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June 2011 Farmers' Markets, CSAs, Farm Stands Etc.

Here's the place for the latest news on our local food suppliers. What's at your market? How is your CSA going? Anyone hear of CSAs with openings? Have you made it out to a farm stand?

It's Friday so Copley is open today.

Strawberries! Atlas Farms had their early season strawberries on Tuesday at the Copley Market. They were pricy but like the ones they had last years they were ripe-to-the-stem and delicious. I believe these are grown in their hoop houses. Their cucumbers and greens have been great.

Strawberry photo here:
http://www.bostonzest.com/2011/06/to-...

Hamilton Orchards had some greenhouse raspberries at Copley.

Spring Brook at Prudential (Thursdays) has had asparagus and fiddlehead ferns. And, Turtle Creek wines are now at the that market.

Fastachi Nuts is at both Copley and The Pru market this year and they will be doing other markets as well with their nuts, mixes and nut butters. At the Pru market you can get his nut butter, when Pigs fly chocolate bread and Cook's Jam for the most incredible sandwich.

On a more serious note, while most of the Tornado coverage has been about homes and businesses in the urban and suburban areas hit, many of the farms that serve the Boston area are out there and some of them suffered damage.

I heard that Old Friends Farm had some damage. Atlas is in that same area but I haven't heard any news about them so far. Marge Cook of Cook's Orchard said they had damage. Kate Stillman said they had some crop damage but the family was fine.

Hail is the enemy of farmers so when you see your farmer friends ask how they are doing. They may have had a very bad week. We could see some supply problems from the storm.

So who's next to fill us in on their locally grown or produced finds.

Penny
http://www.bostonzest.com/

-----
Fastachi
598 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA

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  1. Joined Marshall's Fenway Farm CSA and they say ..

    22Sent out 1st CSA newsletter this morning. CSA Produce will start the week of June 6th. I know we will have Asparagus, Broccoli, Lettuce and dear I say Strawberries? and much more. Don't forget we have our CSA Fund Raiser coming up on June 4th. Stay tuned for more info!"

    We can't wait - stopped in today and checked out the abundant Clear Flour Bakery offering.

    1. I picked up my CSA from Drumlin Farm on the 1st. Included were delicate & delicious lettuces, Hakurei turnips, shunkyo radish, easter egg radish, scallions & huge bunches of spinach. The Pick Your Own will start in a few weeks. Greg said there are already strawberries on the vines, they just need to ripen!

      At that point in the day (just around noon), they'd had a small hail storm. Next week, I'll find out the extent of damage from the later storms.

      1. I've swung by Dewey Square & here's what I've checked out so far -

        Bought a basil plant from Kimballs - I've had it a week & I haven't killed it yet so I'm doing pretty good. : )

        Had both the banana bread & pumpkin bread , $7.50 each (no nuts in either) from Baking With Joy (?) - both very good. I think they're only there on Thursdays.

        Had a chocolate berliner (well, actually 2) from Swiss Bakers - it seems like they unfortunately are using less chocolate filling but they were fresh & tasty. $1.65 each.

        Seta has not been there yet. Per the girl at the info booth at the market, somone hit her car (she's OK) & ripped off the door . She's supposed to be there next week depending on the car repair. She also said Seta's booth will be there on both Tuesdays & Thursdays, but Seta herself will only be there on Thursday (she's having someone else man the booth on Tuesdays).

        5 Replies
        1. re: southie_chick

          Bought a hangar steak at Dewey Sq from Batcheller Hill Farm today, first time I;ve tried them..good assortment of beef, pork and lamb on the "menu." I was there at 6ish and they were pretty picked over. They're only there Tues..mkt Tues Thurs. Ms 9 picked u some orange mint, asparagus and a nice bag of mixed greens..plenty of herbs and I cheese guy who I'd never seen.

          1. re: 9lives

            Where exactly is Dewey Square? I got the map fr the BPM website, but I don't know how accurate that is (knowing how google has messed up directions for me in the past, lol). Plan to be in town on Thurs, but my knee is sore from walking too much on Monday (couldn't resist it on such a gorgeous day) & I don't want to over extend myself.

