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Farmers' Mkts, CSAs & Farm stands- July 21st

Another week of wonderful local food!

We had corn from Stillman's stand on Friday and it was good. Certainly not the best of the season but a nice early intro.

I also tried the special baguette with rye added to it from Hardwick Center Cooking School and Bakery and we really liked it and will buy it when they have it.

The Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets website is back up and working.

http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/

Here is the other one with a wider scope of CSAs and stands.

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

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  1. I got some great things at the Central Square Farmers' Market. I ended up picking up some nice peaches from Kimball Farm along with some arugula and something I'd never tried before. The woman said it was sort of like a spinach and that you could saute it w/ garlic and olive oil. It had a funny name and I can't remember for the life of me what it was. I bet if someone said it I'd know. It almost resembled collard greens or something to that effect. Anyhow, I made a soup with it along w/ some veggie stock I made last week, diced tomatoes, onions, pasta and garlic. I sprinkled some parm cheese on top. MMMM!!! So good!! Tomorrow I'll saute the rest to serve w/ ravioli. I forget the name of the other farm stands I went to at Central Square, but I bought a big bunch of scallions, zucchini, summer squash, beets, green peppers, green beans and tomatoes. I would have loved to get something at the meat stand, but unfortunately, the prices are a bit high for my budget right now. Maybe after I move into my new place, I'll splurge and get something there to make for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BackBayGirl

      Was it amaranth? We're getting from a CSA every week and we LOVE it. Never had it before this year. It's a green, that's not bitter at all, almost tastes like asparagus.

    2. Oh yeah, I forgot to ask. How is the Fish Lady in Brookline w/ regard to prices and what types of fish does she typically carry? I've mentioned before on the board, but I'm moving to Coolidge Corner in Brookline and everyone keeps telling me the Fish Lady is awesome. Any info is appreciated.

      5 Replies
      1. re: BackBayGirl

        I don't know if this is okay but here are the details from last week's email from her
        "Weekly Reminder for pre-ordering FRESH FISH for Thursday Farmers Market. Please e-mail by 6:00 AM on Thursday morning, (I do not have access to a computer after 6:00AM-please do not cancel or change orders.

        Bluefin Tuna………………………….15.00/LB
        Native Halibut………………………..16.00/LB
        New Bedford Sea Scallops…………15.00/LB
        Swordfish……………………………..14.00/LB
        Native Skinless Haddock……………11.00/LB
        Native Skinless Cod …………………11.00/LB
        Maine farm-raised Salmon…………..10.00/LB
        Wild Sockeye Salmon………………. 15.00/LB
        Native Haddock (skin on)………..……10.00/LB
        Blue Fish (Native)……………………… 8.00/LB
        Maine Crab meat……………………….11.00/8 oz. container-fresh not canned
        Native Flounder………………………...12.00/LB

        The fish is available in 1/2,3/4,1, 1-1/2 LB increments or above…please let me know if you want slightly under or over the specified weight-cutting fish is sometimes not exact-I will do my best to cut accurately. Please include a phone number with your order. This fish is caught fresh daily, and therefore I would like to contact you if your request can not be fulfilled. This is unlikely, but would give you a chance to change your order. Thank you for your patronage and please forward to "fish-loving" friends.

        I will be also be selling Fresh Clam chowder The FRESH chowder is available every week…..
        Clam chowder for $37.00/bag (each bag is 8 LBS or 16 cups - fills a large crock pot). I can split the bags- each 4 LBs or 8 cups for $18.50.(this fresh chowder has a 2 week dating-fresh if kept in the refrig.)"

        1. re: BostonZest

          Thanks, Boston Zest!! Also, I was reading Gourmet last night and found out the name of the veggie I was asking about above. Callaloo!!!

          1. re: BostonZest

            Sorry...so many questions...how do you get onto the Fish Lady's mailing list? I haven't made it to the Brookline Farmer's Market yet, but will after Aug. 1 for sure.

