selling their usual selection of dried beans, herbs and spices, preserves, etc. Bags of red lentils and cannelini beans came home with me today. With so much great produce available, a good white bean salad with vegetable and vinaigrette will make a nice lunch one day.
Weaver’s Way had some great-looking red and white kohlrabi (and lots of other beautiful stuff) that I bought for my husband. Now that I’m working at Awbury Arboretum, I see the folks from Weaver’s Way hard at work at the farm on a regular basis. Their fields look amazing - very healthy and productive.
A bunch of golden beets caught my eye, I think at either Culton Organics or Yoder Heirlooms. I just made a really great salad (recipe will be forthcoming this week) out of them, and I’m debating with my myself about how I want to use the beet greens. Beet green risotto is always delicious!
Happy Cat Organics was selling a lot of vegetable plants along with some nice looking produce. I was tickled to see that they are selling shiitake mushroom logs. I’ve always wanted to grow my own mushrooms, so I’m hoping they still have them next time I make it to Headhouse Square. Something else at the market was the first of Jersey sweet corn, although - like the tomatoes - it seems awfully early for good sweet corn.
Along with a few flatbreads from Wild Flour Bakery, I managed to buy nearly everything I needed for the week and didn’t spend a ridiculous amount of money.
Indian Valley Farmers’ Market Opens in One Week!
Friday, June 26, 2009
The Indian Valley Farmers’ Market will open at the Telford Train Station on Penn and Main Streets on Saturday, July 4 at 8:30am for the 2009 season.
Rumor has it that this year, we can expect the best selection of vendors ever featured at the market! Locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally produced wine and locally roasted coffee will all be available, making it a great place to start weekend grocery shopping. Additionally, each week, the volunteers of the market’s Promotions Committee have special events planned, the first of which will be on July 11, the 2009 Field To Table Food Festival:
“The purpose of the Field to Table Festival is to help promote the Indian Valley Farmers’ Market, Pennsylvania agriculture, local businesses and service organizations as well as to have a fun day with our families. In addition to the Farmers’ Market, we will have exhibits from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 4-H, the Searching for “Berried” Treasure Contest, music, menu samples from local restaurants and activities for children.”
Keep an eye on their website for all upcoming events: http://www.ivfm.org/ See you July 4!
Headhouse Square Opens to Grey Skies
Monday, May 04, 2009
The Headhouse Square Farmers Market opened for the season yesterday morning. Sadly, the weather was grey and drizzly, but that didn’t prevent shoppers from crowding the Shambles to browse and shop. If opening day is any indication, it looks like it’s going to be a spectacular season, with many old favorites, including Culton Organics, Birchrun Cheese (I adore the Birchrun Blue), Wildflour Bakery and Spring Hills Maple Syrup.
Additionally, some new farmers and producers were there, including Dancing Hen Farm, which delighted me as they’re they CSA I’ve signed up with for the season and their produce looked bright and vivid.
This year, The Food Trust has also expanded the Saturday market, so if you can’t make it on Sundays, you now have expanded shopping options. Both markets run rain or shine, from 10 am until 2 pm.
Jersey Fresh Canned Tomatoes
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Last summer went by in a blur, and the bulk of my plans to can and preserve tomatoes to carry me through the winter months fell by the wayside. I did manage to freeze some roasted tomatoes, but every time I want to make a batch of pasta sauce or add some color and zing to a pot of soup, I’d have to settle for a can of tomatoes of unknown origin (I’m not a strict locavore, I do like to eat things grown in my general region as much as is reasonable).
Because of this, I was delighted to discover these Jersey Fresh canned tomatoes at the Fair Food Farmstand on Saturday. Grow and canned locally, they have really great color, flavor and are a wonderful resource for those of us who didn’t quite get around their canning projects during the last tomato season.
At $3 a can, they aren’t a super bargain, but are certainly comparable to the fancy San Marzano tomatoes sold at gourmet markets.
