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Farmer's Markets & CSAs - June 30 & it's July!

BostonZest Jun 30, 2008 07:56 AM

I went to Copley on Friday to pick up salad greens and walked home with two bagfulls of stuff. This despite the fact that we will be dining out most of the time for the next week or so.

Here's a link to all the markets
http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/t-a...

Here's a place to find farms and CSAs

http://www.localharvest.org/

If you find a farm worth a visit while I have some time off, please let me know.

Penny
http://www.bostonzest.com/

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  1. yumyum RE: BostonZest Jun 30, 2008 08:02 AM

    Hey BZ -- thanks for posting a new thread ... I was about to put my Saturday score on the old one but didn't want it to get lost. We're really getting into the swing now....

    Saturday at Union Square -- FINALLY got the Stillman's lamb after basically stalking them, calling the farm, pleading and wheedling. When I showed up the gal said they were holding the lamb for one customer who keeps asking. That be me, and I bought both chubs they brought.

    That task behind me, I was free to look around in relative peace. I got:
    basil, cilantro, small cukes (armenian?) red and yellow carrots and a caraway rye (thanks Striper for the inspiration). The B+R rye is sooo good.

    Now, if the Yangs can get there soon, it will be perfect.

    2 Replies
    1. re: yumyum
      g
      gourmaniac RE: yumyum Jun 30, 2008 08:37 AM

      Enjoy the lamb, yumyum. It is our favorite item from our meat CSA with Stillman. At the Harvard square market, I bought some good early beets for $2.00 and the beet greens were nice enough to cook like spinach with olive oil and adobe. I thought prices were high overall. A woman in front of me paid $3.00 for a single tomato ($5/lb). Lettuces and radishes looked good and were fairly priced.

      1. re: gourmaniac
        yumyum RE: gourmaniac Jun 30, 2008 09:37 AM

        That's my problem Gourmaniac. I got it last year on a whim and can't go back to the supermarket stuff. I swear I've been stalking them until I got it on Saturday. I make a great lamb burger with it, and it's delicious.

        BTW -- the beets I got last week at the Central Square market were great. Roasted the bulbs and cooked the greens as you did.

    2. Aromatherapy RE: BostonZest Jun 30, 2008 08:06 AM

      Medford will take Thursday 7/3 off, and starting again on the 10th will run from noon to 7 (one hour earlier start).

      1. Bob Dobalina RE: BostonZest Jun 30, 2008 08:37 AM

        Waltham CSA - 2 heads of lettuce, one bunch of small onions, 2 squash, 3/4 lb. of spinach, one choice of kale, cabbage or kohlrabi, one choice of swiss chard or some other green, one bunch of beets, 2 pts of snow pea pods. (Actually this was last week's share, since the new week starts on Tuesday.)

        Looked rather meager in the bags, but now on paper, looks like we got a good amount of veggies. Who am I to complain? Still can't get through it all in a week.

        Fava beans should be coming in next week's share - they look tremendous and jealous that folks on Tues and Thurs will get the first pick - the pods are all green and full, not afflicted with fungus like years' past.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob Dobalina
          b
          Biba RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 3, 2008 12:46 PM

          I have a CSA share with Revision Urban Farm and this weeks share had an amazing bunch of radishes from white to purple (I really want more), chard, a bunch of leeks although I thought they were scallions, two heads of lettuce, a small bag of salad greens, basil, cillantro, dill, bok choy and a bunch of callards.

          I hope we get fava beans, they are my favorite. I am looking forward to peas as well.

        2. greygarious RE: BostonZest Jun 30, 2008 03:58 PM

          I arrived at the Bedford FM at 3:00, which is an hour after it opens. Some of the produce and about half of the staff were starting to droop in the humuggly weather... this customer as well! Looked like the same cast of vendors as at the season opener 2 weeks ago. I am happy that the green tops of both the beets and radishes look very fresh, and will braise them together. I think I will try steaming the beets, since I don't grill and my AC has a hard enough time keeping up without turning on the oven. The head of leaf lettuce bought 2 weeks ago isn't quite gone, but I got a second one. The hothouse tomatoes at $4/# looked better than the $5/# heirlooms - but I'll never get used to the idea of $2 for a single tennis-ball size tomato. I haven't had any local strawberries, but passed on them because at $6 a box I didn't want to chance their turning moldy in the fridge, having been out in all that heat.

