Oakmont/Havertown Farmers' Market, Grand Opening May 23
Next Wednesday will mark the grand opening of the new Oakmont Farmers' Market, located in the center of Havertown, PA. The market will run every Wednesday, 3:00 - 7:00 PM, from May 23 through November 21.
The producer-only market, in its first year, will feature ten vendors offering a wide variety of conventional and organic produce, pastured/grass-fed meats, cheeses, poultry, breads, honey and flowers.
Oakmont Municipal Parking Lot
2419 West Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083
Just northwest of the intersection of Darby & Eagle Roads
Opening Ceremony: 3:00 PM, Wednesday May 23rd
The market website -- www.OakmontFarmersMarket.org (still under construction) -- will include a blog, FAQs, farm/vendor information and links to local businesses.
My hope is that this thread will be participative and ongoing. Reviews, finds, photos, announcements about weekly offerings and updates about special events are all encouraged.
Today marked the welcome return of our farmers after market day fell on the 4th of July last week. I was plum out of fruit (pun half-intended) and
just about out of greens as well, so I headed over at 3:00 to make sure to get the pick of the crop. After a two-week hiatus, lots of new goodies have come into season. Aside from corn, I spotted okra, eggplants, cucumbers, several varieties of squash, plums and yellow peaches. Also, Hillacres Pride is now bringing natural, pasture raised beef to market. I picked up a pound of ground to start. Here are a few of the other things I stuffed into my shopping bag:
- Fresh onions and the first sweet corn of the season from Blueberry Hill Farm
- Blueberries and red raspberries, also from the appropriately named Blueberry Hill
- Two varieties of peaches, plums, sweet peppers and heirloom tomatoes from North Star Orchards
- Fresh garlic from Willing Hands, grown from seeds provided by Keith Stewart of Keith's Farm at the Union Square Green Market.
Now it's time to get cooking!
The market is really beginning to kick into gear now, both in terms of increased patronage and in the context of a richer diversity of seasonal produce. Asparagus has come and gone, strawberries are on the wane, but more and more vegetables and now small berry fruits have arrived each week. And yesterday was the first time I've seen sizeable lines of people queued up to make their selections from the produce farmers.
I've been really grooving on the variety of beets (red, golden, white, white stripe) from North Star Orchards, the mustard greens and pink beauty radishes from Willing Hands, the ground buffalo from Backyard Bison and the farm-fresh eggs from Lindenhof Farms. They've all become weekly staples. The newest discoveries this week included:
-- Early season carrots and radish pods from North Star Orchards
The carrots have yet to build a high level of sugar or structural density so they're light, tender and have a nice, bright green hint to their flavor profile. I'd never seen radish pods before. As the name suggests, they taste an awful lot like radishes, sort of crossed with the herbaceousness of a string bean. They worked well served raw in a mixed salad last night.
-- Cherries from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm
I'm not sure of the exact variety here, as the producer labeled them simply as "sweet cherries." They're small, still clustered together as they were picked from the trees and have a nice sugar/acid balance -- not too sweet nor too tangy.
The market website -- http://www.oakmontfarmersmarket.org -- has been up and running for a while now and, though it's still not "finished," it does provide a list of weekly availability and has links to our producers and to the market blog (where you can find pictures of some of the above items).
re: David McDuff
Hate to say it, but the market will fail unless they address the parking. Between the stalls and the spaces temporarily marked as no parking, about 2/3 of the spaces are used up. Alternate parking is to the west, but westbound traffic on darby rd is so bad at that time of day that you can't even make the left turn, let alone get to the alternate area.
I have to completely disagree with you. It is not realistic to expect to park right at the Farmer's Market. This is not a supermarket and they need the space in the parking lot for the farmer's stands and special-needs parking. There is plenty of parking eastbound on Darby. Both on the street and in another lot across from Nais Cuisine. It is just a very short walk up Darby to the Oakmount lot. Also, they've arranged for parking at the Grace Chapel church which is even closer.
This is a wonderful farmer's market and worth the short walk to pick up fabulous vegetables, bison, fruits, flowers, cheese, jams, etc .... And it's only a short walk away!
Week Three at the Market
A few of the goodies I picked up at this week's market:
- Beets (red, white and white-stripe) and purple kohlrabi from North Star Orchards
- Jersey strawberries from Fruitwood Orchard Honey Farm
- Red leaf lettuce from Blueberry Hill Farm and fresh, pasture raised eggs from Lindenhof Farm
These are some of my first shots with a new digital camera which I'm very much still figuring out, so my apologies for the crude quality....
Week Two at the Market
Sorry folks, no pictures this week. But I did score some great looking produce. Many of the items I selected this time 'round were repeats from week one. Some things were so good I just had to have them again:
- Mustard greens, mixed greens and radishes from Willing Hands Farm
- Asparagus and sugar snap peas from Blueberry Hill Farm
The sugar snaps were so sweet and tender last week that I just ate them raw. Cooking them wouldn't have made sense. This week's batch, after another week in the sun, is still holding onto the sweetness but has also built up a more mature, vegetal flavor and firmer texture.
Just to play the field a bit, I tried the strawberries from Blueberry Hill this week. Dark red, sweet and juicy, they're displaying peak season flavors. If I can make them last another day or two I may just roast some of them along with the rhubarb from Blueberry's stand.
Some new items I picked up this week included:
- Cabbage and broccoli -- some of the prettiest broccoli I've ever seen -- from North Star Orchard
- A whole chicken from the newest producers at the market, Stephen and Axel Linde of Lindenhof Farm in Kirkwood, PA
Now I just have to figure out when to enjoy it all.
Opening day at the market drew a good crowd, with politicos and local press on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, curious passersby and eager shoppers all checking out the scene. Being that it's very early in the growing season, some of the producers had rather limited offerings. Nonetheless, there was plenty of good stuff to get the ball rolling.
Today's finds included:
- Mustard greens, arugula and radishes from Willing Hands Farm.
- Asparagus and sugar snap peas from Blueberry Hill Farm
- Early Strawberries from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm
- Raw alfalfa honey from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm
- Asian pear butter from North Star Orchard
- Bison flank steak and ground buffalo from Backyard Bison
I reluctantly held off on the lovely rhubarb at Blueberry Hill and on the bison tongue from Ron at Backyard Bison. Maybe next week....