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Area farmers' Markets 6/11/07

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How about a weekly report on what we are finding and enjoying in area farmers markets each week?

I shopped Copley today.

Hamilton farms had raspberries!

I bought organic strawberries at the Atlas Farm stand plus and their great European cucumbers and baby lettuce mix.

Siena Farm had a cone cabbage that I grabbed for a batch of slaw and green garlic. They also had purple Kolrabi, greens and scallions.

I buy my honey from Keown Orchard-- I ran out two week before the market open and did without rather than settle for less.

There are lot of plants for gardens and some greenhouse tomatoes around. I didn't buy those.

There a a number of new specialty food folks at this market-- a pastry person, a fudge sauce and spice mix.

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  1. There's no way those raspberries are local. Mine haven't even flowered yet.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chris VR

      I see flowers here in the city. A warm spot on the south shore might manage it?

      1. re: Aromatherapy

        Not bloody likely outside a greenhouse as, from late spring to late fall, the south shore is *cooler* than inland because the ocean is cooler (right now, in the mid-50s).

      2. re: Chris VR

        Mine have set fruit, but I don't expect to start picking any before July. Maybe they have a sheltered spot?

        1. re: Chris VR

          Many of the farms have greenhouses. All the products at the farmer's markets must come from a local farm and they are checked.

          1. re: BostonZest

            I've never heard of raspberries being grown in a greenhouse but now that I Google it, you're probably right! For some reason I would have thought they wouldn't work well in a greenhouse.

        2. Norse Farm, who I've only seen at Dewey Square, had strawberries on Monday. I got one of the last three quarts they had. They were also selling wonderful-looking local asparagus.

          On a side note, after trying local strawberries that taste like strawberries, I'm never buying California strawberries (that taste like straw) again.

          1. I too hit the Copley market, usually on Fridays. The past few weeks Chris at Siena Farms has had some teriffic rainbow swiss chard -- I've discovered that if you have one of those wok-shaped bbq baskets, and you toss the chard with a little olive oil, you can cook the greens on the grill in about 5 mins to a perfect (and smoky!) done-ness. It's heaven. Siena Farm also has very good fresh green garlic and arugula, though I prefer the arugula they get later in the season since it gets a bit spicier.

            Last week I got some spicy lamb sausage from Stillman Farm -- it's new for them this year, and it is awesome. I've heard their meat CSA is great, and after that sausage, I'm tempted to join up.

            1 Reply
            1. re: litchick

              Last week I bought pork chops from Stillman's that were delicious. Expensive, but delicious.

              Also, I went to the city hall market on Monday. I bought some english peas, which were great. I just shucked and sauteed them with some olive oil, shallots, and S & P. Scrumptious! I am hoping that they will have some strawberries left when I get out of work this afternoon.

            2. Great thread idea! I just got back from Arlington - there were some new faces there, including Chestnut Farms and Danish Pastry House (temptation!). I got some of the Hot Italian pork sausage and frozen ground beef from Chestnut.... they also have eggs (which they were out of), and a meat CSA, too. Lots of lettuces, herb plants, and beautiful strawberries from Kimball Fruit Farms. One place had 12 kinds of basil plants! I also picked up haddock from Globe Fish and Crystal Brook's goat cheese.

              The sign said there'll be more vendors next week, but it was a good showing for the first market of the year!

              (Danish Pastry's 7-layer bar and cinnamon brioche were heavenly, btw.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Raedia

                Danish Pastry House has also shown up at the South End Open Market. I gave into temptation one Sunday morning, and didn't regret it.

              2. I was just at Davis Square market, and Kimball Farm has strawberries! I bought some, and then also bought their final asparagus - it looked lovely. I was at Central Square on Monday and Hutchins Farm (organic from Concord) has the nicest lettuce ever. It's so great to have market season again. The Davis Square market is one of the best - it has more variety than most in that you can get meat and cheese in addition to green things.

                2 Replies
                1. re: obie119

                  I wasn't able to get to the Davis farmer's market (sudden business trip), but my partner went and bought salad greens, purple scallions (who knew?), and fresh mozzarella.

                  1. re: obie119

                    I was there yesterday also. Damn those strawberries were good. Tasted oddly like ... strawberries (as opposed to packaging material, which is what the Whole Foods stuff tastes like). Missed the asparagus (must have gotten there late).

                    Discovered a Taza Chocolates tent (see the chocolatier thread for more info on this) and apparently, a mozzarella maker named Fiore di Nonno rents space from the same factory area, so they're also selling fresh mozzarella also. Very different from what I'm used to -- not quite as stringy or as fatty, but very, very, very good. Can't wait to go back next week and get some of the organic stuff, which has not been colored with titanium dioxide mineral powder (apparently this is how they get mozzarella cheese white - blech).

                  2. Brookline opens tomorrow... can't wait!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: pamalamb

                      Just got back from Brookline--my first time there. I recognized a few from the Davis Square market, like the goat cheese and maple syrup stands. But the Brookline market must be three times the size, maybe four times, if you count the crafts vendors.

                      There were greens galore, from lettuces to kale to komatsuna. There were still plenty of beets, but the turnips were sold out. There was beef, pork, and fish. Strawberries everywhere. There was Clear Flour bread on one side and a pie stand on the other.