          I then went over to Farmer Dave's East Street Farm in Tewksbury, for the first day of the farmstand. The freezer had a good assortment of Shaw's (the Dracut farm, not the market chain) ice cream quarts, but the produce counter pickings were slim, with beets, radishes, cukes, zucchini, and lettuce appearing to be the only stuff grown onsite. Their Bedford counterparts looked to be better quality. The staggered plantings of corn in the adjacent fields ranged from knee-high to over 5 ft if you include the tassels.

          3 Replies
          1. re: greygarious
            b
            bear RE: greygarious Jun 30, 2008 05:26 PM

            Hey, grey, I meant to reply to an earlier thread where you mentioned that you wished more CSAs had evening drop-offs. It's too late for this year, but Parker Farm out of Lunenburg drops off between 6:30 (sometimes a little earlier) and 8:15 on Tues., Wed., and Thurs., in Davis, Porter or Central depending on the night. Not sure if any of those locations work for you. So far we've been quite pleased with the quality and variety. A small share is $300 this year and a large $475 and the program runs from mid-June to mid-November.

            1. re: bear
              greygarious RE: bear Jun 30, 2008 08:49 PM

              Thanks, bear, but I'd need a pick-up in the Rts. 2/3/93 area between 128 and 495.

            2. re: greygarious
              t
              three of us RE: greygarious Jul 1, 2008 10:21 AM

              We stopped at Bedford FM, last week, and it's nothing I'd go out of my way for. We enjoyed our strawberries and the brats from the meat guy were really good. The problem for me is it's not cost effective. I couldn't afford to buy a week's worth of veggies there ( there weren't that many selections when I went, anyway). So I looked at it as a place to buy some treats but I'd bankrupt my food budget shopping there every week.

            3. erwocky RE: BostonZest Jul 1, 2008 06:58 AM

              Am I the only one for whom the www.massfarmersmarkets.org link doesn't work? I get the frame and links but no content. Oh well, who needs content. (Firefox and Safari both on Mac.

              )

              We hit the Kendall farmers market last Thursday, but it was pretty slim pickings around 1:30. Apparently they run 11-2 on Thursdays. I did pick up a nice loaf of sourdough wheat to hold me over till I can make some this weekend. Wish I remembered the bakery.

              I'll try a bit earlier this week. Live music and cafe tables add a nice touch if you're looking for lunch.

              4 Replies
              1. re: erwocky
                Aromatherapy RE: erwocky Jul 1, 2008 08:52 AM

                It's not you.

                1. re: Aromatherapy
                  Market_Advocate RE: Aromatherapy Jul 1, 2008 01:07 PM

                  I work for Mass Farmers Markets, and unfortunately our website is down ... has been down for several days and won't be up for another few. Very sorry for the inconvenience, we're working on it but the non-profit approach to web hosting has us a bit stymied (i.e. our pro bono guy is on vacation!). In the meantime, check out http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/far... which also has dates and times for all the markets state-wide.

                  1. re: Market_Advocate
                    erwocky RE: Market_Advocate Jul 1, 2008 02:25 PM

                    Thanks a lot for the link (and the explanation), that's very helpful. I didn't know East Boston Central Square had a farmers market, I'll have to check it out.

                    1. re: Market_Advocate
                      l
                      lisa13 RE: Market_Advocate Jul 2, 2008 10:14 AM

                      You may need to review the site in some detail.

                      When I google "ma farmers markets" I get a google warning that the site is installing malicious scripts when viewing pages there. This warning is listed on any page with the root "www.massfarmersmarkets.org"

                2. f
                  foodymom RE: BostonZest Jul 1, 2008 04:54 PM

                  We are members of the new CSA at the Dover Farm and are really enjoying it. We have had a number of gorgeous and delicious beets, many radishes, baby turnips, snow peas and peas from the pod, pea tendrils, cauliflower, cabbage (savoy and regular, and today-fava beans. Apparently we may have carrots soon...

                  1. c
                    chowmel RE: BostonZest Jul 1, 2008 05:12 PM

                    Waltham Farms CSA Tuesday pickup - 2 heads lettuce, 1 bunch kale (choice of arugula-really bug eaten, bok choy-looked okay, or kale-very nice), 1 small bunch beets, 2 lbs summer squask - various varieties, 1 very small bunch baby carrots, choice of 1 bunch scallions or 1 bunch small spring onions, 1 pt snow peas, 20 pods of fava beans

                    1. z
                      Zatan RE: BostonZest Jul 1, 2008 06:36 PM

                      Prices are indeed high at the markets, wish I could buy everything there though! Prices seem to vary a lot from stand to stand too so worth shopping around. I usually go to Copley.

