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June 2012 Farmers' Markets, CSAs, Farm Stands Etc.

The summer farmers' markets are opening and CSAs are delivering.

SOWA, Copley, City Hall, Dewey Square, Prudential, Cambridge Center, Cambridge Central Square, Charles Square, JP, Davis Square & Union Square Somerville, Kendall Square Are already open.

Roslindale opens tomorrow with all the wonderful shops and dining spots in that area as another reason to go.

I've had some fabulous greens and hoop house strawberries from my Atlas Farms Market Share at Copley. Seta has added some great pita to her selection and there fresh fish is showing up at a few Boston markets over the next few weeks. And, it is great to have a regular supply of Iggy's bread in the neighborhood again.

What market are you shopping and what have you seen so far this year.
Are you in a CSA? Give us a report
Are you visiting a farm stand, pick your own, etc? Pass on what you know!


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  1. Union Sq in Somerville has a new layout- they block off part of the parking lot, so it feels a lot less crowded. Some new booths this year as well, including a new farm with pastured veal and the Danish Pastry House.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bobot

      What's new and different is great information. I had word that the Harvard University market would be moving to a slightly different location this year. They say, " 26 Oxford Street (in front of the Harvard Museum of Natural History)." Opening June 19th!

      1. re: BostonZest

        There is some major construction going on adjacent to their usual space, so moving down the street a bit makes sense.

    2. Red Fire Farm Central Square pick up.
      Bunch of white turnips (made a colcannon like dish)
      Purple kolrabi (steamed with a cheddar sauce)
      Two head of lettuce (Boston?)
      Green garlic
      Mixed salad Greens/lettuce
      Mixed greens (mainly chard)

      3 Replies
      1. re: viperlush

        Week 2 Pick up:
        Repeats- assorted greens and spinach
        New- Carrots, garlic scamps, arrowhead cabbage, red leaf lettuce, broccoli, and assorted herbs (Italian parsley)

        1. re: viperlush

          1 bunch kale or collards
          2 head lettuce
          salad greens
          garlic scamps
          Bunch of cilantro or dill
          Bunch of scallions
          2 lb zucchini or summer squash
          2 kolrabi

          Still working on last weeks cabbage and red leaf lettuce

          1. re: viperlush

            Week 4:

            Did PYO at the farm on Sat and got strawberries (4qt), basil, parsley, catnip, and assorted peas. Also purchased a 1/2 of pink cherry tomatoes for $4.

            1 bunch swiss chard

            3 cucumber

            2 head lettuce

            1 bunch pearl onions

            1 bunch parsley

            2 lb summer squash

            1/2lb scapes

            A little disappointed that we didn't get the endives or savoy cabbage that the email mentioned. Still have 1/2 head of cabbage, 1/2 kolrabi, scallions, 1 head lettuce, cilantro, 2 squash from last week, and PYO snow peas to work through from previous week. BF's odd work hours/not preparing dinner everynight are slowing me down. Next week on vacation so a friend will have to deal with next weeks load.

      2. Just had the last of the Spring Share at Brookwood Community Farm in Canton.

        Napa Cabbage, purple Kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, spinach, green leaf lettuce, garlic scapes, red beets, Swiss Chard. Next week they are starting the Summer Share and the Fruit CSA will start with Strawberries.

        1. Woburn's opened yesterday

          1. Melrose Farmers' Market opens today.. I can't stand supermarket vegetables so I've been looking forward to today for a long time...

            1. Brookline opens today from 1pm to dusk and they have a really great selection including fish from Cindy the Fish Lady, Clear Flour Bread, Bob's Turkey Farm and Kimball fruit farm, Stillmans, Cook's farm orchards, River Rock beef, Smith's cheese and more. One of my favorite markets.

              And you can stop for Pizza at Otto's on Harvard Ave.

              Good to have so many markets to choose from.

              3 Replies
              1. re: BostonZest

                Bought a total of 5 quarts of strawberries from Dick's and Stillman's, plus two lovely huge heads of chard, a giant bag of spinach, a half-pound of rhubarb, and a big bunch of beets. Total expenditure of just under $40, although to be fair, over half of that was the strawberries.

                1. re: BostonZest

                  Brookline is a great farmers market for selection; terrible entitled and aggressive crowd though.

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    My strategy is to stand my ground, smile a lot and be very, very nice to the vendors. They appreciate a moment of warmth.

                    But, I also have to say, I've often asked if someone wants half a loaf of a Clear Flour Bread while I'm standing in line and I've had a good response and a few takers. That lets me buy a couple of extra breads that they don't sell in halves. Clear Flour will cut it for you and then you just settle with the other customer. If the breads are the same price you can just trade!


