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Farmers' Markets week of June 16th

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I'm a tad slow getting this week's Market thread underway.

Don't miss Greygarious' thread about the Bedford market at:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/52995...

I was a Copley today and all the farms have now arrived with today's addition of MacArthur Farm. New to the market today were sugar snap peas and summer squash at Atlas and purple kohlrabi at Seina.

My shopping cart had strawberries, basil, parsley, cucumbers, salad greens. I also bought a couple of pastries from the Hardwick Cooking School & Bakery and a baguette from Iggy's.

And, I of course bought tomatoes. I'm sure most Hounds realize that the local tomatoes are safe. But, if you want an official answer on that, I did an article about Massachusetts tomatoes yesterday with all the FDA links. The FDA says that Massachusetts tomatoes are not involved in the current problems.

http://www.bostonzest.com/2008/06/mas...

I also had my weekly hot dog treat from Doug at the cart near the ticket booth. That man makes good hot dogs and he takes the time to do them right. What's more, he's always a happy moment in a busy day. He's there most days - not just market days.

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  1. I made it to the Central Square Farmers' Market just to look around. They seemed to have a nice variety. Tomatoes, lettuce, green garlic, breads, pastries, the women w/ the meat and egg stand were there. My friend went over to the one at Harvard (by the Science Center at Harvard) and said there was basically one veggie vendor, a bakery and a few people doing herbs. She wasn't impressed. Perhaps other vendors will come there. I think this was their first week anyhow.

    9 Replies
    1. re: BackBayGirl

      Hmm, I did my shopping at the Harvard market and had a much different experience than your friend. Things were definitely still ramping up, but there were two bakeries (When Pigs Fly and a pastry place), a fresh mozzarella vendor and another vendor selling shy brothers cheeses, a smoked fish vendor, Gilson's Herbs, and a few produce vendors. There were some nice tomatoes, eggs and lots of greens (including good pea shoots). Tazo chocolates and a jelly vendor were also there.

      1. re: hckybg

        Hello! Yesterday's vendors at the Harvard U. market were:

        Plato's Harvest Organic Farm
        Silverbrook Farm
        Lanni Orchards
        Mariposa Bakery
        The Danish Pastry House
        When Pigs Fly
        Taza Chocolate
        Fiore di Nonno Mozzarella
        Deborah's Kitchen All Natural Fruit Spreads
        Nantucket Wild Gourmet and Smokehouse
        Olio di Melli, also carrying Shy Brothers cheeses
        The Herb Lyceum at Gilson's

        In the coming weeks we'll be adding:
        Flats Mentor Farm (Asian produce and herbs)
        Big Mountain - organic soaps
        The Warren Farm and Sugar House - maple syrup and maple products
        Shootflying Hill Sauce Co. - homemade dessert sauces

        We also have weekly chef demos - yesterday Carolyn Johnson, chef de cuisine at Rialto restaurant, made a fresh herb salad with rhubarb chutney and Hannabell cheese. In coming weeks we'll have Mary Dumont of Harvest, Peter Davis of Henrietta's Table, Steven Brand of Upstairs on the Square, Paul O'Connell of Chez Henri, and more.

        Come check us out!

        1. re: theresa10

          Harvard's is my favorite, and I like their shirts. Plus, if you have kids, the coolest playground in the universe is just around the corner.

          1. re: theresa10

            Good to know. I have no idea why my friend told me that there were barely any places there. Weird!!

            1. re: theresa10

              What day and time at Harvard?

              1. re: newhound

                It looks like Friday and Sunday. Here's a link:

                http://www.henriettastable.com/our_lo...

                1. re: VTtoMAtoCAfoodie

                  Nope, that's a different Harvard Square market, in front of the Charles Hotel. The one theresa10 refers to is near the Harvard Science Center, and appears to be on Tuesdays - see BackBayGirl's original comment, plus theresa10's reference dated 6/18 to "yesterday's vendors at the Harvard U. market." Nobody seems to have mentioned the hours, but I bet you could look it up.

                2. re: newhound

                  The one that theresa10 is describing is actually at Harvard, outside the Science Center. It's on Tuesdays from 12:30 - 6. The Friday & Sunday one is outside the Charles Hotel.

                  1. re: maryv

                    here's a link with days and times of the Harvard University and Allston markets: http://www.dining.harvard.edu/flp/ag_...

          2. Do you know when the Brookline market is up and running? My husband and I went last week and it wasn't on. I thought it started in June....

            6 Replies
            1. re: pamlet

              Brookline starts tomorrow.

              I plan on hitting Allston's inaugural day around 4.

              1. re: pamlet

                It looks like it opens tomorrow. Here's their website.

                http://www.town.brookline.ma.us/Farme...

