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Farmers' Markets week of June 9, 2008

Last year we all reported in on the markets in our areas. So far, I've shopped at Copley (my home market), City Hall Plaza and Union Square.

Yes, I'm a farmers market junkie! It is such a fine way to get great food and meet wonderful people.

I've bought asparagus, greens, herbs, bread, eggs, green garlic, cookies, tomatoes, radishes, turnips, baby beets, cheese, meat and mushrooms. I've also tried a few of the specialty food items. We took the Sassy River sun dried tomato tapenade to a cookout and it was a hit.

At farmer Chris' (of Siena Farms) suggestion, we grilled the green garlic and it was fantastic.

From what I can see on the list of markets, there are many more opening this week. Here's the list if you need to check opening dates in your area.

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

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  1. Does anyone have local strawberries yet?

    7 Replies
    1. re: BostonCookieMonster

      I talked to the Stillman folks at the Union Square Market, and they were bemoaning the lack of strawberries in their fields. However, they said that the great day of rain followed by these sunny [and hot] days would get those strawberries ready quickly.

      1. re: smtucker

        I bought a quart of strawberries around 11:10 at the City Hall Market today. $6/quart, $3.50/pint. Also: sugar snap peas. And a chocolate muffin. Mmm.

        1. re: smtucker

          Stillman's had Strawberries yesterday in Copley Square $3.50 a pint

        2. re: BostonCookieMonster

          The woman from Kimball Farm promised strawberries next week at Union Square.

          There is a late-June strawberry promotion where participating restaurants donate the proceeds of strawberry desserts to the Mass Farmer's market group (Highland Kitchen is participating). The mods will object to my posting info about it, but expect to see more strawberries in your near future.

          1. re: yumyum

            I bought strawberries from Kimball at Union Square on the 14th. I was so excited to see them that i bought a quart ($6, I think), but must say I was a bit disappointed when I got home and started eating them...they weren't quite as sweet as I was hoping.

            At Union Sq the same day I also bought a yellow cherry tomato plant from Somerville Growing Center (a bargain at $3, and glad to support local growing efforts!), sugar snaps, chioga beets, and asparagus. The asparagus was from Kimball, and I'm sad to say I don't remember which farm the snaps/beets were from -- it was the guy across the square from Kimball. Looking forward to scoping out what new items arrive this weekend!

            1. re: italyinmind

              Hey Italy ... thanks for posting. I was tempted by those pretty strawberries but am glad I didn't spring for them. I was there on a MISSION to get the awesome Stillman's ground lamb because they told me last week they'd have it this week. They didn't (some kinda mix-up with the coolers) and I pitched a fit. It really wasn't the poor lady's fault but I want my damned lamb. You know they'll have it this weekend when I'm away in NYC.

              I call that guy across from Kimball "Farmer Dad" because that's what his t-shirt said the first time I saw him this year. And it fits.

          2. re: BostonCookieMonster

            Slightly off-topic, but I saw locally-grown strawberries at Russo's yesterday.

          3. Thank you for this info. I am planning to hit Copley again this week. I didn't make it last week, but I did the week before and got some delicious Boston lettuce from farmer Chris at Sienna Farms. When I went, there weren't many vendors yet, but I'm assuming more are starting to open.

            1. Oh, I forgot to ask. I am going to be moving to Coolidge Corner in August and I've never been to the Farmers' Market down there. How is it?

              12 Replies
              1. re: BackBayGirl

                In my opinion, it's the best in the area. Lucky dog.

                1. re: BackBayGirl

                  It's an excellent market. And, there are so many other great places in that areas. I always make that one a few times each season. Isn't that the market that has the incredible pie stand and a fish vendor???? And, Clear Flour bakery??

                  Here are details for that one.

                  Centre St. West Parking Lot (near Coolidge Corner)
                  Thursdays
                  1:30 pm to Dusk
                  June 19 -Oct 30

                  1. re: BostonZest

                    I don't recall an incredible pie stand, but yes, they have Clear Flour Bread and the fish lady. (Get on her email list so you can pre-order!) Also Bob's Turkey Farm (fairly late in the season) and River Rock Beef, not to mention plenty of veggies and fruit, one of the Hmong farm stands, and an ice cream truck with hand-dipped cones.

                    1. re: Allstonian

                      There's going to be a first ever farmer's market in Allston starting next week. June 18-Oct 29 Wednesdays 3-7pm at the corner of N. Harvard and Western Ave, near the Stadium. I know Clear Flour will be there, not sure who else yet.