                      I bought two pork chops from Stillman's a couple of weeks ago, and in spite of the sticker shock I was so pleased with the flavor, really the best pork I've had in the US I think. Worth a splurge, will look for the lamb and any other meats they have as I am sold now. We all know, but it is comforting to eat meat that comes from a farm that cares about their livestock.

                      Strawberries, yumm. Bought a quart, ate some with friends, turned the rest into jam the next day....it didn't last, one slice of toast with jam and the rest gobbled up with a spoon. Those local strawberries are great.

                      I dig the Sienna stand, they have interesting items, including various types of cresses earlier this year, wild mushrooms in season, sometimes fresh mozarella. Their prices seem to be the highest, but their variety is also the greatest.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Zatan
                        p
                        patiofixture RE: Zatan Jul 2, 2008 08:20 AM

                        The fresh mozzarella is not from Sienna Farms but from a woman who makes it fresh daily in Jamaica Plain. Sienna was nice enough to give her some space in their booth, but they're separate operations.

                        Be careful with that cheese. It's addictive. You may find yourself with an insatiable craving in the middle of Winter and no farmers markets around to get a fix.

                      2. f
                        fbf242 RE: BostonZest Jul 1, 2008 08:57 PM

                        I was hoping to hit a FM tomorrow to buy some produce (and possibly meat?) for dinner. I looked at the listings and Arlington and Allston are the two open tomorrow that are most convenient for me. Any input as to which of these two might be a better choice for dinner ingredients? I don't have anything specific in mind, as I'm hoping to put together a dinner based on what I find.

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: fbf242
                          Aromatherapy RE: fbf242 Jul 2, 2008 05:04 AM

                          Can't speak as to Allston but Arlington did have a meat stand last year, I assume they still do. It's a fairly large market. I think somebody said there was fish there now. I'd go there.

                          1. re: Aromatherapy
                            Aromatherapy RE: Aromatherapy Jul 2, 2008 01:24 PM

                            Yes, fish! I don't know if this is the "fish lady" from other markets--lots of styrofoam boxes. And a smallish grass-fed meat selection from Chestnut Farm.

                            1. re: Aromatherapy
                              itaunas RE: Aromatherapy Jul 2, 2008 01:28 PM

                              It is Globe Fish, but the original Fish lady moved on from what I understand. I think there are now several people that cover farmers market. Also available at Busa Farms, but should call to check what day (used to be Tuesdays...).

                              1. re: itaunas
                                c
                                cambridgejen RE: itaunas Jul 3, 2008 12:40 PM

                                Globe Fish is definitely at the Arlington market on Wednesdays and the Lexington market on Tuesdays. Both also have Chestnut Farms for pork, lamb and beef. I'm still hunting for a chicken source though!

                                1. re: cambridgejen
                                  m
                                  madmanchan RE: cambridgejen Jul 5, 2008 09:44 AM

                                  You can get chicken from Butter Brook Farm. They're are the Lexington market. (Got really nice sugar snap peas from them last week.) The thing is, you have to pre-order. Here's their site: http://www.butterbrookfarm.com/

                                  1. re: madmanchan
                                    greygarious RE: madmanchan Jul 5, 2008 11:47 AM

                                    The chickens from Seven Acre Poultry Farm in North Reading are excellent - it's a mile east of Rt 93 (Concord Rd exit), open 10-6, closed Mondays. And there's a place in Bedford - name might be Chip-In?

                                    1. re: greygarious
                                      Gio RE: greygarious Oct 5, 2008 06:43 AM

                                      We actually stopped at the Seven Acres Poultry Farm in N. Reading yesterday and bought handfuls of perfect jalapenos and little purple bell peppers, also butternut squash and small globe eggplants. There was a sign for turkey pies but no one was around and there were no pies on the racks.... next time, perhaps.
                                      Many thanks for the directions!!

                                      1. re: Gio
                                        greygarious RE: Gio Oct 5, 2008 07:44 AM

                                        There's not usually anyone in the store. Ring the bell on the inside wall and if anyone's around, they'll come down. The meat items are never out on display. A week ago I got some of their corn - Paul was there and said it was close to the end of the supply. These were the largest, tastiest ears I've had all season - guess we know they get plenty of fertilizing! Did you try the eggs?