            1. re: threedogs

              Dewey Sq is diagonally across the street from South Station...on the Greenway. Clover Food truck is also there.

              1. re: 9lives

                Thanks, 9lives! Easy for me to get to, also. :D

                1. re: 9lives

                  And, Seta is back at Dewey Square! Got 2 hummus & a metch - great as usual. She didn't have any pita bread so I had to wait 'till I got home to break into it - instead of downing a whole tub of hummus at my desk which I was sooooo tempted to do.
                  Clear Flour had the cheddar snails again, which were good, but for $3 each are a little pricey - especially since I've discovered a bakery near me (Dutch Epicure in Amherst, NH) which sells a similar tasting roll for $0.65 each.
                  Love the banana bread & pumkin bread from Baking With Joy (?) - went with the banana bread this week.
                  Disappointed by my berliner from Swiss Baker - barely any chocolate in it. I remember the first one I had last year had a LOT more chocolate in it, but they gradually started cutting back the amount. I've talked to them about this at the end of last year, & during the Winter market ...... & again this year but they just say they'll tell someone about it. I'll probably skip this next week.
                  Got the asiago & fromage blanc from the cheese guy (can't remember the name of the place). Both were good. Fromage blanc was very creamy & could have used just a touch of garlic & salt to bring out the chive flavor.

          2. I know that some Farmer's Markets carry seeds & plants - I'm on the lookout for veggies to plant this week. Has anyone seen anything notable at any Farmer's Market that would be close to or accessible by the T from Watertown? Looking for the usual tomatoes (heirloom would be nice) in addition to other plants/seeds - and yard long (Asian) beans (seeds). I had a huge bunch of seeds I can't find since my move in December. Probably won't find them until I move again, lol (which I hope will not be for a long, long time - I hate moving SO MUCH. Ugh!!)

            7 Replies
            1. re: threedogs

              Last Sunday at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge there were lots of plants. I think there is trolley service from Watertown on Mt. Auburn St to Harvard Square.

              1. re: threedogs

                How about Central Square on Monday? Most markets have lots of plants this time of year. They have Keown Orchards and they are bringing lots of veggies to Copley.

                And, out your way Russo's should have what you need. I'll bet they may even have the seeds.

                Penny
                http://www.bostonzest.com/

                1. re: BostonZest

                  Cambridge is easy to get to - it's good to know about the one at the Charles Hotel - didn't even know there was one there! Thanks!!

                  Central Square is good - I'm going to check them out tomorrow if I can. And I completely forgot about Russo's plants (will check them out & see if they have seeds too!! Duh!! Been shopping at Arax for my fruits & veggies lately)

                2. re: threedogs

                  Sherman Market (Union Sq, Somerville) has some seedlings. Not sure what types. The sign said that they come from a farm in Waltham, I think, which would be even closer to you if the farm would sell them direct.

                  -----
                  Sherman Market
                  22 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143

                  1. re: threedogs

                    Have you checked out the Tues afternoon Spring farmers market in Nonatum (At the Am Legions parking lot on California Street)? It's not a far walk from Watertown sq. I was there today and there were at least 2 or 3 stalls selling seedlings & plants. I definitely saw some tomato plants.

                    1. re: y2000k

                      No, I didn't even know there was one there! That's very close - great info, thanks so, so much.

                      I picked up a few tomato plants at the Gov't Center farmer's market on Monday. Probably have enough (hahaha - that's funny - the words "tomato plants" and "enough" in the same sentence, lol). I'll check them out.

                      1. re: threedogs

                        You're welcome. Just to expand on the Nonantum location, it's every Tuesday afternoons in June (for the Spring Market), then switches over to Friday afternoons for the Summer Market. Details here: http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/Parks/Spec....

                  2. Just moved to Boston from Los Angeles. In LA, there are lots of local farmers markets, but the Wednesday one in Santa Monica, and the Sunday one in Hollywood are generally considered to be among the best, with the most and most interesting fruit and vegies.

