Yesterday’s snow was, hopefully, winter’s last hurrah and today means blue skies and farmers setting up tables in the lingering slush. The first days of spring still look very much like winter, but like the crocuses beginning to appear, there are a few green signs that the season really is changing. Here are a few to add to your market basket.
Anybody see folks in shorts this week? Flip-flops? While it might not be so nice out yet as to warrant such fashion choices, that’s what a shred of warming weather does to us this time of year. It’s like we go crazy with relief at the confirmation that winter is finally beginning a retreat. Just as it’s not quite weather for short sleeves yet, you won’t see much change on the tables at the farmer’s market–except for a few delicate additions–but what can change this weekend is your outlook. Instead of suffering through another week of root vegetables, think of this as their last hurrah and a final few weeks to enjoy the warming foods of winter.
After a doozy of a snow day and piles of slush still lingering, the weekend ahead–with projected high temperatures above freezing and a sunshine-heavy forecast–is going to feel downright balmy. Since we’re sure you’ve already binge-watched enough Netflix and eaten enough calories for the weekend before it has even begun, tomorrow should be an excellent day to stretch your legs and head down to the farmer’s market…
By now, we’ve all pretty much given in to winter. We’ve settled for the idea that it’s just going to be cold and slushy forever and we’ve lost all hope of ever seeing a tomato again. But just when we’ve given up, we get a little reminder that it won’t always feel like this outside. Tomorrow, February 28th, is National CSA Sign-Up Day! Though summer, and even spring, still seem ages away, farmers are already beginning preparations for the season ahead. So get a jump on the season and sign up for one of our favorite CSA’s. That way, when you bundle up to pick-up the following tomorrow at your winter farmer’s market, you can do so while daydreaming of tomatoes.
While midwinter farmer’s markets lack the variety of the summer months, you can’t really argue with tables that still overflow with parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, and coolers of grass-fed beef, local dairy, and hand-made breads and baked goods. Plus, you can always add variety to your shopping trip by visiting a new-to-you market in a neighborhood not your own. This weekend boasts plenty of opportunities: Bryn Mawr (10-Noon), Chestnut Hill (10-Noon), Rittenhouse (10-2), Fitler Square (9-2) and Clark Park (10-2). A shortage of local food in winter? I think not.
Temperatures that feel as though they’re in the single digits are enough to make anybody ditch Valentine’s Day celebrations in favor of a night on the couch scrolling the internet and catching up on the latest farmer’s market gossip, right? Okay, maybe not.
But if you don’t go to market than you won’t have a chance to indulge in any of the V-Day goodies. Pick up some of the following locally-made sweets for your sweetie.
In Philadelphia, we love nothing more than talking trash, especially when it comes to weather. If it snows? We complain about the snow and its removal. If it doesn’t snow? It seems we complain about that, too. Snow or no, standing outside in the chill for a few hours would make anybody complain, and yet farmer’s market growers do just that every weekend and they still manage to bag up your apples and carrots with a smile. Maybe because their faces frozen in place…
Regardless, here are a few suggestions for vegetables to stock up on to offset (or on-set?) the gluttonous weekend of football food ahead.
Some weeks it seems as though everything on the market table follows the parable that if it grows together, it goes together. Sweet potatoes and greens, tomatoes and corn, and berries alongside the tender leaves of spring. But late January markets can feel just the opposite, instead of blossoming cornucopias bursting with potential combinations they can represent an assortment of odds and ends and good luck to the cook. Your Mystery Box challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, includes the following…
It’s officially soup season, people. Not only is soup the perfect warming food for cold weather, it’s also filling and healthy if you’re watching your waistline. If, instead, you’re watching your grocery bill in the face of those post-holiday credit card statements, it also happens to be a handy way to stretch ingredients into multiple meals. Sure, you could pick up some ready-made soups from Good Spoon at the Rittenhouse Market, but for maximum warmth you should make your own featuring some of the following locally-grown goodies.
Whether you’re resolved to eat less meat, cut a few carbs, add some leafy greens, or to resist the siren song of Seamless, here’s what you should be looking for at your farmer’s market this week-end to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions for a little longer.