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Farmers' Mkts, CSAs & Farm stands- July 14th

As of this week's newsletter the Mass. Farmers' Market Federation site is still having problems so the safe place to look for local farm goods is here.

http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/

These threads have been great with the latest information flying back and forth. Thanks to all the contributors.

On Friday I went to Copley to pick up a few items and it was buzzing.

I bought bread from Iggy's, Blueberries, gooseberries, cherries from Hamiltion, Blueberry scones from Hardwich, broccoli and greens from Sienna, Heirloom tomatoes and cukes from Atlas.

We were still in our two weeks of dining out - vacation so we just needed a bit of stuff for snacks.

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  1. Central Square had a bunch of great produce today:
    all sorts of lettuces, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, apricots, squash, cucumbers, pumpkin blossoms, eggplant, chards, asian greens, garlic scapes, peas, corn and herbs.

    The meat stand has pork, beef and eggs and the two bakery stands are both there.

    I'm excited we're in full produce mode!

    1. Oh, and I forgot the star of dinner that night. Since I had a heritage tomato I went over to Siena and bought a piece of Fiore di Nonno mozzarella. We have now launched summer!

      Photo here:
      http://www.bostonzest.com/2008/07/gre...

      1. In case anyone's at the Copley market today, you might get lucky and have an added bonus of John Mellencamp announcing that Farm Aid's going to be held in Boston this year...perfect place for the announcement - at a farmer's market!

        1. Waltham farms tuesday - 3/4 lb tomatos, 2 small heads lettuce, 1 small bunch carrots, 1 bunch onions, 1 pt green/yellow beans (PYO), 2 cukes, 2lb zucchini

          1. Starting today, Boston University is hosting a farmer's market every Wednesday from 12-3 PM outside the Student Union. I walked up to check it out. It is small--I think only one farm was there. The vegetables are "local and sustainable," but it's not noted as to specifically where they were grown, or whether they are organic. That information would be useful. I picked up a huge bunch of basil for $2.50, a zucchini for $1, and a box of green beans for $2. Enough to get me through until my regular shop at Copley's market on Friday. The market seemed to be doing a brisk business from the University staff and students. There were cookies and macaroons for sale, and they seemed to be the most popular items, at least when I was there.

            1. Parker Farm, wednesday: Cucumbers, beets, spring onions, green beans, carrots, squash

              Chestnut Farms, wednesday: Ground beef, chicken breast, chicken legs, pork chops, bacon, greek sausage

              1. The Belmont farmer's market is getting pretty serious:

                Stillman's had tons of meats. I got a huge ham steak.

                The Bread bakery (name?) from Framingham was there again with an amazing multi-grain.

                Lot's of AMAZING berries: blue, rasp, straw. The raspberries were like crack cocaine.

                First peaches, super delicious.

                The Hmong guys were loaded, two kind of pea tenril, I got the fancier one...

                Tons of other stuff. Really in full swing. This is quite a good market now. 10 stalls or so.

                Oh almost forgot. Got the most beautiful fiore de zucca (squash blossoms) from the hmong guys. Gonna stuff em with cheese and chorizo, batter em and fry em in evoo...

                9 Replies
                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Stuffed the fiore de zucca with a smidge of rice, spanish chorizo, sauteed vidalia onion, scallion, cilantro, and sharp cheddar cheese. Battered them in a light beer batter and fried them in evoo. Served with cucumber dusted with fresh chile pequin powder and at the B&R multi-grain bread. Washed the whole thing down with a nice Weizen beer. Those fiore were superb!

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    OMG - you are killing me. are you, perchance, single?

                    ;-)

                    1. re: lisa13

                      Now that you mention it I am.

                      aram underscore salzman at yahoo dot com

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        thas' my dawg!

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          the gauntlet has been thrown!

                          seriously - we need a chowish dating board

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            What a cad;).

                        2. re: StriperGuy

                          Striperguy-

                          Those sound great! I have never cooked squash blossoms and have a few in my garden I want to prepare. Rather than tossing them in a salad (easy, but seems a shame), I may do something like (but not nearly as expert as) above.

                          When you say fry, do you mean deep--or just coat the bottom of the pan? I was going to ask "how deep and hot was the oil?" but didn't wish to offend the mods. :)

                          1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                            1 egg
                            1/2 a beer
                            about 5 tablespoons of flour
                            (I just winged it, but the proportions are about right)

                            Gently dredge in the batter.

                            Coat the bottom of (I use cast iron) the pan with evoo. I did not deep fry.

                            Fry gently until tannish brown, yum.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              Ooh lovely! Grazie, grazie mille!

                              I thank you; my squash blossoms and cast iron pan thank you, too.

                      2. Belmont Farmer's Market on July 17th:

                        First time to this market, and it is quite nice. Arrived a little early, so I had to wait for a bell to ring before buying.