                    Is there an analog in Boston? Which FMs are generally thougth to be the biggest and best?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: David Kahn

                      No, Santa Monica is legendary and we really don't have anything like that. But, Amelia Saltsman author of the Santa Monica Farmers' Market cookbook did visit Copley Square a couple of years ago and said she liked the market.

                      Where are you in the Boston area? I cover farmers' Markets for Serious Eats so I've been to a lot of them. And, if I can't point you to a great one near you others here can.

                      Penny

                      http://www.bostonzest.com/

                      1. re: BostonZest

                        Thanks so much Penny. I live in the South End and work in Back Bay.

                        1. re: David Kahn

                          Then you have great markets at your disposal. On Tuesday and Fridays Copley Square. On Thursdays the Prudential Center has a small market on Boylston Street and on Sundays you can visit the farmers and food vendors at the SOWA Open Market over on Harrison Avenue.

                          Those are close but nice walk or subway ride will take you to more markets.

                          Dewey Square is open across from South Station on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a really nice and growing market.

                          Monday and Wednesday there is a small market on City Hall Plaza.

                          After June 16th the Brookline Farmers Market opens in Coolidge Corner. That one is worth a visit.

                          The Union Square market in Somerville is worth a visit on a Saturday morning (9am to 1pm market hours) because it is in a neighborhood full of GREAT ethnic food shopping.
                          http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org/...

                          Now none of these are as large or have as many types of food as your former markets in California. We don't have the same climate or focus on agriculture but our local market scene is growing and improving each year.

                          I'll let the rest of the fresh & local fans tell you about their markets!

                          Penny
                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                          -----
                          City Hall Cafe
                          695 Main St, Fitchburg, MA 01420

                    2. Verrill Farm in Concord has their own grown lettuces,spinach and asparagus ! They also have strawberries from Virginia--nice to see normal sized ans sweet berries again instead of the mega sized-flavorless ones at the markets!

                      -----
                      Verrill Farm
                      11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

                      1. Medford Farmer's Market opensThursday, June 16th at 2 PM. Regular hours will be Thursdays, 3-7 PM. It's held in the parking lot of Whole Foods in West Medford. It looks like the number of vendors has been expanded this year.

                        http://www.medfordfarmersmarket.org/

                        1. A colleague and I hit the Lexington Farmers Market after lunch today. I got a gorgeous piece of bluefish and some nice haruki turnips. What knocked our socks off was some blackberry-red wine sorbet from Giovanna Gelato e Sorbet. Wow was that good! http://giovannagelato.com/index.html Fastachi Nuts was there too.

                          -----
                          Fastachi
                          598 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: GretchenS

                            I had their Gelato at the Wayland Winter Market a year ago and still think of it. I will have to get out to Lexington. Didn't they win "Farmers' Market of the year" not long ago?

                            I fear that my sometimes addiction to Fastachi will become a real problem with the market visits. A friend asked me to recommend a gift for a chef way up on Maine and my immediate answer was, " Go to the Fastachi stand at the Market." I was thinking pastchio butter but she may have made another choice. He mentioned today that he'll be bring some perfect Father's Day gifts to the markets this week.

                            Penny
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                            -----
                            Fastachi
                            598 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA

                            1. re: BostonZest

                              Yes, they won Best of Boston Farmers Market for 2010. I will make one caveat about going there. For some reason, it is always about 10 degrees hotter at that market than anywhere else, so I tend to skip it on the hottest Tuesdays and go to Arlington on Wednesday instead. Haven't been to Arlington yet this year though so don't know if that yummy gelato is there or not. Pistachio butter sounds divine....

                          2. First CSA pickup from Allandale today: Huge green leaf lettuce, peppercress, kale, green garlic, broccoli rabe, radishes, dill, cilantro.

