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Farmers' Markets week of June 25th

It was so quiet at the Copley Market today. I really felt bad for the farmers. I guess, no one wanted to venture out into the heat.

Stillman's reported that they have put the netting on their blueberries-- apparently they are starting to ripen and need protection from the birds. We had their Italian sausage for supper tonight, and it is very good.

I bought salad greens and English cucumbers from Atlas. Greenhouse tomatoes from McArthur Farm-- we had some this week and while not the best ever they were good in a salad.

I picked up strawberries from both Hamilton and Stillman's (I try to buy a bit from all my favorite farmers) and my first fresh fennel of the season from Stillman's. I'll shave it on my mandolin and make a salad of it over a bed of arugula.
On the other side of the market, I tried some butter bookies from Tatte. Very nice and small enough for less guilt.

Cook's orchard had my husband's favorite oatmeal raisin cookies so I took their three for $5 deal and tossed a couple in the freezer for him.

It was so hot and humid that I did not visit every booth to see what was new. I'll try to do a better job on Friday.

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  1. Yesterday at Lexington was hazy, hot and humid. The stand selling seafood had gorgeous scallops, farm raised salmon and haddock by the time I got there. There was a lot of ice and plastic bags going on. Taza chocolate was also keeping everything in a cooler. The herb lady had a nice mixture available. Most of the farms were offering a variety of greens - chard, spinach, bok choy etc, ruhubarb, cucumbers, and hot-house tomatoes. Someone was selling strawberries. Two stands selling honey. Organic chickens are $2.49/lb and the same booth is selling eggs too. River Rock Farms had a nice variety of cuts available. Goat cheese lady did not bring her baby goat, but did bring her cheese. The Creamery had a number of semi-soft cheeses. The dip woman was also there. Ice cream stand was doing a brisk business. There's also two stands selling cereals/granola, hi-rise, and swissbakers (great macaroons and little burger buns!).

    9 Replies
    1. re: gini

      Where was the organic chicken stand? I was hoping to find chicken and couldn't find any. I guess I walked right past it!

      1. re: cambridgejen

        Its back was to Fletcher Ave, next to the Artists' Corner. Table is covered in flowers. They sell other items too - honey, greens.

      2. re: gini

        Sounds like Lexington has a really nice market -- that's awesome. Union Square this past Saturday was a little thin (and Scirraco didn't show up for knife sharpening until later....RATS) but it's building some momentum. I bought strawberries that were great ... actually tasted like strawberries. The lettuce and snap-peas were nice too. I am still missing the Yang's for the Asian-style greens and pea tendrils, etc. but I'm hopeful for next week.

        NB -- those of you who want to hit up knife sharpening at Sciracco's van, they are supposedly there every other week, so next time will be July 7. Just don't look for him early.

        1. re: yumyum

          I hit the Central Sq market on Monday (great veggies but no meats or cheeses) and the Lexington market yesterday (less selection of veggies but good meat and cheese options). Tomorrow I'll be checking out the one in Belmont just for comparison purposes, because it looks like they have a more extensive list of vendors - http://www.belmontfarmersmarket.org/v...

          (No, I don't normally go to the markets 3x in a week, but I'm scoping it out for the rest of the summer!)

          1. re: cambridgejen

            That one looks great! Thanks for the link. Think I might try it out next week. Could you report back if the lamb/pork folks were there?

            1. re: cambridgejen

              Where is the Central Sq market? Which days? Googling didn't seem to turn anything up...

                1. re: gini

                  Thanks, Gini! The site I found brought me to an outdated link from 2004.

            2. re: yumyum

              FWIW, I bought some outstanding pea "tips" at FK this weekend. A bag is about $4. Mixed in with organic greens, I get about 3-4 salads per bag..

          2. At Dewey Square today (Wed 6/27)
            Norse Farm strawberries. 'nuf ced. And this time it looks like they have enough that they won't sell out so quickly.
            Down the row, Keown orchards has wonderful rainier cherries and some sour red cherries (didn't try those).
            One, unnamed farm (I think the sign blew away) had garlic scapes and a full complement of early summer greens. Please reply if you know which farm that is.

            On the other hand, the non-farms are starting to outnumber the farms. There was a pottery stall, someone selling gargantuan bags of popcorn, and three bread shops (none of which was Iggy's). Hood also bought a booth, to hand out free milk. But at least their chocolate milk goes well with the cherries.