                                        1. re: greygarious
                                          Gio RE: greygarious Oct 5, 2008 08:06 AM

                                          We see any eggs, but then we didn't need any. Next time. Should we ring for the eggs as well? I love everything we bought and it makes such sense to support these small farmers.

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            greygarious RE: Gio Oct 5, 2008 09:16 AM

                                            Did you go down into the store in the basement? That's where the eggs and bell are. The veggie rack in the driveway in front of the house is only out this time of year - the store is open year-round.

                                            1. re: greygarious
                                              Gio RE: greygarious Oct 5, 2008 09:34 AM

                                              Oh gosh we didn't. We thought the outside racks were "it". You see, this is the kind of roadside farm stand we're used to on the back roads in Vermont so we didn't think of a store as such. Thanks for telling me. Will definitely do into the store next time.

                                              1. re: Gio
                                                greygarious RE: Gio Oct 5, 2008 11:01 AM

                                                What's inside:
                                                Always - Eggs of various sizes, in cartons, plus a few brand-name preserves and honey. Squash and corn on occasion, in season. Pay by honor system or ring bell if you need change and no one's there. Big sign with prices for the eggs and meats- ring bell for latter, it's all in the walk-in cooler or freezer. Rarely, there's a sign for breaded chicken cutlets - these are particularly wonderful. Not sure if there's a secret ot the breading. Just pan-sautee in butter for a quick meal. Recently got turkey cutlets there which I pounded and breaded myself, then froze uncooked for future meals.

                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                  Gio RE: greygarious Oct 5, 2008 06:10 PM

                                                  Thank you so much, greygarious, for the details. I really appreciate it. How delightful it is to find this kind of supplier right in our own back yard, so to speak. Reminds me of times past.

                                    2. re: madmanchan
                                      c
                                      cambridgejen RE: madmanchan Jul 5, 2008 07:04 PM

                                      Ah, thanks for the tip! Last year they brought them every week so we didn't have to pre-order. Good to know!

                            2. re: fbf242
                              Allstonian RE: fbf242 Jul 2, 2008 06:55 AM

                              The Allston market is brand new this summer and still ramping up (I think this will be its third or fourth week.) According to Barmy, they have two bakery stands (Clear Flour Bread and Danish Pastry House) and several veggie stands. No meat or fish.

                            3. g
                              greengage RE: BostonZest Jul 2, 2008 10:33 AM

                              If the costs are higher than usual, it's almost certainly down to that now tiresome bugaboo--gas costs. These guys have to truck all that stuff in over some pretty sizable distances and I did speak to one favorite farmer who said that gasoline costs were killing him. I still cringe at some of the prices, but mostly I'm determined to suck it up. I certainly don't spend more at the farmer's market than I do at Whole Foods.

                              1. j
                                Jeda RE: BostonZest Jul 2, 2008 10:40 AM

                                Went to the City Hall Famer's Market today... it was bustling! Bought a potato and mushroom pocket from Big Sky Bakery (mmm), and watched the last Jamaican Beef Patty go at 12:10 (I remember a thread asking about where to get these homemade... I presume the Big Sky ones are homemade -they were bigger, flatter, and less yellow than the commercial ones I've seen), a quart of strawberries from Stillman's, so ripe they're smooshing themselves, pea tendrils from the fresh egg people, and radishes, mint, and small caruso tomatoes ($3.50/lb) from the coop/Caruso tomato people. I hadn't been in a few weeks, so I was thrilled to see all the produce - lots of squash varieties now, some sour cherries, raspberries, Stillman's meat, eggs, lots of baked goods, and plants!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Jeda
                                  yumyum RE: Jeda Jul 2, 2008 10:51 AM

                                  Does anyone know if Big Sky bakery is the vendor who is at the Central Square market on Mondays? Because if it is, and they do home-made Jamaican patties, I am all over it. Thanks for any info...

                                2. LindaWhit RE: BostonZest Jul 2, 2008 01:34 PM

                                  I have the day off tomorrow, and was hoping to hit the Melrose FM in the morning - anyone who lives in the area ever go, and is it a good one? Or would Medford be better?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                    LindaWhit RE: LindaWhit Jul 3, 2008 09:25 AM

                                    I'll answer my own query - I arrived at Melrose around 10:20am, and their "farmer's market" had one truck - lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, strawberries, what looked like scapes or spring onions, some basil, and a few other things. Another small set-up off to the side that I didn't go over to that looked to be all herbs and maybe some homemade breads. So unless it gears up later in the summer, I'm thinking it's not worth it.