            1. re: BackBayGirl

              She'll gladly sign you up at her stand at the farmer's market - she keeps a written list there. Or email me at the address on my profile page and I'll forward her email to you - you can contact her from that and ask her to add you.

              1. re: BackBayGirl

                She collects email addresses at her stand but if you contact me through the site listerd in my profile and I'll forward her email to you until you sign up. I don't want to post her email without her permission.

                My email contact is on the right hand side of Bostonzest.com near the top.

          2. I headed to the Newton Farmer's Market today. It was pretty crowded and parking was, as always, kind of stressful. I will bike next time.

            I picked up some london broil and lean ground beef from River Rock Farm. We marinated and grilled the london broil tonight, and it was quite tasty.

            I also bought some string beans and corn, both of which we enjoyed tonight (I forget which stand they were from), and a few peaches - the vendor warned me that they are just the "first of the season," but the one I had wasn't bad.

            Has anyone purchased from the turkey stand? I didn't have time to look at it closely, but I saw turkey pies and turkey sausage on their menu... do they also sell whole birds?

            I wish this market had a better selection of bread. It seems that the only two bakeries that show up on a regular basis are Big Sky/ Panorama (which I don't think is that good), and Breadsong, which is quite expensive ($3.25 for a small baguette, if I recall correctly)

            1. Waltham farms tuesday pickup - 4 cukes, 2 heads lettuce, 3 lbs summer squash, 1 bunch carrots, 6 bulbs fresh garlic, 2 eggplant, 6 ears corn, 1lb tomatos. PYO - all the green and yellow beans you want, various basils, cilantro, parsley, a few hot peppers.

              1. I went to the Harvard Square Farmer's Market and enjoyed some great prepared foods (Shootingfly Hill's salty butterscotch sauce; Taza chocolate; Fioro di Nonna mozzarella) and fabulous pumpkin greens from the Flat Mentor's farm stand. (You can read more and see pics on my blog: foodiemommy.blogspot.com) The cucumbers from the Dover CSA were particularly crisp and the carrots were quite sweet this week.The cherry tomatoes from Kimballs (at the Newton Market) were as delicious as ever-super sweet.

                1. Another report on the fruits of my farmer's market labors:

                  Beautiful long gangly beets from the belmont market.

                  With beets that good borscht is the only option

                  Boiled the beets, then chilled them with ice. Sliced half finely, the rest tossed into the blender with some chilled fru fru chicken broth, vidalia onions, black pepper, celery seed, cider vinegar, and sherry vinegar.

                  Poured the beet puree onto the sliced beets and some more shredded vidalia. Garnished with black pepper, fresh basil and dill from my own garden, and a healthy dollop of creamy chevre.

                  Also had some colonel newsom's free range country ham, aged 18 months, which I am sharing with some other hounds. My favorite US made pork product. Quick fried in a cast iron skillet, deglazed the pan with some pink cava left over from some debauchery last night. http://www.newsomscountryham.com/

                  Ham, borscht, iggy's franchese, and a nice glass of the cava made an amazing meal.

                  1. Since our posing has slowed on these topics, I'm going to wait until the 1st and start an August thread.

                    Hope that is okay with everyone.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BostonZest

                      I think we'd do better with longer time periods for the threads, more than a week.

                    2. The South End "Farmers' Market," Sundays on Harrison St. I'm hoping someone can enlighten me. I recall from last year that this FM is more of a crafts show than Farmers' market. I got a chance to swing by this Sunday and this still appears to be the case where the farmers are in the minority. Is this perhaps largely to do with the farmers having worked other locations throughout the week and Sunday is the day off? Or is this by design?

                      Any input appreciated.

