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Farmers' Markets, CSAs, Farms stands August 2009

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I hope to get to my home market at Copley tomorrow. I've been so busy covering other markets for assignments that I'm missing out on Copley!

I visited the Newton Market at Cold Spring Park last week and was very impressed. That is a great market with a wonderful, warm vibe. I'll come back and link when the editor posts the piece. I had some of the best corn I've ever tasted from Nicewicz Family Farm.

And, I picked up a few items at the Prudential Market on Thursday. They seem to be picking up a bit more business. They added a gentleman with fantastic lily's and "MY Dog Ate it" dog treats last week.

Has anyone see the little, flat Saturn peaches yet this year? I can't wait for those.

Penny
http://www.bostonzest.com/

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  1. Here is the full report on the Newton Market. It went up sooner than I expected.

    I forgot to mention the wonderful scallions I had from the Hmong Farmer. Their produce is so beautiful.

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/08/ne...

    1. DH brought some of the season's most tasty corn from Connor's in Danvers on Saturday last. Their own and so very sweet. No we do not rip back the husks. Just a little prodding at the top will tell you if the cobs are full..... no need to spoil a beautiful cob. The husks go into our compost bin. We win twice.

      1. I talked to several farmers at the Davis market yesterday about the tomato situation this year. Enterprise Farm (Davis & Brookline markets) reported that although it has been a tough year, so far they have not been seriously affected by late blight -- they had the first organic heirloom tomatoes I've seen for sale this year (brandywines and a few others, along with beautiful looking standard red tomatoes). Nicewicz Family Farm (Davis, Brookline, Belmont, Union Square) didn't have tomatoes yet, although they report the crop is looking good (they are not organic and have been spraying fairly heavily). Kimball Farms (many markets) also has lots of tomatoes, with many heirloom varieties ripe now -- although again they are not organic, and have been spraying fairly heavily.

        1. I stopped by Dewey Square (outside S. Sta) today and saw more stalls than the last time I'd happened by. One farm from Holliston (name escaped me) charged by the pound (instead of by the pint/quart/container) so I grabbed a few plums to supplement my lunch.

          Most of the stands had berries, apples, plums, tomatoes, etc but I didn't have the time to casually peruse them all to see everything they offered. The bakeries and cookie vendors were the only ones who had lines at their stands; I hope the farmers are making money!

          1. I took a quick run through the Prudential Market today. This one is new this year and can use some support.

            I picked up some wonderful strawberries (Spring Brook farms I think) and great potatoes from Drumlin Farm. Plus some pizza and a sandwich from Sel de la Terre and bread from When Pigs Fly.

            For the families with dogs out there, My Dog Ate it! catering has joined this market and has well thought out treats.

            Penny
            http://www.bostonzest.com/

            1. I've been picking my CSA share from Red Fire Farms at the Dewey square (South Station) market. This has really worked well for me, as I can pick up a little extra something for cash (Okra and peaches) to add to my CSA share.
              Red fire has organic tomatoes from their greenhouse. They've lost their entire outdoor crop though and probably most of the potatoes. I feel so bad for all the farmers who rely on tomatoes to pull them through the season. It's just been a tough summer for vegetables.

              1. Has any seen "maxixe" a spiked brazilian vegetable which looks a bit like a pickling cucumber in markets? I know several Hmong farmers offered them, but dunno how well they sold. If they do show up, I will try to post a couple of recipes to the home cooking board this year (I started to write them up last year, but the maxixe passed quickly). I have seen locally grown jilo which usually proceeds it.

                Also I didn't make it to Davis yesterday, but any sign of the Oyster guy this year?

                3 Replies
                1. re: itaunas

                  I think the oyster guy usually doesn't show up in later in the year (late Sept or Oct). I go to the Davis market fairly regularly and haven't seen him, but I don't remember seeing him until late fall last year.

                  1. re: tsackton

                    Thanks that is sort of what I remember from last year, but I thought a couple of years ago he was around pretty early in August. BTW, he also does sign-ups for deliveries to Davis Square for Thanksgiving and Christmas after the Farmer's Market closes. (Its a decent convenience, but you have to order around 100 oysters, which also opens up the option of buying from wholesalers who will sell in those quantities w/o having to make arrangements well in advance.)