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
There is very little going on in Old City for those of us who are interested in supporting local farmers. It seems like there are farmers markets and shops that specialize in locally grown/made ingredients in just about every other neighborhood in and around Philadelphia - except Old City (or maybe there’s some secret underground stuff that I just don’t know about). Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is doing their part to change that - they sell preserves and sauces made by Greensgrow Farm, and they will serve as a pick up site for the Community Supported Agriculture program at Lancaster Farm Fresh.
If you know about Art in the Age, it shouldn’t surprise you that they are at the forefront of supporting local farmers in Old City. The store exists to support local artisans and the DIY movement. Walk around the shop and you’ll find house-made stationery and tees, small batch fragrances, and even Mennonite quilts. The folks behind Art in the Age have also found themselves square in the middle of an initiative to convince city government to overturn the ban on private citizens keeping chickens.
Serving as a pick up site for Lancaster Farm Fresh is their latest effort to support local farmers. The deadline for a discounted rate passed a day or two ago, but you can still purchase a seasonal share for $700 until April 15. If you’re interested, call Art in the Age or get in touch with the folks at Lancaster Farm Fresh.
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
116 N. Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phoenixville Winter Farmers’ Market
Friday, February 27, 2009
Sorry my posts have been light this month - we’re remodeling our family room, which is only consuming all of my time! However, I couldn’t pass up the chance to talk about the farmers’ market.
The Farmers’ Market in Phoenixville has a (roughly) bi-weekly winter market from December through April (it’s weekly from May to November). Since it’s winter, there’s not an overabundance of veggies - but you can find storage veggies like carrots, potatoes, and cabbage as well as a few greens (spinach, arugula, and endive). There will be two veggie sellers at the market this weekend! There’s also plenty of meat from chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, buffalo, and cows - and eggs, cheese, honey and baked goods. Plus you can get your hands on the Blue Sue fudge that Nicole blogged about last week. Some of the producers have pre-orders, and many also have first-come first-serve items as well. The newsletter has the details. Between the winter market and what we’ve stored from our CSA we’ve hardly had to buy any veggies from the supermarket at all this winter.
The picture was taken at the last winter market - it was cold! Tomorrow promises to be much nicer - the market is open from 10am - 11am at the corner of Bridge and Taylor streets in Phoenixville. For more info check out the website.
The Marketplace at East Falls
Sunday, February 22, 2009
When I last wrote about the Marketplace in East Falls it had just opened and was a bit of a ghost town. Now, a little more than a year later, I was pleased to see that it was almost bustling on a Saturday afternoon and all of the vendors were in attendance. I went with my son yesterday to pick up some apples and yogurt and promised him an ice cream cone if he behaved. The behavior clause is necessary for a toddler because the market, which does not have carts to strap your child into, has an open layout that makes small children want to run.
We stopped first at Metropolitan Bakery where I picked up some day old bagels and focaccia. The next stop was Jeff’s Produce. The apples sold there are some of the best Fuji apples I’ve ever had. Local from Lancaster County they are worth the trek to East Falls. The price is higher than last year, but at 99 cents a pound they are still a bargain. Aside from the apples I was not overwhelmed by the variety of local produce, but there were some other local items- for some reason I can only remember leeks “imported” from New Jersey- available.
Our last stop was the Amish stand where a variety of local dairy products and baked goods are sold. Different brands of raw milk, goat’s milk, and organic milk is available along with eggs, Amish butter, ice cream and my favorite Pequea Valley yogurt which is made from the milk of pastured cows. After picking out our yogurt my son got his chocolate marshmallow ice cream cone. I’m a bit of a snob these days and I have to admit that I was disappointed to see that Kreider Farms ice cream is made with corn syrup. It may not be made from the purest of ingredients, but it is local and reasonably priced at a dollar a scoop.
The other stands we frequent at the Marketplace at East Falls are DiBruno Brother’s cheese which has a small selection, Mona Lisa Fine Mediterranean cuisine which sells sandwiches, spreads and salads made fresh daily, Crossing Vineyards Winery, and The Head Nut which sells bulk spices, nuts and candy. The Marketplace also sponsors beer tastings every third Saturday from 4-7. There are several other vendors and a large seating area.
