I know that it hasn’t felt much like spring yet (except maybe for today’s drizzle), but amid the dwindling supplies of parsnips, potatoes and rutabagas at the farmer’s market there are a few telltale sighs that she’s on her way. Here are a few:
Eggs - Though they have been erring on the side of frigid this week, the days are noticeably longer and nobody notices it more than the hens. More daylight hours mean more laying for seasoned ladies, especially now that - knock wood - the snow is gone and they can get outside, stretch their legs, and forage for tasty bugs and grubs and beak-fuls of new grass. More diverse springtime diets mean better nutrition for them and rich, golden egg yolks for us.
Garlic - Last year’s garlic, usually a memory by this time of year, is still around, but those cloves know that spring is here and they’ll be sending up green shoots very soon. Grab some local garlic while you still can (at least until this year’s crop is ready) from Beechwood Orchards.
Lettuce Mix - Tender leaves of lettuce mix are starting to appear back at markets! Try a bag of Rineer Family Farm’s lovely red and green mix at either the Rittenhouse or Chestnut Hill.
Frozen Veggies - Though listing frozen or otherwise preserved veggies feels a little bit like cheating in a seasonal produce column, for us here in Philly, making use of preserves and preserved produce is a reality of local eating in early spring. Hilltop Farm at the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market still has plenty of jams as well as bags of frozen corn and canned peaches and sauerkraut. Take advantage of last summer’s industriousness and pick up a bag of frozen corn or a jar of salsa or strawberry jam. It won’t hasten the warm weather along, but it’ll add interest to your meals as we wait out the last few weeks of root veggies.
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