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Boston Copley Sq Farmers' Market - worth going?

hhc May 13, 2008 11:53 PM

What are hounds thoughts on Boston Copley Square Farmers' Market? It's starting up May 20-Nov 25, and I might have time to check it out Fri 5/23/08.

Any must I should buy?
breads, cheese, apples. I saw some mention on yelp on Cook's Orchard stand - giant cookies $2
goat cheese w/ Australian ginger $5+ Did I read that right?
Iggy's bread - what's good?
Apples-are Mutsus, Macouns, Empires available now & when I go? Never tried them before.

Oh, any specialty candy, tea, etc, I can buy in Boston that I can't get in Calif & that's easy to bring in my carry on bag?

Thanks in advance.

  1. m
    midnightmorningglory May 15, 2008 09:03 PM

    if she's there, as i think (???) she might just be doing the market one day a week, i would highly recommend the goat cheese with ginger

    1. litchick May 15, 2008 01:51 PM

      My fave Copley stands include Stillman's (esp. when they have meat!), Siena, Tatte, and the lovely stand between Siena & Tatte that has loads of asian veggies. I regret that I don't know the name of that stand.

      I love the Copley market. It has a great feel, and since there's a lot of foot traffic from the worker bees in Back Bay on their lunch breaks, I feel like the farmers bring in loads of good stuff. It can get thin by the end of the day, but even if you get there by 3p or so you've got good stuff to choose from.

      1. bgavin May 15, 2008 10:41 AM

        Already planned my week around being in Coply Square for a different kind of Opening Day on Tuesday.

        Dreaming of fiddleheads and ramps....and maybe even some asparagus, though it is still pretty early.

        1. p
          porcospino May 15, 2008 08:59 AM

          Things currently growing that you might see at the market: radishes, green garlic, greens of all sorts, asparagus (local, Mass asparagus is heavenly), herbs, etc. It's early still, but stuff is coming up. Give the market a try.

          1. o
            overproofed May 15, 2008 06:46 AM

            I've never gone to a market around here in May. The Brookline market opens in mid-June, and even then the pickings are relatively slim for a few weeks. I can't really imagine that there will be much fresh produce in mid-May. Maybe a few baby salad greens, some hothouse-grown items, and possibly a few spring specialty items (for example ramps, fiddleheads, garlic scapes). Plants are another popular item at the early markets. The markets really get going in early to mid July.

            If you see any apples, they will have been in cold storage since last autumn. This is apple blossom season around here... You can probably do just as well going to a good grocery store. Macouns and Empires don't store particularly well in my experience; even if I saw them, I probably wouldn't buy them at this time of year. I don't know how well Mutsus store.

            Of course things like baked goods, jams, honey, and cheeses should be available. And you may even find some pretty good apple cider (it keeps well in the freezer).

            2 Replies
            1. re: overproofed
              Allstonian May 15, 2008 07:26 AM

              Unless there's someone new this year, I only remember one cheese vendor, with some nice goat cheeses. I don't remember ever seeing cider in the springtime.

              As others have said, this is pretty early for any veggies, especially since we've had a long cool spring this year. Keep in mind that Massachusetts has a very different climate from California! Salad greens are probably about all you will find. Lots of plants this time of year - herbs and annual flowers, mostly.

              Also bear in mind that if you're used to the big CA farmer's markets with a huge range of farmed goods and locally made specialty products, even the Copley Square market, which is one of the better ones in Boston, will seem pretty measly to you!

              1. re: overproofed
                g
                ginnyhw May 15, 2008 07:31 AM

                We were in NYC at the end of April and the Union Square Farmers market was packed. They had a lot of seedlings, flats of flowers and herbs, produce and many stalls offering baked goods, local meat & fish, canned goods and cheeses. I can't wait until June.

              2. p
                patiofixture May 14, 2008 07:28 AM

                The first weeks of the farmers markets are typically pretty sparse - not much is growing yet. Definitely no apples for a while, but if you have a chance to get back to Boston in the late summer/early fall the local "heirloom" apple varieties are an amazing treat that really aren't available elsewhere.

                That said, some of the locally made chesses are wonderful, and should be available. There will also be jellies, preserves, and various jarred spreads.

                Just about anything you see at the market would be local. I just don't know how much there will be so early.

                1. Joanie May 14, 2008 04:46 AM

                  I think it's a decent market but not sure how great it'll be the first week it opens before summer really kicks in. Those cookies are pretty good. Sometimes I get the package of donuts but they're never as tasty after sitting around a while. Iggy's is good in general. I don't think you'll see anything here except maybe those cider donuts that you can't get in Cali.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Joanie
                    BostonZest May 14, 2008 08:07 PM

                    If Cooks has the oatmeal raisin buy extra. Those are just too good but they don't make them often. I also buy their granola when they have it.

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