                      I see why people are so enthusiastic about this one!

                      1. re: Baiye

                        I agree. Horrible weather, and it's still early, but there was some good looking stuff there. I can't wait until the markets go full throttle.

                        1. re: Baiye

                          I scored a quart of lovely strawberries from Kimball's and two shortcake biscuits from the Clear Flour stand, and those are all gone already. Also a bunch of swiss chard from Stillman's (Aidan said he's out of the lamb sausage already and expects to have more in a couple weeks), a nice sirloin and some hamburger from River Rock, to grill if this weather ever breaks, and...actually, I think that's it. I was slightly troubled to note that the egg and cheese lady wasn't in. Perhaps she'll be back later in the season.

                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            I was there yesterday, especially for the Rat cheese from Smith farm and the woman at the other cheese vendor said the Smith Farm woman was at a funeral and would be there next week. I've been waiting all winter for cheddar they call "rat cheese". I also bought some burger from Red Rock. The steak was pricey but if the burger is as good as I hope it is I will probably spring for a steak. They had short cut rump, a favorite of ours for cook out steak and hard to find these days. Brookline really is a good sized market. I was at Charles hotel Market last Sunday and it is really tiny and squeezed on the sidewalk. not what I had expected at all.

                            1. re: ginnyhw

                              I'm all about the ultra-sharp cheddar, but that rat cheese breaks through the sharpness wall for me, and goes into kinda musty and feety-tasting. I do like her flavored goudas a lot.

                      2. Does anyone know when the Melrose Farmers Market opens? Saugus is on Tuesdays, I believe.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Gio

                          The sites says mid June

                          Melrose

                          City Hall Parking Lot
                          Thursdays 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
                          mid-June -mid Oct

                          http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/t-a...

                          Can you tell that I'm a BIG fan of farmers' markets?

                          Penny

                          1. re: BostonZest

                            That may mean next week, but the seasonal sign has yet to appear at the kiosk next to City Hall...

                            In good years, it's from the week of Father's Day (next week) until the week of or before Columbus Day (depending on how early or late the latter holiday falls).

                            Of course, dont' expect local tomatoes and corn until August (late July sometimes in hot, dry years) ....

                        2. I was at union square farmers market today, really good no-spray strawberries, but that's it for fruit. I forget the name of the vendor but there is fantastic lettuce and greens of various stripes. Not too many vendors yet though. I went to the south end market for the first time, though, and anyone interested in produce shopping shouldn't bother. It's all crafts. They did have farm eggs though. Does anyone know if there are any in central square? I love farm eggs!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: dinnerbell

                            A while back (few years ago?) I heard that there was a farmer's market somewhere near North Station (I seem to remember hearing about it being near or on the bridge going to Charlestown).

                            Does this exist - or was it some figment of my imagination? I can't find anything about it online!

                            1. re: dinnerbell

                              Second that about the South End. I went there this morning and thought I was just too early, then read your post, cruised by later in the day and it was the same deal. Predominantly (very high end) crafts. I would have thought different given the hood.

                              1. re: dinnerbell

                                There's a farmers market at the school on the corner of Magazine St and Memorial Dr (near the river and Trader Joes) on Saturdays from 10-2. I went a couple weeks ago and one of the stands was selling eggs.

                                1. re: dinnerbell

                                  Was the mushroom guy there??? He always has excellent hen of the woods and morels.

                                  1. re: Small Plates

                                    THere's a guy who sells great chicken mushroom and oyster mushrooms in union square but he hasn't shown up yet.

                                2. Stopped off at Lexington yesterday. First time there - what a spread! And they even had a baby goat.

                                  Lots of herbs, lettuce, strawberries, some rhubarb (not much) at all of the stands. A few people had tomatoes. Also saw some organic honey, river rock farms meat, and someone selling organic chickens & eggs. Bakers included Hi-Rise, SwissBakers (had a light apricot beignet that was great, if sticky) and another selling cookies. The pesto spread lady was there as was the goat cheese gal. Also saw an artist's corner and an ice cream stand (the Creamery) as well as the sweet sauce lady.

                                  1. Does anyone know when the Brigham Circle (Mission Hill) market is starting up? I looked on the FMFM website but it just said "late June."

                                    1. New Medford Sq. market opens tomorrow. Will run Thursdays 2-7, River St. Chow-related lineup so far: Two farms, Busa and Bolton Flats (which promises Asian vegetables); Hi-Rise, Danish Pastry House, and Wynne’s and Breeze’s Bakery; Trung Nguyen Coffee; La Bella’s Fine Foods.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Aromatherapy

                                        Have you (or anyone) tried the Trung Nguyen Coffee? I saw them at the Arlington market last week, and was thinking of bringing some up to VT for the in-laws. Is it fair-trade?

                                        1. re: Raedia

                                          You can check out their website at www.trung-nguyen-online.com/

                                          1. re: buffet king

                                            Interesting how things not grown, or even produced, locally are slipping into farmers' markets....

                                      2. Just got back from Brookline. I got zucchini (but not summer squash). Also turnips, some beautiful Shanghai bok choy, eggs, and pork. And it was warm enough to get ice cream!