                            1. Went to the Newton Spring farmers market in Nonantum today. 2 produce stall, one is Old Friends Farm in Amherst, the other one I forgot the name... says it's in Middleboro. Bought salad-ready mixed greens from the former, and strawberries & cherry tomatoes from the latter. The latter also has some beautiful sugar snap peas. I was told they start planting tomatoes in the greenhouse in late winter, hence the early yield on tomatoes.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: y2000k

                                Newton/Cold Spring Park is another great market. I met a friend there last year and had a fun time. I'll bet the Middleboro stand was Freitas Farm. They have GREAT berries. I'm happy Old Friends was there, I hope he'll be at Copley this week. I had heard they had damage in the storms.

                                I saw photos of the extent of the damage to Cook's Farm Orchard- stunning and sad. They had damage to buildings and to more than a hundred trees. And, where they once had a woodland barrier to protect the orchards, they now have a barren strip of debris.

                                If the Cooks are at your market, try to stock up on what ever you can use. They are exceptionally nice people and a little extra income now couldn't hurt. They have very good pies, cookies, breads, great jam and really great granola. I think it's sweetened with their own maple syrup.

                                1. re: BostonZest

                                  Thanks for posting this. I will def look out for them at the markets when I go. So sad. I almost cried when i read what you wrote about the woodland barrier now being a strip of debris.

                                  1. re: BostonZest

                                    Thanks, Penny. It is indeed Freitas Farm now that you mentioned it. I had their strawberries for breakfast this morning and they're just lovely.

                                    Old Friends Farm is only at the Nonantum spot for the Spring Market. They'll move to the Cold Springs Park site when it opens in July.

                                    1. re: BostonZest

                                      Cooks maple syrup is excellent. Really dark and maple-y Grade B. Some years Simeon doesn't buy a grading kit but he can describe how the syrup tastes because he boils it himself.

                                      1. re: Velda Mae

                                        Ballpark price? I'm running low, and need to buy a quart or so...

                                  2. I just noticed that the Arlington farmers' market is open for the season. It'll be open on Wednesdays until 6:30 (I don't know the start time offhand).

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                      Arlington is 2:00pm to 6:30pm. And, if you need any information like that you can usually find it here.
                                      http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/FMF...

                                      1. re: BostonZest

                                        Thanks!

                                    2. Heirloom Harvest CSA fIrst pickup last Thurs (6/2) included: Russian kale, mixed field greens, bibb lettuce, rhubarb, arugula, collard greens and pak choi!

                                      1. Went to Davis sq last week and was disappointed. I realize its early in the season and not to expect much but there was so little. I expect in a couple weeks it will pick up and be as goos as last year.
                                        I read Woburn will be having a market at the old Spence Farm lot on Sundays 9-1.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: chowmel

                                          I went to Davis yesterday and it was in full swing: four farms with strawberries (Enterprise - the best IMO but $1 more per pint, Hanson's, Bug Hill - new to Davis this year, and Kimball); lots of spring greens; asparagus, spring garlic, zucchini and early cherry tomatoes (among other things) at Kimball; fish from the Globe Fish Co (new this year); rhubarb at Hanson's; great looking radishes and turnips at Blue Heron. Didn't buy much beyond strawberries given my CSA started on Tuesday, but everything looked great and there was lots of variety compared to a week ago (when it was mostly plants and a few strawberries at Enterprise that probably sold out by 12:30).

                                          1. re: greenzebra

                                            excellent - all i needed was more patience !!

                                        2. soooo excited, just joined our frst csa, Farmer Daves in Dracut although they deliver into boston I believe. Frst pick up is this coming week.

                                          1. First Picadilly Farm pickup yesterday (Arl Hghts) had cilantro, radishes, beautiful (and tasty!) arugula, 2 different heads/types of lettuce, bok choy and a bag of mixed greens/mesclun. Looking forward to lots of salads in the coming week!

                                            1. There were slim pickings at South Station yesterday. Kimball was the only farm I saw. They were all sold out of tomatoes by the time I got there. Only had 1 or 2 boxes of strawberries left. They expect to have more stuff over the next few weeks.