                2. Stopped at the Central Square market this week and I will admit to being shocked at the price increases. This year's prices have hit some arbitrary price::ratio failure. I will continue to shop at my two local markets for specialty items, but the trip to Wilson Farms for local produce at half the price is now worth the hour per week this trip takes me round trip.

                  I can't imagine how anyone using food stamps or WIC could possibly feed a family using even the most basic produce at these prices.

                  1. At the Melrose Farmers' Market yesterday we bought:
                    Fennel - 4 bulbs/bunch
                    Pak Choy - 6/bunch
                    Radishes - 17/bunch
                    Salad Bowl Lettuce - large
                    Tomatoes - 3
                    Baby Iceberg
                    Seeded Rye Bread
                    Bluefish - 1.3 lbs./$12.20 (From The Fish Lady, but not Cindi)
                    Total: $32.12
                    Not Toooo bad, I think, but we still need a few more vegetables to round out the week. We'll buy those plus meat for the month at Tendercrop tomorrow...

                    1. Just got my first pickup yesterday at Wilson Farm in Lexington.

                      Eggs (½ doz.)
                      Swiss Chard

                      So far, the radishes, cukes, romaine, eggs, and peas have been fantastic.

                      I made scrambled eggs with peas, and a caesar-ish salad on the side with the cukes, lettuce, and some radish.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Fly

                        I've been curious about the WF CSA so I hope you'll keep posting now and again about it.

                        Week 2 of Picadilly Farm for us (pick up in Winchester).

                        1st week: Spinach, one pound.
                        Scarlet turnips, a bunch.
                        Arugula, a bunch.
                        Lettuce, two small heads.
                        Lettuce mix, half a pound.
                        Bok choy, two.
                        Strawberries, a scant pint.
                        Garlic Scapes, about 8.
                        “Red Russian” kale, a bunch.
                        Cilantro, a bunch.

                        2nd week:
                        Tat soi, a bunch.
                        Salad turnips, a bunch.
                        Lettuce mix, half a pound.
                        Lettuce, two heads.
                        Bok choy, two.
                        Cilantro, a bunch.
                        Scallions, a bunch.
                        Rainbow chard, a bunch.
                        Strawberries, a pint.
                        Sugar snap peas, a pint.

                        1. re: owen_meany

                          I'm very interested in information about this CSA so I hope you will continue posting about your weekly share. I belong to Farmer Dave's CSA but strongly considered this one. Would love good information for comparison, What size share do you have and do you recall the price? Is there a swap box? Thanks.

                          1. re: cpl100

                            HI. I'm absolutely happy to keep posting about Picadilly's CSA. It's great to have this resource to share details!

                            I believe there's only one share size - I believe it would equate to a "large" share. It's $650 for ~ 23 weeks. I put my deposit down early (right at the end of the last "share" season) and have been paying in installments which is a nice option.

                            Edited to add: There is a swap box - you can swap out one thing.


                          2. re: owen_meany

                            Week 3 of Picadilly Farm:

                            Lettuce, two heads. One small green butterhead and a very nice red summer variety called “red tide”.
                            Beets, a bunch.
                            Snow peas, a pint.
                            Spinach, ¾ pound.
                            Green curly kale, a bunch. A rich green variety called “Starbor”.
                            Arugula, a bunch.
                            Garlic scapes, about 8.
                            Zucchini, just one today!
                            Basil, a bunch.
                            Toyko bekana, a bunch. Tokyo bekana is an Asian-style green that can be used in salads or cooked. .
                            Bok choy, one more.


                            1. re: owen_meany

                              Week 4 of Picadilly Farm:

                              “French Breakfast” radish, a bunch. .
                              Napa cabbage, a head.
                              Rainbow chard, a bunch.
                              Spinach, 3/4 pound. Likely the last until fall.
                              Lettuce, a head of romaine and a head of light green oak called “panisse”.
                              Dill, a bunch.
                              Red kale, a bunch.
                              Snow peas, one last pint.
                              Kohlrabi, a bunch.
                              Scallions, a bunch.

                          3. re: Fly

                            I'm interested in the Wilson Farm's share too. We shopped mid-week at Wilson's for years but as I began to use a wheelchair it became increasingly difficult to navigate among the aggressive shoppers so we went to local farms north of us. At Connors Farm, Danvers this year the share fee is 495.00/1 size/18 weeks that's why we started to shop the local market but this Wilson's CSA is very appealing.

                            1. re: Gio

                              Wilson Farms has just redone the outdoor area, and much of the interior. The amount of room between bins and buckets is much improved, but I still think shopping in the morning is the only time a chair could be used.

                              Thinking through this a bit more, getting to the bread would still be tight. However, they are actually required to comply with ADA since they have spent more than $50,000 on retrofits.

