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Farmer's Mkts, CSAs, & Farm Stands September

Topic to continue what Bostonzest started for August:


Arlington today was very busy and very nice. Favorite stand overall was Hmong. Noticed 2-3 stands selling commercial tomatoes (with the boxes in the truck, included some of the more busy stands), but there was a large selection of heirloom tomatoes at Grateful Farms and one other. Dick's had white corn (maybe silver queen??) in addition to butter & sugar which all had. Hmong had some nice maxixe, looked like some flat chives, lots of beautiful squash blossoms, and plenty of other beautiful greens, but very little traffic. Fish stand was very busy, but people in line quite rude.

No jilo, but in addition to the Lowell market where graygarious saw it, I have locally grown jilo at some Brazilian markets. And I didn't see any taioba.

Does anyone know if Hmong is attending Medford this year (I didn't see them, but haven't been recently)? Union on Saturdays? Definitely need to buy more from them!

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  1. The Hmong are my favorite as well. They do attend Belmont on Thursdays. Their pea tendrils are beautiful. And they often have those very unusual Brazilian cucumbers that are small, round, and prickly looking.

    3 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Those are maxixe, which I mentioned above, and I think the link above has some vague ideas about cooking them but as life permits I may document some experiments/translations on the home cooking board. You can also search for various variations on "maxixada" but I don't know of any online english recipes. They are also available at a number of Market Baskets and Seabro Markets, both locally grown, as well as other more local stores. I posted some information as I know it about Umass supporting local farming of ethnic vegetables, and maxixe and taioba were part of the second round of their work on Brazilian vegetables. My plan is to try an unusual recipe for feijoada pernambucana which includes maxixe and chayote, but its used a lot in the Northeast and also in Minas/Espirito Santo, etc.

      BTW, I got a chance to experiment some of the Dick's white corn vs the butter & sugar. I wanted to see if by any chance the white was a bit less sweet (and would love suggestions of less sweet corns at markets) to get better balance making mingaus and things like pastel de choclo. The white was less sweet (still not certain if its silver queen), but not as nice overall as the butter & sugar. For my purposes I'll go with the white for now, but the other was nice for eating.

      1. re: itaunas

        I got six ears of corn with my Stillman's half-share last Sunday. I pulled ears at random from the bin, and got one ear of butter & sugar, one ear of white, and four enormous ears of a plain yellow variety that was notably less sweet than butter & sugar. Sounds like the sort of thing you're looking for - if Stillman's has a stand at a market that you visit, ask them about it.

        1. re: Allstonian

          I tried that special Japanese Hybrid corn that Stillman's was pushing hard at the JP market and City Hall. Actually, it was really tasty as they had said. So sweet and juicy. It really beat the heck out of anything else I've had recently.

    2. I finally hit the smaller Harvard Square Farmers' Market last night and was pleasantly surprised at the variety from one of the stands in particular from Dartmouth, MA, as well as honey, maple products, flowers, and the rest of the ubiquitous offerings. The strawberry tomatoes were especially outstanding.

      1. I went to the City Hall market for the first time yesterday. I saw Noquochoke Orchards and Stillman's. I got some carrots from Keown Orchards and a colorful mix of cute little potatoes at Silverbrook.

        1. Ah, thanks for stepping in itaunas-- I'm down in Provincetown and not spending much time on the laptop.

          We did shop the local farmers market but will report on that and other food related topics on the New England Board when I get back to work. Three of the vendors also do Boston Markets so I felt right at home.


          1. I think the Hmong are at Davis Square on Wednesdays, though on the other hand I don't recall seeing maxixe (not that I"m sure I'd know what I was looking at).

            At Davis, Kimball Fruit Farms has some prime heirloom tomatoes in their usual cornucopia of colors and shapes, and the peaches are fat, round and juicy. They also had silver queen corn this week and their Armenian cukes appear to be shrinking down to a more conventional size.

