Reading Terminal Market
I'm making my first trip to RTM to actually buy produce and not just eat. Has anyone gotten their produce from there before? I want to start buying local and organic and I figured they might be a good place, but are they expensive? Which is the best stand?
Do you know of any other good farmer's markets in Philly? I've searched around, but RTM just keeps popping up.
The produce at Iovine's is generally very good and is dirt cheap. They are very crowded there and have a very, very wide selection. The offerings at OK Lee are generally pretty good, and there is a Fair Food Farmstand that has a lot of organic offerings. Also, if you are in the market on a Saturday you can catch some of Earl Livengood's produce from his farm. His temporary stand is located in the center court adjacent to the bronze pig.
I don't buy organic so I'm not sure about price, I do buy my produce at Iovine's at the RTM and they do have organic offerings, it doesn't make up that much of the inventory though. There is also a small organic produce stand there as well. Your best bet is to go down and see what goes on for yourself.
I work next door and always get my produce from Iovines. The prices vary, so it helps to have an idea of average costs, but you can get some excellent deals and great quality. I love the grab bags of baby spinach or field greens for $1 and the nut selection is very affordable.
You can sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, too--they have a pickup spot at RTM, and other areas around the city: http://www.lancasterfarmfresh.com/
I just sent in my application for the first time, so I can't give you any more info than what's on the website. It looks like a good value, though.
The Fair Food Farmstand is all local and mostly organic (some low spray) produce, dairy products, meats and a few other miscellaneous things. They are associated with the white dog foundation (http://www.whitedogcafefoundation.org/) and will send you an email list of what is available each week. They are open Wednesday through Sunday. All of their food comes directly from the farmer who grew/raised it. The white dog foundation also has links to help you find other organic and local foods and the restaurants that use them across PA.
Livingoods on Saturday is also great. And Iovines has what you can't get at either of them - they don't do "local" but they do have some good organics. Better prices than supermarket organics for sure.
Also, there is a new meat store - Giuntas - right across from Iovines with organic fresh meats - excellent!
Farmers markets all around the area will be starting in a few weeks, once local farmers have things to sell. There is one on Tuesdays at 5th/passyunk and South (Livingoods goes there too!) and one on Saturday at 2nd and South. I know there are other "once a week" places, but these are my local ones - again the White Dog Foundation will have some listed, you can also try googling "Farmers Trust" thats a local farmers market organization.