Thanksgiving-Prep Markets Today
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
If you’re still shopping for groceries for Thanksgiving, the Clark Park and Headhouse Square markets are running until 4pm today. The Clark Park one looked pretty active this morning!
Locally made pasta!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I have a deep love of DiBruno Bros. shop in Center City - they always have at least some locally made cheese, and sometimes even have locally grown produce. Today I found out that they will now be making pasta to order in the center island.
What makes all this talk about fresh pasta so interesting is the fact that Di Bruno Bros. will be making its own fresh pasta right before your very eyes in the store’s Center Island. As part of a growing partnership with fellow Italian Market staple Talluto’s, we have obtained an antique pasta making machine that will be on display every Friday thru Sunday beginning on October 10th. We will provide customers with a healthy variety of traditional cuts as well as a range of flavors including whole wheat and spinach.
Fresh pasta isn’t just better tasting, it’s naturally high in fiber, low in sugar and gives off a slow, steady release of energy. Because it develops less gluten, the pasta is lighter, making it quicker to cook and easier to digest.
Roxborough Farmer’s Market Report
Friday, August 29, 2008
Last summer Red Earth Farm’s CSA offered locally grown fruits through their buying club each week. In addition to my fruit share I was able to order extra delivered with my share every other week. This summer I am not so lucky. I did not buy a fruit share and so far, not a single fruit has been offered through the buying club. That means that every Friday I’ve had to arrange my schedule to make it to the Roxborough Farmer’s Market to pick up fruit for the week. The Roxborough Farmer’s Market, though small, offers a great deal of variety. The big problem is that the market is so popular that most of the fruit sells out within an hour or two.
The past several weeks I’ve done my best to get there at 2.00 when the market opens. The line starts even earlier. I was 15 minutes early last week and the line was already ten people deep. I waited in the hot sun for about 20 minutes before I made it to the front of the line. I needed my husband who was towing the toddler in the bike trailer to help me home with the goods.
In addition to seasonal fruits and vegetables the market also offers baked goods, jams and jellies, eggs, quilts and fresh cut flowers.
Still Life with Pears and Grapes
Sunday, August 24, 2008
These were so pretty that I had to take a photo: lovely small pears and these tasty wee Thompson grapes. Both from Highland Orchards (DE) at Fitler Square market. And, they have spots open in their fall CSA shares—and two sizes so that those of us not feeding a family of 4 can enjoy the abundance without being overwhelmed.
The 320 Market Cafe
Monday, August 18, 2008
I’m always on the lookout for places to pick up locally grown foods, whether it’s in the city or the burbs. Lately, I’ve been finding more little gems in the burbs! My latest favorite is the 320 Market Cafe in Swarthmore. They keep a nice stock of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Over the weekend they had local squash, corn, tomatoes, peaches, and a whole host of others. They’ve also made a pledge to only carry mushrooms from Chester County (according to their newsletter, ChesCo mushroom producers are facing stiff competition from Chinese producers - who charge less, but also produce an inferior product).
Additionally, 320 stocks Birchrun Hill cheese, Seven Stars yogurt, and Natural by Nature milk, and coming this Fall you’ll be able to pick up local, organic, pastured chicken and local grassfed and pastured beef.
I should also mention that they have stellar pico de gallo. The avocado may not be local, but the tomatoes are.
It’s really great to see the 320 Market Cafe making an effort to support local farmers and our local economy. I’ve heard reports that many other small markets in the vicinity (not just Delaware County, but throughout our region) are moving toward this model, In increasing numbers, people care about where their food comes from and have the desire to keep small farmers afloat.
Clark Park market report, 16 August
Saturday, August 16, 2008
It’s really apple season! I’m so happy. Those are Ginger Golds from Fahnestock Fruit Farm, along with broccoli and a pepper from Keystone Farm, multicolored beans, some hot peppers, and another bell pepper from Urban Girls, a red pepper, a cucumber, two small summer squash, and an ear of corn from Shenk’s Berry Farm, and two four-seed cookies from Slow Rise.