            Wilson Farms also has a ridiculous riot of tomatoes and corn, all amazingly good. They were also serving up a homemade heirloom tomato gazpacho on Saturday. I took a copy of the recipe and futzed with it a little, and the result (with shaved corn in it) was a monster hit at a neighborhood cookout. So I'll be making lots of corn-and-tomato gazpacho while the sun shines!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr.Jimbob

              Photos of maxixe here, including one that also shows jilo:
              (from a super-cool website, BTW.)

            2. Hmong at Union on Saturdays (assume it's the same people). Have you tried corn at Sergi's Farm in Belmont?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Aromatherapy

                Its a different Hmong farmer family that was at Union Saturday (the Yangs, I think). Union was really nice too -- no sign of conventional/large crops, just locally grown produce and less other stands. Not certain if it was the weather, but half as crowded as Arlington, but like Arlington I thought some of the more interesting stands/offerings were overlooked. Found a really nice native squash (not certain what type, its orange, but not pumpkin shaped) for my unusual feijoada. Been seeing a lot of okra around, bought some here, smaller than what was at Arlington (no goo). From the Hmong farmers I bought a squash where they had only one, I was trying to figured out whether it was as japanese or central american squash. It looked like a mature central american variety, but I couldn't understand the farmer who was talking about it being immature -- will know for certain in a day or so.

                I had forgotten about Sergi's Farm, so thanks for the reminder as I'll be going down Blanchard on Wednesday. What's the other farm in the area (really small), where you put the money in the jar... ?

                1. re: itaunas

                  Other farm? No idea. I only found Sergi's by accident. Do tell.

                  Union is a sweet little market.

                  1. re: Aromatherapy

                    There was a stand at the Brookline market today that might also be the Hmongs, they had the pea shoots and thin red thai peppers and other asian greens (also purslane). I don't go regularly but was there today to stock up on tomatoes, which I got from Kimball -- they do have beautiful heirloom varieties BTW.

              2. My fourth trip fo the season to the Lowell Farmers' Market today. I got more garlic greens from a gentleman who may be the Hmong farmer referred to at other locations - told him how pleased I was that although most of the garlic greens bought there a month ago were in the crisper for 3 weeks before I used them (pesto, and my own take on the eggplant pasta sauce in CH recipes), they were still perfect. I think I was mistaken in thinking that the shallots I got from a different vendor before were 80 cents a pound; this time they were $1.50, as were tomatoes. Still, huge, gorgeous, and half the price of the supermarket. Great-looking eggplant and squashes, several varieties of beans, and many exotic veggies unfamiliar to me.

                I have never been to the Andover FM, and may give it a shot tomorrow though I wonder if they'll be there, with a rainy forecast. In general, do you find that FMs are held if there's a lot of rain?

                2 Replies
                1. re: greygarious

                  Is there a website that lists the days and hours of the operation of Boston area farmers' markets.

                  From these comments it seems that Belmont is open on Thursday (PM??), but when is the Harvard Sq. mkt. open, for instance. As I recall Brookline is open on Wednesday ?? Lowell is a bit out of the way for me.

                  Question answered:
                  http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/far... is the site that has the info I seek.

                  1. re: VivreManger

                    massfarmersmarkets.org has this info, plus farmstands and other related activities.

                2. The fresh local organic ginger is back from Old Friends Farm. They are at Copley and Newton markets. It is fantastic in flavor and so beautiful that I had a great time photographing the piece I bought before I used it.

                  Ginger photos here:


                  Casey seemed to have more this year than in the past so I hope more hounds get to try it.

                  This is the time of year when everything seems to be bursting at the seams in the markets. I bought ginger and greens from Old Friends-- lately their greens seem to have really great flavor and they are nicely cleaned and bagged.

                  I also bought tomatoes, chard and Broccoli from Atlas; bread from Iggy's, and watermelon, blueberries, and peppers from Stillmans.

                  I love farmers markets!