                  2. re: itaunas

                    I bought some today from Atlas Farms at Copley. I only bought them because you mentioned it but I had it sliced in a couple of glasses of seltzer this afternoon and it is good. (I love cucumber in seltzer thanks to Rendezvous Central Square.)

                    I'll thank you when I write about it. And try to remember to link the photos back here.

                    Penny
                    http://www.bostonzest.com/
                    follow on
                    http://twitter.com/BostonZest

                  3. On Wednesday the 5th Wilson Farm had their own corn and some lettuces but very little else. Everything seemed to come from California and other points south and west. I was glad to see some different varities of cauliflower, though... green instead of white. The produce did look wonderful but I think the prices reflected the shipping costs from afar. The best we could do was pearl tomatoes on the vine from Maine and IPM very thin and straight green beans.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gio

                      Not recently, and where grown I do not know, but I have simultanwously seen white, green (broccoflower - often at Roche Bros & Mkt Bskt too), gold, and purple cauliflower at Farmland Market in Wakefield Center. That would make a gorgeous, if cacaphonous, composed salad or crudite tray.

                    2. I made my first trip of the season to the Lowell Farmers' Market (Fri 2-6pm) today, arriving at 4. One of the vendors told me this was the first good week - last week was raining buckets, the Folk Festival pre-empted the week before, and before that there wasn't much produce ready for harvest.

                      There were fewer vendors than on my several trips last year. Silver Brook (Littleton) had the largest selection. There were 3 other produce vendors, a jewelry table, and some community organizatino tables that I did not check out.

                      For a total of about $20, I got 3 small ears of corn (@60cts); nice zucchini @25cts ea; a couple of pounds of marked-down mixed squash; a fist-sized heilroom tomato; 2 fresh white onions with long, green, leek-like stalks still attached; a bunch of collards; a bunch of spearmint; an Asian squash (curved, mottled green that vendor said to treat like a cuke); 2 bunches of garlic greens; a small bok choy; and a big head of Romanesco. This last one is new to me - a brassica that is related to cauliflower and broccoli (nut it's not broccoflower) and looks like the design of a fractal architect. I will try to attach the picture from this site: http://www.fourmilab.ch/images/Romane... but I've never done a picture on CH before so that's a back-up. The vendor said to steam it, then saute with garlic and olive oil to top pasta.

                      I also found my way to Cote's Market, which wasn't easy given the dearth of signage on the main streets. It has been recommended for prepared foods so I laid in some freezable single portions of stuff like Swedish meatballs and shepherd's pie, and the single slice of pork pie, a signature dish, will be dinner. Finding the way back was easy - it turns out that Salem St is merely a continuation of Market St, so if you're in Lowell center you just need to get over to Dutton, where Market becomes 2-way, and follow Market out.

                      No, itaunas, nobody had jilo or maxixe - I was going to experiment. I really wanted eggplant but there was none. Don't know if I'm too early or too late.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: greygarious

                        Tons of Eggplant at Chelmsford's market on Thursday. However, the selection of produce is basic and abundant, nothing there like the Jilo, Brassica or Maxixe you mentioned. It's a huge market that has grown every week. I love the ground beef from Springdell Farm.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Certainly not too late for eggplant, it should be coming in now and will produce until frost.

                        2. I pick up my CSA in Quincy. Neither Stillman's nor Freitas has been affected by the late blight. No pe'ento peaches yet, but several varieties as well as Japanese plums and early summer apples are available. Great eggplant, peppers and kohlrabi available. The lobsterman is truly a welcome addition here.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bluepotato2

                            I picked up my first bag of Saturn (Pe'ento or donut) peaches from Keown Orchards yesterday. They are almost gone so I'll have to get to City Hall monday for more.

                            Photo here:
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/2009/08/sat...

                            Penny
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/
                            http://twitter.com/BostonZest

                          2. Siena Farms CSA-mesclen, potatoes, garlic, swiss chard, a few dragon beans, a purple pepper, basil, cilantro. What are others getting in their CSA this year?

                            1. Saturday Union Square Market

                              Well, arrived a little late, and were confronted with crowds. Real crowds. Where did all these people come from?

                              The Nicewicz family farm folks were back. Their blueberries were a dollar a pint more than anyone else, but worth every penny! Though these blueberries are high bush, they are smaller, and bursting with flavor. The perfect berries for muffins. We also bought three ear of their corn [.65 per ear] and it was on par with Hutchins farm. They had some nectarines and peaches, which we didn't purchase. I really like this family. Friendly with great produce.

