No sooner had I cautioned you not to expect ramps and fiddleheads to be going all gangbusters at farmer’s markets last weekend then, boom, there they were at the Philly Farm and Food Fest just two days later. Cold snap or no, there’s no stopping springtime now, and here’s the latest:
Ramps — There’s a near maniacal fetish for ramps this time of year, and with good reason. Ramps, a kind of wild leek that’s dang-near impossible to propagate, must be foraged. They have a little bulb like an onion, a juicy reddish-brown stem, and a flat, green leaf. Their flavor is oniony, of course, but also woodsy and garlicky, as well. Part of why they’re so beloved has to do with the fact that they arrive early in the growing season, they’re not available everywhere, and they’re tasty. Decide for yourself if they’re worth the hype by picking some up at the Fair Food Farmstand this weekend. Grill them whole, or sauté the greens and pickle the bulbs to make the season last a little longer.
Fiddlehead Ferns — Another wild edible, fiddleheads are the tightly-wound fresh fronds of a type of fern. They can be used anywhere that you might use fresh asparagus, first prepared by blanching or steaming, and Greensgrow’s got ‘em!
Radishes — The first dose of color for the year, Landisdale Farm will have pink and white French breakfast radishes at Clark Park this weekend. A perfect excuse to eat salt and butter!
Spinach Greens — coming out of the field! Livengood Family Farm at Clark Park is bringing fresh spinach to market. At Bryn Mawr, Two Gander Farm will have spinach as well as arugula, scallions, and kale.
Easter Goodies — It’s not too late to get in the Easter spirit, if that’s your thing. Margerum’s herbs will have all natural egg dyes at the Clark Park Market, and John & Kira’s at Rittenhouse has all manner of sweet treats for your easter basket. Canter Hill Farm, at the Bryn Mawr farmer’s market, will have fresh cuts of lamb from the butcher, including bone-in and butterflied legs, along with whole and half hams.
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