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Week of 6/1: Farmers' Markets reports

Has anyone gone to the Central Square Farmers' Market today? I heard it was opening day and was going to hit it after work.

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  1. I haven't been to Central, but have been to three different markets over the last two weeks a number of times and can say that there isn't a ton in the way of produce right now. The bakery stands and the ones selling plants seem to be the most abundant. Spinach, lettuce and other green leafies seem to be mostly what's available for now, though they are all saying it should be more than a week or two before we see some more variety.

    Sorry I didn't answer the initial question, but I think this might be pertinent info anyway ; )

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom Servo

      I'll give you a "non answer" too...:) Gov Ctr had twice as many stands as last week. Stillman's, few places with lettuce/spinach, plenty of plants and few bakeries.

    2. I got my produce from Verrill as usual and this week bought some shell peas, pea tendrils, and red scallions (cool!).

      Does anyone know which vendors will be at South Station market? Any meat vendors?

      3 Replies
      1. re: MrsCheese

        According to the Fed of Mass Farmers Mkt website, South Station will have: Silverbrook Farm, Gilson Herbs, Springbrook Farm, The Dahlia Farm, Silvermine Farm Fiore Di Nonno, Clear Flour and the Danish Pastry House. There might be more - I do know that Canto 6 Bakery from JP will have a stand there. I live nearby and REALLY hope that someone might also join in that will have meat. Silvermine does have poultry & eggs on their website, I hope they bring some along to the market!

        To answer the original question, I did go by the market and picked up some wonderful red radishes & fresh eggs... There were lots of plants & herb seedlings, some greens, radishes, and one stand had fresh strawberries, too. Not much yet beyond that.

        1. re: MrsCheese

          Heh. Be sure to replant those scallions.

          1. re: MrsCheese

            I went to Verrill too and bought some asparagus, rhubarb, and parsnips. They also sell frozen Northeast Family Farms meat and Free Bird chicken. They also had spinach, arugala as well as the produce MrsCheese mentioned.

          2. I've been somewhat disappointed in the Copley Square farmer's market. Last summer there was a nice selection of lunch items but so far, this summer is totally lacking. Iggy's had only one sandwich option. The cooking school isn't there (yet I hope). The stuff from Oleana/Sofra is way overpriced. $3 for 8 crackers, $6 for a very small rice/chickpea salad. Atlas Farms had some gorgeous tomatoes but for $4.75/lb I'll hold off (though at least they lowered the price from the previous $5.50/lb)

            3 Replies
            1. re: lissy

              I'm working on a piece about lunch at the Farmers markets and I did find a few more options at Copley.

              I had the Bean Bowl from the new Copley Square vendor. It was a nice option.

              Deborah's had spreadable fruit and peanut butter sandwiches, Tatte had the really beautiful sandwiches. (I photographed the stash in their refrigerator.) Iggy's had run out by the time I arrived and Gilson was also out of the herb summer rolls that they do.

              The Cheese stand had their picnic lunches and as you pointed out there are a lot of items from Sofra on the Siena Farms stand.

              Most of the prepared foods are kept in refrigerators in back of the stand. Most of the vendors put out signs for their prepared foods. That does make it harder to find the offerings. I happened to be walking the market specifically looking for lunch options today.

              1. re: BostonZest

                The prosciutto, fig, goat cheese and argula sandwich at tarte was fantastic, btw. And the chocolate peanut butter cupcake from the Danish Pastry was amazing.

                1. re: KitchenAid

                  That's the one I photographed! I wish I had not already had lunch when I saw them. Tatte has such a European esthetic. It looked like they bought the best possible ingredients, baked a perfect bread and balanced every aspect.

            2. Does anyone know when the Union Square Somerville market is starting up? Barmy and I would love to hit a farmer's market this weekend, and I believe our choices are that one if it's up and running tomorrow, or Harvard Square on Sunday.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Allstonian

                Looks to be tomorrow, Allstonian:


                I'm waiting on the Wakefield one to open - have to wait until July 11. :-( And I have to wait for June 13th for Winchester. :::::Sigh:::::

                1. re: Allstonian

                  Union will start up tomorrow 9 - 1. Be forewarned, it usually starts really slowly and then builds. No matter, while in the neighborhood, you could pop into Machu Picchu for some great grilled chicken, or hit up Taqueria la Mexicana for a couple of tacos. Wuchon House might ring your bell too ... come on over!

