Just like the ornamental plums and cherry trees blooming all over town, fruit trees are blooming in the orchards, hopefully preparing for a summer full of juicy peaches, plums, and apricots. Meanwhile, down on the ground, the first spears of asparagus are emerging and you might see the tiniest of supplies at your favorite market if you shop early. The reign of ramps continues at local farmer’s markets, but this week they’re joined by several other wild edibles besides.
Hope you’re getting RAMP-ed up, because spring produce is hitting the farmer’s markets hard this weekend! It’s still too early for the asparagus and the rhubarb, but the trees are blooming and there are for-sure signs of life on the forest floor and in the fields.
This is a big weekend for local food in Philly! Fair Food’s annual Philly Farm & Food Fest is happening at the Convention Center, so plenty of area growers and producers of local goodies will be herded together under one roof. Expect demos, classes, and the chance to meet, face to face, your favorite growers and makers. Since you’ll likely be able to try samples of all manner of locally produced meats, cheeses, ice creams and other goodies at the Farm & Food fest, make sure to pick up something salad-worthy the day before.
It’s really happening, people. Rainy days, daffodils, and recipes aplenty to grace your table this holiday weekend. Whether or not you’re celebrating Easter, dyeing eggs is especially fun, and the farmer’s market is full of vegetables that you can use to make your own, all-natural egg dyes.
Have you ever noticed the thing that happens this time of year? All at once, chefs around town seem to be unable to tolerate another turnip or stand another second of squash. Suddenly, magically, favas, peas, and rhubarb start appearing on menus, even if they haven’t quite made it to the farmers’ markets yet. The idea of what spring vegetables are doesn’t quite match the local timeline, and though these spring lovelies have yet to make their debut there are, creeping in to market, sure signs of the changing season.
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.