                              Kimballs had tomatoes, both cherry and large. Folks were lined up purchasing them.

                              We got some chard, fresh onions, French bread and zucchini from a variety of the vendors. Clearly, we need to get back to our earlier schedule. I am thrilled that my market is so popular, but find navigating strollers, hoola-hoops and crowds a bit overwhelming.

                              1. I stopped by City Hall today. The stands are really full of so many wonderful things that I'm going to put myself on a one bag limit. I want everything and fortunately I'm able to visit more than one market a week.

                                Today I was after more Saturn peaches from Keown Orchards, I picked up a monster Romaine from Silverbrook and bread from Rose 23 Bread.

                                Penny
                                http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: BostonZest

                                  Russo's in Watertown had "donut"peaches yesterday. They were for like 2.50/lb. I'm not sure if they are the same as the Saturn peaches you were talking about. But they were small and like flatter than a regular peach.

                                  1. re: Stellar D

                                    Same ones! They have been given a lot of different names. Inside it is a sweet, juicy white peach with both the skin and stone easy to remove. I break them into four pieces by hand and enjoy.
                                    Penny
                                    http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                2. About Red Fire Farm (Dewey Square is where I find them) tomatoes. Sure they're from a greenhouse, but they're fantastic, especially the small sungold cherry tomatoes. These are some of the most delicious morsels of tomato I've had in my life, and my husband agrees. And they're organic. In general, I have found the produce from Red Fire to be superior to that of the other vendors. Can't wait to go again today.

                                  1. A quick glance through above postings found no mention of the Acton market, (Sundays 12 July 'til November 1) http://www.abfarmersmarket.org/ , which is new this year and now in full operation. It's a smallish venue as these things go, but the quality seems to be right up to par in most all of the stalls. The 10AM-1PM hours are strictly enforced, so plan your visit accordingly. Do not under any circumstances miss the corn from http://www.foxbarnfarm.blogspot.com/ -- it is extraordinary.

                                    1. Drumlin's CSA is looking good, although they've lost almost their entire tomato crop, with the exception of a few cherry tomatoes. The farm isn't organic but their growing methods are so no spraying for them. The potatoes have been great; no sign of blight yet and they're beautiful. Getting lots of greens now - tatsoi, broccoli raab, arugula, turnips - along with green beans, carrots, peppers, corn, leeks, cukes, shallots, garlic, etc. Other than the tomatoes, they've had a good year.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Valyn

                                        At the Drumlin stand at the Pru market today they had ground cherries and tomatillos.
                                        Next door the Hmong farmer has beautiful squash blossoms. I sent tweets with photos from the market in case anyone was looking for those items.
                                        Penny
                                        http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                        1. re: BostonZest

                                          Those ground cherries are sooooooo good - I used to get them from Drumlin at Union Sq Market last year - good to know they are back again - will hustle down tomorrow and grab some!

                                      2. I just read that BU has a farmers Market. Has anyone been?

                                        BU Farmer's Market

                                        Dining Services is thrilled to announce the return of the Farmer's Market. Each Thursday, the Market will offer locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods and crafts made by area artists. Stop by and support your local vendor community.

                                        Featured items will include:
                                        • Locally grown fruits & vegetables from Lanni Orchards, Lunenburg, MA
                                        • Baked goods from Big Sky Bakery, Brookline, MA
                                        • Local artists selling artwork, jewelry, homemade crafts and soaps
                                        • Market Day specials in the GSU Food Court
                                        When
                                        Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 12:00pm until 4:00pm on Thursday, Jun 25, 2009
                                        Repeats on every Thursday each week until Thu Oct. 29th, 2009
                                        Where
                                        GSU Plaza, 775 Commonwealth Avenue
                                        Who
                                        Open to General Public
                                        Admission is free

                                        1. Maybe its been posted elsewhere, but I just learned that the Belmont Farmer's Market was awarded Best of Boston by Boston Magazine! It may not be the biggest market around but it certainly has a very nice array of vendors, concentrating heavily on on food-from-the-farm plus a smaller group of vendors who sell prepared and processed foods (such as bread, cheese, sauces, pasta). The peaches I got there yesterday (from Nicewicz Farm) were heavenly.

                                          (In the interest of full disclosure, i do live in Belmont and volunteer at the market.)