                2. A friend and I shopped and then had lunch at the Prudential Market yesterday. Lunch was from Sel de la Terre. I had a salad, she had a sandwich and we found a shady spot with a wall for sitting and a place for our dogs to sprawl out on the cool pavement.

                  I bought French bread from When Pigs Fly, scallions from Drumlin Farm, asparagus and Strawberries (nice and ripe but not as sweet as Atlas') from Springbrook Farm, ground pork from Stillman and cucumber from Dick's Market Garden.

                  My friend bought a lot more, it was her first market of the week. She picked up a few of smoked fish from Nantucket Wild Gourmet and Smoke House. I'll have to see if she'll give me a report on those.

                  1. I hit Central on Monday & it was sparse--not all the vendors show this early. There were lots of plants (really great herbs), mounds of greens, strawberries, some hothouse tomatoes, Hi-Rise and another bakery whose name escapes me, and a meat seller. Not bad for so early in the season!

                    1. Union Sq market was pretty good for so early in the season- I grabbed asparagus, green garlic, fresh eggs, strawberries, turnips, baby carrots, and other greens. My favorite farmer, the Hmong family that always has awesome Asian greens, wasn't there sadly.

                      Also, if you grow your own herbs, there were TONS of seedlings/full plants available.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: bobot

                        Barmy and I got there a little before 11. Saw no asparagus, green garlic, or carrots, and thought that Drumlin Farm's strawberries didn't look appetizing enough to justify $5 per pint, but we were very happy with the mizuna, lettuce, chard. and radishes that we bought, as well as the hot lamb sausage and pork chorizo from Stillman's.

                        We also stopped in at Reliable Market and found the toban jian we've been looking for (a Japanese brand, but whatever) and stocked up on stuffed pastas and a nice hunk of pancetta from Capone's. We wanted to stop in at Macchu Picchu for some chicken, but sadly they don't open till noon. Overall, however, it was a great visit to a neighborhood we never get to wander around in, and well worth taking a Zipcar our for a few hours.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          We bought the last carrots, and the asparagus and garlic were pretty thing. Should've mentioned that. Seems that you have to get there between 9 and 10 this early in the season because they sell out of lots of things.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            Those strawberries were worth every penny of the $5. Soooo good. Also the big stall right in the middle of the square selling turnips, radishes (including breakfast radishes which I love) and russian kale had broccoli rabe which was reasonable and delicious.

                            The Hmongs come later in the season. Come on back.

                            1. re: yumyum

                              I'll take your word on the strawberries - they seemed awfully pale (pink with white ends) to be tasty. If they'd actually been red I might have considered paying the high price, but they just didn't look fully ripe.

                            2. re: Allstonian

                              I received a notice that a collaboration of Hmong Farmers are starting a CSA called Flats Mentor Farm. Pick up point is at the Harvard University Farmer's Market.


                              Also, not a farmer's market, but Formaggio had delicious local strawberries for $7.50 a quart. Perfectly sweet and tart at the same time. And, it was work (not hard work but a diligent effort) for two of us to finish the whole quart in an evening.

                          2. Not really from a farmer's market, but I got my first CSA share this week (Heirloom Harvest, Westboro; an easy diversion from my Rt. 9 commute back from Worcester). A ridiculously bountiful haul! Large bags of arugula and field greens. baby bok choi, 2 good sized heads lettuce (romaine and red leaf), turnip greens, beet greens, baby white turnips. All organic and fresh picked that day......we are feasting!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Science Chick

                              CSA reports, farm stand reports and other sources of fresh and local were part of these reports last year. It's great to hear what was in your share.

                              I'm doing the Atlas Farms CSA at their Copley stand in Boston. You prepay and they let you buy what you want from the stand at a discount.