                                    I just wish some FM in the 128 area would be on weekends - there's nothing close enough to where I work in Andover.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                      greygarious RE: LindaWhit Jul 3, 2008 09:50 AM

                                      Andover, Carlisle, and Winchester are on Saturday. The farmstand at East St. Farm in Tewksbury (East at Livingston St.), close to Rt. 93 at the Dascomb Rd. exit, is open M-F 11-6, S-S 9-4.

                                      In NYC, there are greenmarkets open several days a week, many year-round, the best known being the Union Square greenmarket. You'd think the Boston area would have more greenmarket activity than it does.

                                      1. re: greygarious
                                        LindaWhit RE: greygarious Jul 3, 2008 12:23 PM

                                        See, I'd *prefer* Andover's FM be on a weekday, since that's when I'm up there (supposedly) working! LOL But Winchester works for me for where I live (Woburn). Thanks greygarious!

                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                        mjg0725 RE: LindaWhit Jul 8, 2008 08:34 AM

                                        What about the one in Lawrence on Wednesdays, 10:30 am - 6:30pm? I may check it out tomorrow.

                                        1. re: mjg0725
                                          LindaWhit RE: mjg0725 Jul 8, 2008 09:04 AM

                                          I've thought about that one but I often can't get out of work at lunchtime (and definitely can't do it tomorrow). But would love to hear if it's any good and might make a concerted effort next week!

                                    2. i
                                      italyinmind RE: BostonZest Jul 5, 2008 09:03 AM

                                      Just returned from Union Sq. Unfortunately I got there late so it was pretty picked over. I did get a nice bunch of leeks from Mass Audabon and a zucchini and some Armenian cukes from Kimball. The Hmong Farmers were there, so I'll look forward to shopping from them next week.

                                      1. f
                                        foodymom RE: BostonZest Jul 5, 2008 03:55 PM

                                        Natick's Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings had one of my favorite's: The Hmong stand. The kindest man sells a selection of wonderful herbs, greens (from lettuce to amaranth) and fabulous special items like bok choy. He isn't fluent in English, but everytime I ask about an item he pulls out a book that lists each vegetable and describes how to cook them. His prices are also incredibly reasonable ($1.00 for a huge bunch of mint; $2.00 for a large collection of bok choy.

                                        1. vonwotan RE: BostonZest Jul 6, 2008 07:15 AM

                                          I am looking forward to Thursday - East Boston is getting a new farmers market in Central Square. I really hope this location thrives!!!

                                          East Boston, Thursday, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm July through October,
                                          Central Square at Meridian, Bennington and Border Street

                                          1. galleygirl RE: BostonZest Jul 6, 2008 07:22 AM

                                            I got a piece of swordfish from the Fish Lady at the Brookline Market last Thursday, and it was quite possibly the best piece of swordfish I have eaten in my life.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: galleygirl
                                              BostonZest RE: galleygirl Jul 6, 2008 08:11 PM

                                              Did you pre-order it or just pick it up and how thick was it. I love thick cut sword for grilling.

                                              1. re: BostonZest
                                                galleygirl RE: BostonZest Jul 7, 2008 07:45 AM

                                                It was pretty thick; probably 1.25"....I got it rare in the middle, which was wonderful..I just picked it up, but I happened to be lucky; I usually preorder. I am sure you could specify thickness that way; they're very accomodating...

                                            2. Allstonian RE: BostonZest Oct 5, 2008 10:20 AM

                                              Funny to see this old thread bumped up! We went to pick up our Stillman's share today and were mildly surprised to learn that the season has flown past and that this was the 16th and last week for shares. As the last hurrah, it was big - in our half share we got 10 potatoes, 5 apples, an eggplant, two bell peppers (beautiful ripe red ones!), a cabbage, and two winter squash.

                                              Aidan said that they will be continuing the JP farmer's market stand well into the winter with meat and some eggs this year (plus whatever remains in cold storage of potatoes, winter squash, cabbages, and apples) - he said "past Thanksgiving," and we asked "into December?" and he said possibly into the new year even. I guess the meat's doing really well!

                                              Some changes coming for next year's CSA - prices are going up by $50 for both small and large shares, and terminology will change from "full shares" and "half shares" to small and large boxes. Given the staggering increases in costs this year, and the fact that they held their old share prices steady for at least three years, I can't fault them - it's still a great deal and I look forward to next year, which will be our ninth year of membership.

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