            There's still lots of space, so I'm hoping that more farms start showing up as the summer goes on.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kbw18

              I just went over to Dewey Square market on my lunch break- stopped at the unnamed farm as well for scapes and some greens for a salad tonight. Yum yum. I also noticed how many non-farms are proliferating the market. I really hope more farms start coming to Dewey Square since it's such a busy area.

            2. Davis Square today - more farmers than non-farmers, I'm happy to report! Kimball's Fruit Farm had both sweet and sour cherries - bought some of the sweet, and they are to die for. Fiore de Nonno (the fresh mozzarella vendor) was also there, as well as a goat cheese stand, maple products and River Rock beef. Bought swiss chard at Hanson's, and lettuce and arugula at another stand from Weston. (can't remember the name.) I really like this weekly Farmer's Market thread - thanks for starting it!

              3 Replies
              1. re: phoebek

                AWK! There were sour cherries and I MISSED them!!??! Thank you, now I'll pay more attention. Lots of greens and potted plants, all of us wilting noticeably. Strawberries! Signs up that next Wed. 7/4 is closed but that Arlington is open.

                1. re: Aromatherapy

                  I would've missed them, too, but I overheard someone talking to one of the staff - that's how I heard that they had both types, neither marked by a sign or any other identifier.

              2. I stopped by the Mission Hill Farmer's market today for the first time of the season. I got some strawberries from Drumlin Farm that are awesome! I had some from the Government Center farmers market several weeks ago that were fine, but nothing special. These, on the other hand, completely remind me of the ones I used to pick in my parent's backyard when I was little. I think maybe the strawberries have liked the recent hot weather.

                1. Coolidge Corner market today, didn't keep good enough track of the vendors...i was thinking of selling my painted furniture there, but the two craft venfors looked very lonely and unhappy.
                  Sassy River Sauces, which I saw at the Symphony Whole Foods, was there. Her sauces are low fat, and low calorie; pesto/tapenade type riffs. I bought a smoked tomato/olive tapenade, with mesquite-smoked tomatoes that she does herself. Wonderful, sweet smokey flavor. She's at Copley, as well..

                  Mizuna, strawberries, zucchini (I didn't ask too many questions...),
                  A GREAT piece if $12 a pound swordfish from the Globe fish woman, from Canada. Wish I'd bought more. That was the only bargain; her prices are pretty much on par with Whole Foods. Only more tastings will tell if the quality is any better.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: galleygirl

                    Globe Fish will have a stand at the Hopkinton Market on Friday 6/29, and will be in Newton when that market starts July 10. Their fish is very high quality.

                    1. re: rmperry

                      I stumbled upon a farmer's market right by South Station yesteday...did not even know there was a market there. Unfortunately I was into the 2nd hr of my 1 hr lunch break, so didn't have much time to browse. I did however, notice a stand from the "when pigs fly" bakery. They had a bunch of different flavors i've never seen in retail stores --chocolate bread w/dark chocolate chunks, an apple/cinnamon bread (which i purchased) and a few more savory types that i can't quite remember. The apple cinnamon loaf was still hot when i bought it --toasted it today w/ some butter, really delicious. I'd go back just for that vendor --does anyone know if they show up at any of the other markets? Looked like there were a few other vendors worth looking at, but unfortunately I just didn't have the time (or the cash, i spent my last 5 bucks on the bread.)

                    2. re: galleygirl

                      Does anyone know if the turkey pie man is going to be back at the Brookline farmer's market? Has he been spotted anywhere else?

                      1. re: lmuller

                        He doesn't usually show up until much later in the season - August or September, maybe?

                    3. I stopped by the Belmont market today right around 6pm. The chicken vendor was already gone and the veggie vendors had a limited selection, but I got pork chops, sausage, ribs, and ground beef from Stillman Farms. There was another vendor (Not Your Ordinary Farm?? or something like that?) selling pork products including bacon. The veggies all looked really good but since I'd been to two other markets this week I didn't really need anything. There was a stand selling fresh cut herbs which I will definitely take advantage of next time around. Anyway, this market looks really good and I'm positive it's going to be one of my summer staples.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cambridgejen

                        Thanks, sounds good. How's the parking?

                        1. re: Aromatherapy

                          Plentiful! The market is in the open area behind the Macy's so there's a huge parking lot right next to it.