                              I tend to go Wednesday or Thursday morning before the Moms have picked up their screaming kids from pre-school.

                              p.s. They had two shares left last week, but this week they are gone. How much is their share?

                              p.p.s. Found it, and it appears that Wednesday shares might be available. http://www.wilsonfarm.com/csa_2012.html

                              1. re: smtucker

                                Thanks for the info, SMT and to Fly for first mentioning this.

                                G went to Wilson's yesterday and we're in for this season. Fee was pro-rated since we missed a couple of weeks. He'll go on Wednesdays to pick up and buy a few extra whatevers, and I'll go too from time to time. He can dash down to the Melrose FM on Thursdays for more choices of fresh local fish.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  We're absolutely thrilled with our first Wilson Farms CSA share ($370.00/1/2 share/20 wks/1/2 pkg per wk/in a large white "laundry" basket):

                                  Baby Spinach
                                  Garlic Scapes
                                  Red Leaf Lettuce
                                  Summer Squash
                                  1/2 dozen eggs - extra large
                                  Strawberries - overflowing quart. The sweetest we've had in years. No sugar needed.
                                  Whip Cream - 1 pint of already-whipped slightly sweet cream. Perfect
                                  Angel Food Cake - 2 muffin-like cakes that were the base for strawberry shortcake.

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Half Share 6/27 - Week 3
                                    summer squash

                          4. This is our first year doing a CSA (First Root Farm, pickup in Davis Square).

                            Week 1: Bok choy, kohlrabi, two heads of lettuce, radishes, chard, arugula, garlic scapes
                            Week 2: Bok choy, lettuce, salad turnips, salad greens, cilantro, garlic scapes, kale

                            1. Andover opens June 30th...cannot wait!

                              1. The Malden Farmer's Market starts this afternoon (Tuesdays from 3-6 pm, at City Hall Plaza). It supposed to be bigger than in previous years; they have three famrs coming and some additional vendors. Don't know if I'll ever get to go, though - my kids have activities & our CSA pickup is the same day :-(

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gimlis1mum

                                  Hubby got there today. Brought home some nice hothouse tomatoes and huge chocolate chip cookies for the kids.

                                2. For the various CSA share reports, would people mind posting the first time around how much your share price is ? Would be helpful in evaluating.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                    Good idea... just edited my post upthread...

                                  2. The Mission Hill market opened last week. It's a small one - generally only two stands (MacArthur Farms and another one that never has a sign so I don't know the name.) Later on last year there was a third stand from a Mennonite farm - Wenger's, in Mendon, maybe? I hope they turn up again - I got some concord grapes from them last fall thay yielded two half-pints of swoon-worthy jelly.

                                    No competition with the big markets in Copley or Coolidge Corner, but a very handy resource for those of us who work in the Longwood Medical Area. Today I got sugar snaps, strawberries, scallions, romaine lettuce, a bunch of enormous radishes, and some hothouse tomatoes.

                                    1. Heirloom Harvest CSA this week:

                                      Zuchinni, Pattypan and kabosh squashes
                                      Green cabbage
                                      pok choi
                                      shell, sugar snap and snow peas
                                      mustard greens
                                      garlic scapes

                                      WOW! :)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Science Chick

                                        let me make a special point of the shell peas; the snaps are great, too, but shell peas have such a short season; if you like them, get to your favorite farmer's market. they really need to be fresh to be their best.

                                      2. Hi Everyone,

                                        How can I find the days and times of the Farmers Market's ???

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: cperryfranz

                                          One great source is MassFarmersMarkets.org. They have a search you can do for your area.


                                          Click on the find tab and choose market. They will give you the hours and vendor list for the markets in your area.

                                          If you toss out the neighborhoods that interest you, someone here can probably tell you the where and when.


                                        2. We went to Brookline today and it was busy. We bought bread from Clear Flour, Oatmeal Raisin cookies from Cook's Orchard, strawberries from Kimball and blueberries. Strawberries are just about over. We got there early to get a pint.

                                          The early sweet corn is showing up. Marshall's sent out a message this morning that they would have some in the Seaport today.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: BostonZest

                                            Yeah, Dicks had sweet corn in Brookline today. I didn't get any, but I did avail myself of their #2 tomatoes, which had some that were both gorgeous and dead ripe for half the price of their regular hothouse tomatoes.

                                          2. What are CSA's?? Never mind I just googled it! Thanks for the info on finding the Markets!!!

                                            1. Have been delighted to find excellent fish at both Central & Davis markets. Central has Gloucester catch (including lobster), and Davis an outfit called "The Fish Guy," whose sources I was too heat-stroked to ask about.