                      1. On Sunday, Allstonian and I did a stint as volunteers at our Stillman's CSA pickup at Clear Flour in Brookline. It turned out to be a slightly odd day -- Kate, who has been due for ages, was finally admitted to the hospital that morning, where they were going to induce labor -- so instead of her and Aidan, Curt Stillman was running things, and he had some trouble finding the drop. By the time he got there around 15 minutes after the scheduled time, there was already quite a line built up, but we had the tables set up and Curt and I were chucking bins and boxes out of the back of the truck in under five minutes. After that, it was basically a matter of standing behind the tables, replenishing stock and repeating, mantra-like, what people could take for whole and half shares.

                        The most interesting part for me was watching how the shares changed as things slowly started getting depleted. (Hint: I know it's a drag, but for best selection, you wanna get there closer to 11:30 than 1:30. They're at the mercy of how much is available of any given item -- for example, there were several big boxes of lovely green bell peppers, but only one small box of cubanelles -- and things do start disappearing after a while.) Curt would come around every so often and re-allocate resources based on stocks on hand. In particular, the amount of corn people could take fluctuated quite a bit, based on whether options were disappearing further down the line.

                        It was also interesting to see what choices people made at the front of the line where Allstonian and I were: we were in charge of the part where half-shares could take two of four options and full shares could take three. The choices were mesclun, spinach, chard and beets. The spinach was the first to go, followed by the chard, then the beets. I learned that there are people who are sick of beets, which is simply unimaginable to me.

                        Honestly, the whole thing was amazingly fun, and if you're a member of a CSA, you should certainly ask about volunteering. You get to meet your fellow CSA members, you get a kind of behind the scenes look at the process, and there are bennies. We got to pick up extras of some of the things that were left over, and after everyone had left, we got a special surprise treat of an early crop that won't be showing up in the boxes or on the stands for a week or two yet, which Curt was treating practically like contraband. ("Quick, stick these in your bag before anybody sees!") It was my first time, but I'd certainly do it again.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                          That sounds like great fun.

                          Did anyone hear about the baby? I'm going to Copley today so I'll ask, but wondered if anyone had word from City Hall yesterday.

                          1. re: BostonZest

                            Kate had a baby boy on Monday!

                            The heat must be getting to the greens. I was at the Copley market early and bags of mixed greens were a bit scarce. But, I did manage to find some and didn't have to buy lettuces to make my own mix.

                            The peaches have been wonderful.

                            I also bought plums and oatmeal raisin cookies from Cook's, tomatoes from Atlas, blueberries from Hamilton, peaches from Keown, fennel and Earthquake cookies from Siena and bread from Iggy's.

                            Do you bring small bills and quarters to the market? It can really help out the farmers if you do.

                        2. Stopped by the Central Square market yesterday for the first time. I like this market a lot. Of course, my first stop is Hutchins Farm for lettuce. Lots of choices of different produce farmers, making it easy to find a lot of variety. From Hutchins, lettuce and corn; Dick's potatoes, onions and parsley; old black farmer who sings, field tomatoes and blueberries; and somewhere we got haricot verts. Good market day!

                          Only wish this market had one of my favorite bread bakers, but I can live with that. I think this market is now in my weekly rotation.

                          1. Hi, I'm a newbie with CSA, and I have a half share through Stillmans. The quality has been mostly excellent, but this week, we got the first corn in our box. There were four ears of corn. Two of them turned out to be inedible once we shucked them at home. The kernels were misshapen and some were rotten inside. The other two were fine and quite tasty.

                            When I buy corn at the market, I always partially shuck it first and check the ear before I buy. Is that considered terribly bad form for a CSA box? Are you allowed to check it and ask for a replacement?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mwk

                              If the ear is rotten, absolutely. Just misshapen kernels - I wouldn't. That's pretty much my rule of thumb for anything I get in my share - if it's rotten, I would ask for it to be replaced, but if it's just funky-looking - a beet or potato with a split on it, a gnarly pepper, arugula that's been a bit nibbled on, whatever - I accept that that's the way veggies are when they're not grown by a factory farm and drowned in pesticides, and I'll take the warty goods and deal.