                                              1. I went to Belmont market yesterday. I love the vibe there. It was a community I really miss all winter long. As expected there is not a whole lot going on this time of year but Belmont has so many prepared food venders that it is still fun to go. I had a delicious brown sugar shortening cookie from ButterGirl. Supposedly Japonaise Bakery will have a stall at Belmont but sadly they were not there yesterday. I also picked up a baguette from Mamadou and a pound of rhubarb from Kimball. Kimball was the only vender that had strawberries but I didn't get any. I was surprised by that because I had picked up a quart from Marini's farm stand in Ipswich the day before. Where are all the strawberries?

                                                -----
                                                Japonaise Bakery
                                                1020 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

                                                1. Picked up my first (ever) share today from Connors in Danvers. While the quality looked great it was less then I imagined. Beautiful red and green leaf, cilantro, 2 rhubarb stalks beet greens, strawberries, honey, and seedling tomatoes, chives and herbs. Was super excited about the coming bounty. I assume this is early season lack of abundance.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: KilgoreTrout

                                                    CSAs usually start off slow, and then become increasingly bountiful over the season, peaking in Aug/Sept (to the point of overwhelming!!). Hang in there, and thou shalt be rewarded handsomely! ;)

                                                    That being said, this year is a bit slower than past, due to the colder May and lack of sunshine. Your share seems comparable to mine at Heirloom Harvest. Radishes, Yakima soy, mixed greens, 6 small lettuce heads, kale, cabbage, small beets (from thinning out the fields), oregano

                                                    1. re: Science Chick

                                                      Thank you. This is what I thought. I forgot to factor in the weather as well. Looking forward to not having to buy tomatoes this summer. I know it varies by farm, but should I expect stone fruit?

                                                      1. re: KilgoreTrout

                                                        Oh yes, expect stone fruit later in the season...if the weather cooperates. We had lots of peaches, Italian plums, some nectarines last year, IIRC.

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Cool. Connors csa pick up this weekend coincided with their strawberry festival so all is good this week.

                                                    2. re: KilgoreTrout

                                                      Our CSA (Silverwood in Sherborn) has also been slow to get going, with a lighter yield than I remember from this time last year. But that's part of joining one, you take the good with the bad and this spring was pretty awful, weather-wise. The produce we have received has been absolutely beautiful, though. Beets, radishes, kohlrabi, spring turnips, scapes, bok choy, lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, scallions....

                                                      By late July, you will be googling tomato recipes like mad, and scrounging for freezer space to store all your sauces. (and I'll be complaining that i didn't shell out the extra $$ to avoid doing the PYO portion.)

                                                    3. Waltham's Farmers Market opens today. http://walthamfarmersmarket.org/ Not all the listed vendors were there today. Only 1 produce stand this week - Dick's Market Garden with lots of lettuce, radishes, some tomatoes, bok choy, and herbs. There are several other stalls selling plants. Picked up muhammara and stuffed grape leaves from Samira's homemade (both delicious). Burnshirt Valley/Caledonia Farms was there with beef & pork products plus eggs.
                                                      Spotted Smith's Country Cheese is now carrying mozzarella from Maplebrook Farms in VT. There are several bakeries but not Swissbakers - wonder if they're returning to Waltham this year?

                                                      1. Brookline opened yesterday and I was not able to get there- I wish they would open at noon, Anyone go?

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                          Thanks for the Brookline reminder! If you can take the MBTA to Brookline do it. On farmers' market days one of the parking lots is given up to the market and for some reason everyone in Brookline drives to the market and tries to park around Coolidge Corner. I couldn't convince a friend to ride the T one time and we spent a lot of time circling for parking.

                                                          Cindy the Fish Lady is at the Market and you can reserve ahead of time by giving her your email. She'll email a list of the fish she'll have and save what you want. She often runs out things for walk up.

                                                          Another thing I love there is that you can often buy half a loaf of Clear Flour bread. There are some like Miller Bread that they sell in halves at the market but I also ask other people in line if anyone wants a half of something. Clear Flour will make the cut for you and you settle the payment between you or trade.

