August 2011 Farmers' markets, CSAs, Farm stands Etc.
Time for another update on what you are finding on the Fresh & Local scene.
I have the Market Share from Atlas Farm. Over the winter they offered a special price of $240 for $300 worth of goods at the Copley Market. They also offer specials to Market Share customers when they have an abundance of something. I buy what I want from the stand and they charge my share account.
It looks like I will have to add to my share fund before the season ends. But, they let you do that. You can sign up for as little as $90 for $100 in goods throughout the season.
How is your CSA going? Will you sign up again?
What's new at your market? I'm on the lookout for satellite peaches. Keown Orchards says soon.
Anyone made any farm stand visits? What are your recommendations?
Does anyone have an update on the Cape Ann Fish Share program? I'm not doing that right now only because my share partners have moved. But, I have lined up another partner and will sign on again in the fall.
Marshall,s Fenway is offering a Fall/Winter CSA which we will join. It has a small share (enough produce for 2 people) for $500 and a student/senior share (produce for 1) for $300.
It will run for 14 weeks starting Sept. 6th-Dec 11th then will shut down for Christmas break and start back up for another 14 weeks, Jan.31st ending May 6th. This will total 28 weeks
We have enjoyed great produce all summer and are looking forward to this opportunity to continue local eating all year round!
Really enjoying our Picadilly Farm CSA share again this year. The past week brought zuchs and cukes, green beans, a huge tomato, some lettuce, red kale, new potatoes, fresh sweet onions and probably more that I'm forgetting - a full box of really lovely stuff each week. I've never been disappointed w/anything from them, although I thought the cantaloupes last year were so-so.
My husband and I visited the Central Square Farmers' Market today. It is really a lovely market with a nice mix of farms and food vendors. There are big farms with large selections like Kimballs Fruit Farm and Parkers farm. (Parker had fresh celery today!)
There area also smaller vendors like the Hmong Farmer from Flat Mentor farms and Farmer Al (Who is going to get all of us to eat calaloo. He was happy to tell me exactly how to cook it.)
We ran into Chef Steve Johnson from Rendezvous Central Square, shopping for his Monday Night Tapas. He had already bought all he could carry back to the restaurant from Kimball and was planning to get some gorgeous squash blossoms from the Hmong Farmer.
After a break for lunch at the Dosa Factory, we saw Chef Tony Maws from Craigie on Main shopping and tasting some of the market wares and helping another chef find what she wanted to buy.
It's easy to reach by subway, bus or car. Hey it's in the middle of a parking lot.
Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Farmer Al is also whom I affectionately call Mr. Bucket o' Blueberries (to me and my friends), because he sells arguably the best tasting blueberries -- consistently sweet and for some reason gargantuan sized -- quite literally by the bucket. I normally have a pound or two of this guy's blueberries in my fridge during the months he's at the Central Sq farmer's market.
I've also spotted Tony Maws hitting the Kimball's stand here on Mondays too, so good to know that the stuff is good enough for some of my favorite restaurants in the area.
Made it out to the Harvard Square market last Sunday for the first time this year and was glad to see some new vendors, especially Siena Farms. I was a bit shocked to see that the going price for cherry tomatoes was $4/ half pint throughout the market. Is it me, or it this pricier than years past?
At the other end of the spectrum, $2 for a huge bunch of mixed stir fry greens from the Hmong Farmer made my weekend.
I've seen $4/half pint for at least 2 years running at most farmer's market vendors. Maybe an occasional $3.50. The yellow sungolds are my favorite, especially the ones from Red Fire Farm (at Dewey Square on Tuesdays only). They're organic too.
I find Siena Farms produce to be by far the most expensive of any of the vendors I've seen. It is organic, but they're also cashing in on the Ana Sortun brand, in my opinion. Their stuff is generally good, but the arugula I got from there was not my favorite.
I've been getting a quart a week of cherry tomatoes from my CSA recently, so haven't been paying as close attention to the price at the market, but I'm pretty sure I saw mixed cherry tomatoes for ~$4 per pint at Kimball's recently.
I agree that Siena Farms is way on the expensive side, and I find that although it all looks good, I rarely buy their produce these days.
I'm happy to report that apples have started showing up at the markets! Kimball Fruit Farm has had Lodis and J-Macs (I think that's what the sign said) in the last week or two and today they had Ginger Golds (I go to Dewey Square). I don't think they're as good as the apples that will come out later in the season (my preference is for Baldwins and russeted types), but I get so excited about seeing them that I enjoy them anyway.
At the Maynard Farmers' Market, the goodies (a rotating variety such as dark chocolate raspberry s'mores, Dark Chocolate Cherry, Chipotle Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate Orange cookies) from new vendor Cookie Lady Treats have been a big hit. Last week Nagog Hill Farm had the most delicious bite-size plums & beautiful currants, nectarines, peaches, & early apples.