The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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Get ready, because this weekend is a big one! This Sunday, May 1, welcomes the return of regular hours to the Chestnut Hill and Bryn Mawr markets, and the grand reopening of the Headhouse Square Farmer’s Market. Among the city’s largest outdoor markets, Headhouse is a favorite for many. It will officially open at 10:00am with the customary ringing of the bell, and there will be free commemorative tote bags for the first 25 folks to form a line at market organizer, The Food Trust’s, table. Round out the day with lunch from Philly Tacos (formerly Los Taquitos de Puebla), Mom Mom’s Polish, and Zsa’s Ice Cream. What could be better than pierogis and ice cream sandwiches? Getting to visit with baby goats from Shellbark Hollow Farm’s flock, which will also be on hand. Though I’m sure you’ll want to, you can’t take these little guys home with you. Pick up some of the following instead:

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The Dirt: Prince Edition

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iStockphoto.com | julichka

Tomorrow morning you can skip The Morning Papers and Breakfast Can Wait because you’ve got to drive your Little Red Corvette down to the Alphabet St. farmer’s market to pick up some Starfish and Coffee. I know I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man, but if you Take Me With You, I’ll buy you a Raspberry Beret, I mean sorbet, from Jenny & Frank’s Artisan Gelato. Let’s Go Crazy picking out salad greens because Money Don’t Matter 2 Night. Call My Name if we get separated and I’ll meet you by the Mountains of apples still left from last season at Beechwood Orchards. Don’t forget to pick up some Cream to go with your Starfish and Coffee, maple syrup and jam. I’ll bring 7 quarters for the meter because I’m sure you need a ticket like Anotheroverholenyohead. Oh, and don’t forget your umbrella. I hear that the forecast is calling for Purple Rain.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

lambs

Hey, guys! Guess what’s for dinner?

Birdsong, sunshine and flowers blooming? Get ready for the Disney version of Spring, because here it comes. Rittenhouse is back up to its full complement with more than 20 vendors at tomorrow’s market, the University Square Market is back up and running every Wednesday, Chestnut Hill returns to regular summer hours in just two weeks, and Headhouse opens in time for strawberry season on May first. For now, think of this as your springtime speed round, all the best of the moment and where to find them before they fade.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

fiddleheads

You think you’re sick of this cold weather? In Adams County the peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherry trees are all in bloom. Fruit growers are hoping and praying that temperatures don’t drop below freezing, cursing this cold snap because if it stays too cold for too long it could ruin these beloved crops for the year. So, for the sake of summer pies and cobblers, think warm thoughts! In the meantime, spring, along with its showers, is slowly creeping in at farmer’s markets. Here are a few new additions that will be welcome sights despite the chill. Also, if you’re looking for something to do inside to get ramped up for the growing season, check out the Philly Farm and Food Fest at the Convention Center this Sunday!

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

ramps2

More than once this week I’ve fielded text messages from eager chefs and cooks, curious to know whether their favorite farmers markets are back up and running. Though many of the neighborhood markets don’t get going until May or even June, April brings a homecoming for some market vendors who have stayed home for much of the winter weather. Expect to see new and familiar faces at a market near you, along with these new additions.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Bunny1

Last Sunday was the equinox, the first official day of spring! Just in time for Easter celebrations this weekend there are some fresh signs of the new season at area farmer’s markets. True, we have little ways to go before things are full-on radishes, peas, and greens around here, but something has definitely shifted. Just like the daffodils springing up around town, so too are there signs of life beginning to emerge at market. Pick up plenty of local eggs this weekend for dyeing or deviling, and go to town on these market additions.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

No, not this kind of hedgehog.

No, not this kind of hedgehog.

This weekend is going to be a total fake-out, folks. We’re kicking things off with sunny, breezy weather, but by Sunday? Watch out, snow is back on the forecast. What to do with the ups and downs? Simply make the best of it. There remain plenty of root vegetables and potatoes if you want to embrace winter’s last hurrah by putting together a roast or a braise. Or, if you’re ready to move on, there are a few signs of spring at the markets, too.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Yes, there is another flower show in town: The gorgeous Macy's Spring 2015 Flower Show is offering a series of events this week. Stop by this Wednesday at 1 pm for a seminar with floral designer Yoli Lagurerre (complete with tea and snacks) and this Thursday, create your own arrangement during a crafting session starting at 5pm. Of course, don't forget to take in the blooms throughout the store. Runs through April 4th, various times, free, Macy's, 1300 Market Street.

This week I was all ready to go on and on about how the last of winter isn’t so bad, about how you’ve got Saint Patrick’s day to look forward to, about kale and potatoes and meaty, stick-to-your-ribs things like colcannon and sausages. Apparently, this week had other plans for me–for us, really. Irrepressibly warm, sunshine-flooded days the likes of which we don’t typically see until well into April, or sometimes even May. Is it global warming? Probably. Still, it’s kind of great nonetheless. A fitting way to ring in the early arrival of the season is to put on a t-shirt and walk yourself to the local market. Not only will walking mean that you can reduce your carbon footprint, it’ll also allow you to enjoy the sights and smells of a city coming out of hibernation a little earlier than usual.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

beets1

In just three weeks, on March 20th, the Spring Equinox arrives and we shift (thank goodness) towards warmer weather. In the meantime, this is probably a good time to cook all of those wintery things that you haven’t made yet this year. I’m talking about your beef stew, your potato-turnip gratin, your roasted root vegetables, your carrot soup, your chili, and your mashed potatoes. If there were ever a moment to embrace the starchy, sweet long-keeping vegetables of winter, this would be that moment. In just a few weeks things are going to begin to shift towards greenery. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the sweet, roasty, caramelized flavors of winter while you can.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

TaprootCarrots

Guess what’s new at the farmer’s market this weekend? Strawberries! Ha. Just kidding. You’ve been pranked. It’s not even April Fool’s Day, yet. What it is, is very nearly March and March is nothing if not the bleakest month of the year for locally grown food. While area farmer’s might be busily planning, ordering seeds and starting vegetable seedlings for the spring growing season, ain’t nothing ready to go into the ground out there yet. Still, the markets soldier on, loading and unloading the same potatoes, apples, and turnips every week for your perusal. This week we’re celebrating the gold stars of storage vegetables, not only the things that are available locally, but the best among those things. These are the vegetables that are going to see you through until the strawberries finally join the party in May.

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