                      2. I tried the Charles Square market today. There were only a few stands, but enough variety to put together a meal. I saw lots of veggies, like zucchini, summer squash, green beans, various lettuces and greens. Also three kinds of cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Also goat cheese and bread.

                        1. I stopped by Copley this afternoon and wasn't disappointed. Picked up some garlic scapes and breakfast radishes from Siena Farm (very tasty on both counts, I've already sampled them), a vivid bright-yellow zuke and bunch of red kale from Atlas Farm, an attractive egg-shaped zuke (can't remember which farm) that's apparently mediterranean in heritage, and two packages of "country-style" spare ribs from Stillman Farm which are going on the grill tonight. Aidan at Stillman (he and his wife run the farm) is quickly becoming my go-to guy for suggestions and supplies of meat and veg -- he's so smart and friendly. It seems to me people like Aidan at Stillman and Chris at Siena are exactly the kind of young, enthusiastic local farmers I want to patronize and encourage.

                          1. Union Sq. about 10:30. Stillman Farms has a rep there now, small selection of frozen meats (they've gotten very popular, good for them but not so good for us). B&R breads. Kimball's had sweet cherries, strawberries (tasty but smaller and more fragile than Wednesday's, went straight into the glass jar), raspberries, young cukes & cherry tomatoes. Another stand had sugar and shell peas and favas. Community garden kids selling seedlings. The pie stand had a few quarts of sour cherries. Yangs aren't there yet.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: yumyum

                                yeah, i'm beginning to wonder about them. seemed like last year they were already at union sq. by this point.

                            1. I went to the Hingham Farmers Market this am. It was very small w. about 4 stands selling baked goods, 1 craft stand and 1 plant stand. No fresh veggies! Definitely not worth the trip down!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Trufflebaby

                                hey we're going to do an artist-in-residency in boston for 18 months. we're localist slowfoodies coming from los angeles. we buy ALL of our food year round (except for flour and butter) at farmers markets. we are used to eating kale and collards all winter. we are totally freaked out about boston. what do you people EAT?. we've signed up for a winter CSA and a meat CSA but what happens from february to may? aren't there greenhouses? do the coop groceries store/sell local winter crops???? help! all resources would be appreciated.
                                --in a panic

                                1. re: violeta

                                  Some of us people buy produce that has been flown in from elsewhere. Perish at the thought!

                                  What exactly do you think grows here in February for crops?

                                  If you truly want to be a locavore in Boston, you need a plan. You need to either buy an AeroGarden or learn some other way of eating. You need to pickle. You need to can. You need to invest in a root cellar. You need to give up flour & rice and learn to love corn meal & potatoes. You gotta source. Seriously. Start researching now.

                                  1. re: violeta

                                    Gini is right. New England is not California - you will have a VERY hard time getting locally grown produce in winter. I use Boston Organics which is a delivery service providing organic vegetables and fruits - but they only supply local stuff when it is in season and available (as in, now). I certainly appreciate what you are attempting to do but it's going to be significantly harder here. Boston is a wonderful place for wonderful food - you just have to look a little further afield... Don't freak out.

                                    1. re: violeta

                                      This thread from a few weeks back contained a lot of helpful hints: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406151

                                      1. re: violeta

                                        Not to be glib, but the answer to your question (aptly addressed by gini, heathermb, and cambridgejen) can be summed up thusly: root vegetables and squash (and if you plan far enough in advance, canned summer bounty). The pilgrims had it rough, no doubt.

                                    2. Stopped by Havard's Farmers' Market on Sunday. Only 4 stands - Kimball's was selling strawberries, cherries and raspberries as well as salad greens and sturdier greens. Sugar snap peas and more mature rhubarb were also sighted.

                                      Skipped right over the next stall - selling some plants and turnips, beets, and greens as well. And right over Hi-Rise as well and went to the last stall who was selling green beans green beans in addition to the slew of greens.

                                      1. As I was walking from work I noticed a sign for a lunch time farmers market at 500 Kendall in Cambridge. Has anyone been? Just want to know if it is worth the walk (10-15 minutes) from work. TIA

                                        1. If you have a chance, I recommend the Coolidge Corner farmer's market in Brookline. They have quite an array of choices. The lettice varieties are outstanding. In case locals are still gardening, there is also a large plant selection.

                                          Brookline Farmer's Market
                                          Thursdays at 130pm
                                          Located behind the theatre on Centre St at Beacon st