                1. re: BostonZest

                  Brookline will have Shootflying Hill Sauce Company! Best butterscotch sauce ever invented. They also have different types of chocolate sauce, but I never made it past the Salty Butterscotch. More info is at http://www.dessertsauce.com/index.html.

                  Jar of sauce and a spoon....

                  1. re: RoxyB

                    Made in Brookline, no less!

                    1. re: RoxyB

                      Salty butterscotch? Yeah, that's going to be the first stop.

                      Went to Allston. About half a dozen booths so far, two herbs, one maple, Clear Flour, only a couple doing fruit and veg so far, Sunshine Farm and Lanni Orchards. I bought some strawberries and rhubarb at the last, and a jalapeno plant to replace the one that some nozzle stole from our front stoop. $10.50 total, which seems reasonable enough.

                      1. re: RoxyB

                        Ooooh. I always walk on by their booth because I don't much care about dessert sauces. Except for butterscotch. Salty Butterscotch? So much the better.

                  2. Just got back from the Brookline market - pretty impressive variety for this early in the season, nearly two dozen stands. All the usual non-produce vendors were there, including the fish lady and River Rock beef (I snagged their last skirt steak, 15 minutes after they opened!), Shootflying Sauces, and - new this year - Tatte bakery, with very elaborate (and expensive) pastries.

                    There are three full vegetable stands with a wide array of greens, scapes, hothouse tomatoes (large and cherry), peas both English and sugar snap, asparagus, beets, radishes, strawberries galore, and Armenian cukes.

                    So nice to have it back!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BobB

                      Things were considerably picked over by 4, unsurprisingly. I got some lovely chard and the first really good strawberries of the season from Stillman's (where I mentioned to Aidan that if they wanted to, they could make quite a bit of money for nothing bringing in branches from their apple trees for smoke wood, an idea he strongly supports), and some English peas from Kimball's. I was disappointed that the Hmong stand wasn't there yet, though -- I wanted some purslane, and I wouldn't have minded one of those giant summer rolls for lunch!

                      Did snag some of the salty butterscotch sauce, though. Yum.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        See what I mean? With that sauce, all you need is a jar and a spoon. Ice cream would be an unnecessary distraction ;-).

                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                          I was under the impression that the Hmong farmers don't grow anything that's ready before mid- to late July. But maybe I was just assuming that because that's when I start seeing them every year. I'm looking forward to it - sweet potato vines! water spinach!

                      2. "And, I of course bought tomatoes. I'm sure most Hounds realize that the local tomatoes are safe."

                        O.K. - I'm curious about how there can be any local tomatoes grown here in Massachusetts in June?? So curious I called Atlas Farm, but couldn't get through to anyone. Then I noticed that they are at the Copley Square Farmers Market today - I can't go... so - if anyone else reads this and plans to go today - could you ask them that question for me?

                        I'm no longer gardening (apartment), but I could never get yields in June...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: threedogs

                          At the Brookline market they were labeled as local hothouse tomatoes. And while distinctly better than supermarket ones, they're not nearly as good as what we'll get later at the markets in the summer.

                          1. re: BobB

                            I've also seen them labeled as local Greenhouse tomatoes. This was the case at the new Allston farmer's market...

                            1. re: mizzduke

                              Yeah, they'd have to be grown under lights this time of year.

                              Can't wait to get to one of the Farmer's Markets. I want to make most of my diet local - if that's possible.

                            2. re: BobB

                              I went to Brookline yesterday, and I'm so happy that I did. Thanks to everyone who added thoughts on that market. You made me get there early this season.

                              Roxy, I did sample the Salty Butterscotch and could see myself sitting with a spoon. I'll have to wait until I have company coming to buy it.

                              The strawberries from Stillman's were really sweet. The best I have had so far this season.

                              I also adore the extra sharp cheddar from Smith's Farmstead cheese. I'll be back for more.

                              I also shared a Michael's Deli "Thanksgiving" sandwich with one of my favorite farmers. I can never finish one and since the stuffing is hot, I figured sharing it was a good idea. Fortunately, our hardworking farmers have hearty appetites.

                              I signed up with the "Fish Lady" for emails. She really seems like a very nice person with a great sense of humor.

                              Photos at:
                              http://www.bostonzest.com/2008/06/bro...

