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August 2011 Farmers' markets, CSAs, Farm stands Etc.

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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.

Penny
http://www.bostonzest.com/

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  1. 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!

    1. 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.

      GG
      http://www.semisweetonline.com

      1. 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

        9 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          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.

          1. re: kobuta

            I bought a bunch of Farmer Al's blueberries and will be enjoying them for breakfast after my first cup of coffee.

            1. re: BostonZest

              I missed something: from which farm is Farmer Al, i.e. who has the awesome blueberries?

          2. re: BostonZest

            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.

            1. re: johndory

              I paid a ridiculous price for Stillman's cherry tomatoes on Saturday ($4 half pint sounds right). But this non-fan of tomatoes thought they were great, so that's saying something I guess.

              1. re: johndory

                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.

                1. re: bella_sarda

                  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.

                  1. re: greenzebra

                    Which CSA is giving you a quart of cherry tomatoes a week? And are you getting regular tomatoes at the same time? Thanks.

              2. re: BostonZest

                Saw Steve last week in the very early AM lugging schrooms from the back of Ben Maleson's vehicle.

              3. 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.

                2 Replies
                1. re: stomachofsteel

                  ooooh but Lodis make the BEST applesauce ever...so smooth and tart. When I was a kid (in Pittsburgh)my grandparents would show up with a trunkfull of them every July and the saucing would begin. I'll check out Kimball farms and see if they still have them, thanks!!

                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                    Good to know! I don't think I saw Lodis there the last time I visited (Thursday) but it would be worth asking.

                2. 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.

                  1. I do a choice CSA with Farmer Dave's and I love it. This week we got corn, zucchini and kousa squash, pickling cucumbers, both heirloom and slicing tomatoes (and cherry tomatoes), eggplant, purple beans, kale, basil, cubanelles, scallions, radishes...everything beautiful. I also do a fruit share with them and this week was unbelievable: a watermelon, a honeydew, donut peaches, nectarines and early season apples. This is my 2nd year with Farmer Dave's and I will definitely sign up again. They offer a boxed share and a choice share with a swap box, which I love. Happy eating everyone!

                    1. I will be coming from Logan airport tomorrow--Saturday, 8/20--and have a few hours before I take the ferry near the Aquarium to Provincetown (I will pretty much miss the Saturday farmers' market in Ptown this time). Which farmers' market will be easy to get to and has a good selection of organic produce? i see the mentions above of farmers' markets in Somerville and Harvard Square. Where should I go?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pixie

                        I went to the Union Square market in Somerville. I had plenty of time to get around by transit (the T and bus) as well as by foot--a nice little tour of the neighborhood between the Davis Square red line stop and the market via Summer St, then bus to orange line after. There were a couple of organic stands plus a no-spray and there was a decent variety of both veggies & fruit to choose from. All I could carry. There were a couple baked goods vendors, at one of which I chose an everything bagel from many varieties, to eat on the spot plus got a loaf of sliced whole wheat (but definitely not 100 % whole grain) sourghdough bread. Finding a Saturday market that I could get to between the plane and the ferry wasn't the quickest process. But I finally found a "best 5 markets" review and this one was #4 and the only one open on Saturday.

                      2. I am doing Red Fire CSA for the third year in a row and it awesome. The peaches have been great as have the tomatoes Great quality, and variety. I will sign up again next year.

                        I am also doing the Cape Ann Fish share (summer season ending next week). Its been wonderful. It starts up agin early September. They do offer an every other week share, that could be an alternative to splitting it with someone. You could eat what you want, freeze the rest to eat on the off week. I think now that I am used to the freshness of the fish through the share it would be very hard to go to the store for fish now.

                        1. Yesterday we were at SOWA for the first time this year and I was impressed with the way the farmers' market has grown and how nice it is to get around now.

                          Dave Gilson was showing us photos the damage his booth suffered from the crazy storm that hit the Copley Market on Friday. This would be a good week for all of us a buy what we need from there. My husband and I were there but managed to escape to the library. The farm stands were really beat up by the wind, rain and hail.