                        Hutchins Farm had first of the season corn, lots of leafy greens. Hail ruined their lettuce a few weeks ago, but they will have some by next week. They are beginning to harvest garlic, but will only be selling at the farm, not at markets.

                        Bought a bunch of basil plants from an unnamed stand. Time to harvest the basil I planted in May and start some new.

                        Lyceum herbs looked very healthy, but were too mature and expensive for my needs.

                        Kimball Farms was a very busy place. Bought some peaches that they claimed had been picked firm this morning. Very early for local peaches, but I have high hopes.

                        Also bought onions from a stand towards the back. No sign, but the plastic bags said Dick's, Lunenburg MA. My whole house smells like these red onions now. Came with several feet of greenery. Is there any thing I can make with the green?

                        A ciabatta from B&R and a little meat from Stillmans' to tide me over until Sunday's CSA pickup and I was all set.

                        Other stands included the Hmong [sp?] Farm and the farmschool. Hmong's produce really looks lovely. Next week I will consider menus that need what they are growing.

                        Busy market and I suspect the stands are fairly well picked over quickly.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: smtucker

                          Hutchins Farm corn was wonderful! Simmered for exactly 1.5 minutes and it was perfect.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            I'm going to Belmont too these days. Onion tops: if you want to cook them, try slicing fine, sauteeing, and using as part of a pasta sauce or an omelet stuffing. Too good to waste! I have hopes for my peaches although the earliest varieties of summer anything are seldom the best. I like the strawberries from Dick's and last year they went very late in the season--must have late or everbearing plants. (Has anybody been to Sergi's farm yet? I assume they're open but the Blanchard Rd. closing has deterred me.)

                            1. re: smtucker

                              I may try to get there next week because I have a B & R craving. I'll have to find out where it is and figure out if I can use the t to reach it.

                              1. re: BostonZest

                                74 or 75 bus from Harvard Square or the train from Porter Square to Belmont Station. Easy walk from either station [like under a block.] B&R is also at Union Square tomorrow.

                            2. Brookline this afternoon: lovely piece of swordfish from The Fish Lady, a couple tomatoes from Stillman's, purslane and cilantro from the Hmong stand (I wish they were still doing those dynamite summer rolls they used to have), and a dozen eggs from The Egg and Cheese Lady because we're running low and I don't know when we're getting out to Russo's next. I flirted with getting some raspberries from Stillman's, but I decided against it.

                              1. Union Square this morning was a very busy place. Far more more shoppers this week with lots of strollers. Same stands as last week plus a new family farm located in Bolton. They had corn they had picked at 5am this morning. The couple, who do the farming, were manning the stand, and were explaining that they have purchased a special cover [for $800] to produce early corn. This cover can be damaged by deer walking over the top. $.60 an ear. They also had high bush blueberries at $5/pint.

                                Reminder to all Stillman Meat CSA folks [Brookline pickup]: they have changed the pick up times for tomorrow to 11:30am-1:30pm.

                                1. Stillmans this week: zuchini, summer squash, arugula, corn, blueberries and green beans
                                  Farm Direct Co-Op was amazing this week: blues and raspberries, zuchini, arugula, green onions, broccoli, carrots, squash (two kinds) kohlrabi and a few other things. I would highly recommend them, they've been amazing.

                                  On another note, we just recently got a 1/4 meat share from Stillman's. This is our first week and we were really disappointed (two pork chops, some bacon ends and sausage). Any other thoughts?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: hannah karpman

                                    hannah, I get a half share, and this month is was all pork. First time this has been the case and like you, we were a little discouraged. Our share included [off the top of my head]: pork chops, small short ribs, small country ribs, Italian sausage, 1 lb ground pork, pork belly/bacon, and something else I can't recall.

                                    You will find the pork chops are really good! We had the Stillman chops for the first time two months ago, and marveled that they actually tastes like pork chop! We chose to grill them and served with an Apple Chutney I had brought back from northern Scotland.

                                    1/4 share is 5 lbs a month? I believe the CSA blurb states that half your share will be higher end cuts, and half are ground and/or lower end. So your balance seems about right.

                                    1. re: hannah karpman

                                      Glad to hear it wasn't just me who was disappointed. Not glad to hear you're disappointed, but you know what I mean. To put it in perspective, I figure I would never pay $46 (the cost of 1/6 of a 6 mo. 1/4 share) for 2 pork chops, bacon, and a few sausage links at the farmers market, so it was a bummer for the first month. Besides the fact that's it is supposed to be a 5 lb. share and I only got 4 lbs. Hope it gets better.

                                      1. re: MrsCheese

                                        Oh, if you only received four pounds, you need to send an email. bags should be a minimum of 5 lbs. All of my shares, to date, have exceeded my 10 lb., sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot.

                                    2. does anyone know what market the hmong farmers participate in on Saturdays?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: qianning

                                        Union Sq., Somerville

                                        1. re: Aromatherapy

                                          thanks! somehow our sat trip to beantown got postponed to sunday....are they in town on sundays?