                            3. re: threedogs

                              hi,

                              Sara here, from Atlas Farm. I was just scrolling through and saw a question for us so figured it was time for me to register! It's great to see so much positive support for farmers' markets, so thanks! Yes, the tomatoes are greenhouse tomatoes- that is the only way to get them this early. This is new for us this year- we do unheated greenhouse tomatoes that come in later but these are from a heated greenhouse- we're actually heating it using a corn burner that burns locally grown corn instead of propane, which is nice. They are grown in the ground and treated very similarly to field tomatoes except they have a greenhouse over them and are heated. We also buy bees and place them in there for pollination. I think they're pretty darn good (perhaps I'm biased) but customers seem to think so as well. And organic. Thanks for shopping local...

                            4. I stopped at the Food Project's stand at Dudley and Blue Hill Ave yesterday. I bought a pint of yellow/red cherries which had a nice sweet-tart flavor and a great meaty texture, as well as some sweet, snappy snap peas. Also grabbed a baguette from Biscuit, which has a stand there, and although it didn't look great, it was pretty tasty.

                              1. Just came back from Union Sq.I won't have a lot of time to cook this week so I just picked up zucchini, some asparagus, and a container of assorted little tomatoes from Kimball.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: italyinmind

                                  I didn't get to Union Square until 11:15, but was still rewarded with: shelling peas, strawberries, mustard greens, Russian kale, and tender young white turnips, with greens. The peppery tender young mustard greens from Drumlin Farm are my current new favorite arugula-like salad green. I made a tahini dressing for them and the turnips to acclaim last night.

                                2. At Copley:
                                  I picked up some multicolored carrots from Siena Farms, garlic scapes from Atlas, Italian rolls from Breadsong, freshly made strawberry-rhubarb jam from Silverboork (made and jarred on Thursday!), and lamb chops from Stillmans -- I was there around 2p and had missed Stillman's cousa squash, but there will be more next week.

                                  I am SO HAPPY to see Stillman's expanded presence at Copley this year, with a larger meat stand and more options (no chickens this week, but they should be coming along in the next week or two). I love Stillman's meats, and though not cheap, the quality is high and its nice to have a local product. What's more, Aidan is just about the nicest guy.

                                  The jam from Silverbook is way yummy, especially on the rolls from Breadsong.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: litchick

                                    Question on the strawberry-rhubarb jam-- did it have a good tart note from the rhubarb or was it more to the sweet side of the equation?

                                    I took a great photo of their jam jars last week. I'll have to find it and post it.

                                    1. re: BostonZest

                                      Funny you should ask. I asked the dude at the stand if the strawberry jam was super sweet, or just mildly sweet, and he steered me toward the strawberry-rhubarb instead. It's not super tart, but not as sweet as an all-strawberry jam. I'm not a huge jam person generally b/c I don't love sweet stuff, but this was very tasty. It tasted like good fresh strawberries.

                                      1. re: litchick

                                        Thank you. I think I'll give it a try if they have it next week.

                                  2. Not a farmer's market haul, but Barmy and I just picked up our first Stillman's CSA half-share of the season this afternoon, and it was the biggest, best take I've EVER gotten on a first week in my 8 years of membership. We got a generous bunch of beets, a bunch of radishes, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, a head of lettuce, a gigantic bag of spinach (nearly 1.5 pounds) and a pint of strawberries. Hooray for summer!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Allstonian

                                      Do you think we should do a separate CSA thread or should we include CSA in the Farmers market thread. It makes sense to share information and it certainly make sense to have a CSA report here, I figured I'd ask before I start next week's topic.

                                      I can make it "Farmer's markets and CSAs week of June 23rd" if the crew approves.

                                      My opinion:
                                      Welcome the CSA info.

                                      Eventually we'll all begin to take the great local food for granted and there will be fewer responses.

                                      1. re: BostonZest

                                        I hope the CSA operators read CH, because I'd like to make a plea for more of them to offer half(or smaller) shares. As a single person whose meals are almost always made at home, I could conceivably use up a typical half-share, if I made a concerted effort. But I have never been able to find one within a reasonable drive.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          Amen! The other thing that would help me be a CSA customer is later pickups. I typically do not get out of work until 6... then there is the drive from the office. Even if I went directly to the pick-up point it would have to be at least 7 PM for pick-ups for me to be reasonably sure that I could make it every time. Early evening pickups would be sooo helpful for those of us (singles and two-wage-earner families) whose office hours and drives preclude late afternoon pickups.

                                          1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                            Not sure where your office is, but Stone Soup is doing CSA delivery to the NonProfit Center downtown - at the corner of South & Essex Streets right near South Station. PLUS the pickup is 3pm to 7pm! They may be sold out for the season, but it's worth contacting them to see.
                                            Also, if we can show that there is a need for CSA pickup downtown, maybe other farms will take notice and add them in next year!

                                    2. Medford's Farmers Market was open this past Thursday. I didn't have time to stop and see what vendors were there but it was open...