                                                          Penny
                                                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                                          1. re: BostonZest

                                                            I strongly agree that the T (including the 66 bus) is a fine way to get to the Brookline Farmer's Market. However, here's a tip - there is inexpensive public parking in the garage at the Marriott hotel, just across Beacon Street from Centre Street, where the market is.

                                                            1. re: Allstonian

                                                              Right were the market used to be, as we say when giving directions in Boston! Does anyone else remember going to the farmers' market when it was on the other side of Beacon Street?

                                                              Thanks for the great tip. I know about that garage but didn't think of it for the market!

                                                          2. re: Berheenia

                                                            Changes at Brookline this year: the Hmong stand is gone, replaced by the increasingly ubiquitous Fastachi (which I love, but frankly, I'd prefer the Asian greens and high quality herbs to the same nuts and snacks I can buy on Mt. Auburn anytime), and there's now a knife sharpener, although I overheard her tell a customer that she won't be there every week. Other than that, same as always, right down to the placement of each stand.

                                                            I'm completely spoiled by this market, frankly. All the other ones around town always seem comparatively disappointing. I also recommend taking the T or walking, although on days when I've got a Zipcar out for other erranding, like yesterday, these are my other parking suggestions, in order of utility: metered parking on the inbound side of Beacon Street (there's almost always empty spaces here, because people apparently don't know the trick of getting to them quickly), Marriott garage, public parking lot on the corner of Babcock and John, metered spaces on John.

                                                            -----
                                                            Fastachi
                                                            598 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02138

                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                              Anybody have a list of which markets have Hmong stands? I miss the Asian greens too.

                                                              1. re: bizkat

                                                                Me, too. I think I remember they didn't show up until later in the season last year, but I am probably wrong.

                                                                1. re: bizkat

                                                                  Flat's Mentor Farm, which seems to be a UMass supported Hmong cooperative, is at the Bedford Farmer's Market, through their website I found the Flat's site, which had on it this list: http://www.flatsmentorfarm.org/market... of Famer's Markets with Hmong vendors, in 2009. Hope it helps.

                                                            2. I was at Copley today in tthe rain....didn't go last week so maybe I'm just behind, but it seemed like an explosion of new stuff .... cukes, squashes, even a few tomatoes (at $5 a pound), English peas, snow peas, sugar snaps, lots of beautiful beets (I know they've been around for a while), even more kinds of beautiful greens and lettuces. How are we getting all this with the cold rainy weather...or is the weather helpful? Strawberries everywhere...the aroma is so inticing.

                                                              1. The Friday afternoon market at Newton's Nonantum location opens today. They have been hosting a Tues afternoon Spring market for a few weeks now, but most vendors are different.

                                                                There are 3-4 produce stands including Freitas Farm, one farm from newton, and one from Upton. Got some cherry tomatoes, lovely lettuce, and of course, strawberries. Other produce includes spinach, radishes, herbs, peas, swiss chard.

                                                                There is 1 meat vendor (John Crow Farm) with beef, pork, and lamb. And 1 seafood vendor, Steamers, from just down the street.

                                                                In addition, there's one bakery and one ice cream stand. Overall, there are more selections than the Tuesday afternoon market.

                                                                1. Just wondering...has anyone ever gone to the Revere Beach farmers market?

                                                                  http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farmers...

                                                                  I remember reading there was seafood there, among other items.

                                                                  1. In the "where have I been" category, yesterday I found out there's a pretty decent farmers market in Melrose every Thursday from 2 - 7PM. That's terrific news for us because of the time element. It's on Main St. in front of the Cooledge Condos, across the street from the Melrose Coop Bank.

                                                                    Sally Frank's Farmers' Market:
                                                                    https://sites.google.com/site/sffmmel...

                                                                    1. Our CSA from World PEAS last week was fairly nice, considering the cold wet weather we had in May. Really nice strawberries, garlic scapes, baby lettuce mix, collard greens, a big bag of pea tendrils, spinach, radishes and more lettuce. Lots of greens, but my bunnies don't mind.

                                                                      I got some FANTASTIC strawberries at Ward's Berry Farm at Harvard today. It's taking all my willpower to not inhale them.