                      1. re: KitchenArtsOwen

                        Clear Flour Bread will indeed be at the Allston market, plus the following other vendors:

                        Lanni Orchards
                        Flats Mentor Farm (Asian produce, herbs)
                        Sunshine Farm
                        Danish Pastry House
                        Herb Lyceum at Gilson's
                        Warren Farm and Sugar House
                        Taza Chocolate

                    2. re: BostonZest

                      Yes indeed, fish and pie! Allstonian, the pie stand is about halfway up the right side as you're facing the market from the street. Also a great local cheese and egg vendor - mmm, farm fresh eggs all summer long, right in the neighborhood. Now I'm impatient for them to open, counting down the days until Thursday the 19th.

                      1. re: BobB

                        I'd call that pie stand more "adequate" than "incredible," and the egg lady's stuff comes from a factory farm mid-state. You'd be better off finding a place that sells eggs from Chip-In Farm -- better quality eggs from a much closer vendor, at popular prices.

                          1. re: BobB

                            Russo's carries them, though they're sometimes out of stock.

                            1. re: BobB

                              I got chip-in eggs a while back at Dave's Pasta in Davis sq

                            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              To be fair, the pie stand is entirely decent, it's just that their pies are no better than I can and do bake myself. I have occasionally bought from them when I don't feel up to baking in the summertime. My main quibble is that their fillings are better than most but still too sweet, but I say that about pretty much all boughten pies.

                            3. re: BobB

                              I'd add a plug for Westfield Farm chevre - wonderful goat cheeses, both fresh and aged. I'm particularly partial to the smoked fresh chevre, but they're all excellent. And Brookline is the only local market that they do; there are some other goat cheese producers at other markets, but to my taste Westfield is far and away the best.

                        1. Bummer! I tried to go to Copley today on my way home. It was around 5:30 and everything but lettuce for the most part was sold out! :-( I was dying for some asparagus !

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BackBayGirl

                            I was there about 1:30 and snagged two bunches of asparagus from Atlas and one of the last pints of strawberries from Stillmans. Barbara at Hamilton Orchards was already out of berries. She told me she lost all her greenhouse raspberries to a power failure. (the greenhouses overheated)

                            Today's Globe food section has a listing of all the places where you can pick your own strawberries. Perhaps a weekend adventure!

                            http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                            1. re: BackBayGirl

                              Went to City Hall today - chioggia beets from Stillmans, greens at a couple of different places and (yes, finally!) strawberries! Feel like the season is truly beginning. Overheard at Stillmans that they think summer squash will be up next week....

                            2. Another City Hall Plaza update: More strawberries, at Stillman's and the man next door. A good amount of greens (kale, chard, spinach) throughout. Pea tendrils! And chioggia beets. Also: 23023020203200323020320302230 people at the Scooper Bowl. The farmers told me that if the weather holds, there will be summer squash next week...

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Jeda

                                OK, I'll bite: 23023020203200323020320302230?

                                1. re: BobB

                                  I think she meant there were a lot of people at the scooper bowl. Heard they beat all attendance records because of the extreme heat.

                                  1. re: yumyum

                                    Yes, it made more sense once she edited the post to include the word people.

                                2. re: Jeda

                                  What is 23023020203200323020320302230? Sounds delicious. By the way Chip-In Farm is in Bedford, and also will have a stand at the Bedford Farmer's Market, which will begin Monday's 2:00-6:30pm on June 14th.

                                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                                    23023020320302302032030202302032 (approximately) people at the Scooper Bowl. Oops.

                                    1. re: justbeingpolite

                                      if you add a cone and tilt your monitor, it looks delicious too:

                                      <23023020203200323020320302230

                                  2. I went to the Farmers' Market in front of the Charles Hotel today. Not a ton of vendors, but the ones who were there were selling tomato plants, strawberries, asparagus (at $4.50 a bunch, I did not get any this time around), rhubarb, lettuce, green garlic, herbs, and Clear Flour Bakery was there. Hopefully more vendors will be coming in the next few weeks as more crops become available.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BackBayGirl

                                      I was there too! I was sad to see that the cheese lady wasn't though. Wish I could remember that company's name.

                                    2. The Mission Hill farmer's market, in Brigham Circle, started up rather unexpectedly yesterday. It's a tiny market - only two stands - and yesterday only Drumlin Farm was there. They had chard, lettuce, strawberries, beets, radishes, some spicy Thai basil plants, a few more things.

                                      Unfortunately, I only had $5 on me, but I bought a pint of strawberries (a bit less ripe than I'd like to see) and stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home for a pint of heavy cream - cut up the berries with a little sugar and a tablespoon of triple sec, knocked out a quick batch of cream biscuits (most of which will go into the freezer), and Barmy and I had strawberry shortcake for dessert.