The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmer’s Market This Weekend

Photo by Mike Persico

Photo by Mike Persico

Between the Barleywine Bonanza, the Brewer’s Plate, the Craft Beer Express, and all your regularly scheduled imbibing, there’s going to be a lot of drinking happening in Philadelphia this weekend. And what’s the best thing to eat with beer? Burgers. And what’s the best burger around? A burger made from pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, or turkey. Thanks to the modern miracle of residential refrigeration, we’re able to enjoy any of the above raised locally and with care by the very same people who will price it out and wrap it up for you at your local market this weekend. Here are some suggestions for your next patty:

Pasture Raised Beef – All the paleo people out there already know that grass-fed is the way to go for beef, but there’s a big difference between the grass fed beef at the supermarket (that might have traveled from as far as New Zealand or Brazil) and what you’ll find at your local farmer’s market. The increased demand for grass fed beef globally has, in the case of Brazil, resulted in the destruction of rainforest to try and shoehorn cattle into the Amazon. While I enjoy a pastured burger as much as the next red-blooded American, I’d rather buy my beef from PA and support Landisdale Farm, Livengood Farm (both at Clark Park), or Rineer Family Farm (at Rittenhouse) than destroy rainforest in order to have one. Want somebody else to do the cooking for you? Go have the 100% local, grass-fed burger at Prohibition Taproom.

Bison – Better even than beef, if you’re looking for low-fat, high protein meat, is bison, and Pennypack Farm is heading to the Clark Park Market tomorrow with some in their coolers.  Bison, also called American buffalo, must be raised on pasture and not the modern feedlot system to which conventional beef cattle are often subjected. This means that when you buy bison you can trust that you’re getting meat from an animal that actually had a home on the range. The meat itself is very lean,  with a mild flavor, just be careful not to overcook it!

Turkey – For those of you who prefer their burgers on the lighter side of the spectrum, Pennypack is also bringing pastured turkey to Clark Park. Or you can pick up some of Griggstown Quail Farm’s already prepped turkey burgers, studded with bits of caramelized red onion, from the freezer at Fair Food.

Lamb- Lamburgers! Stop by and see chef Nick Macri at the Border Springs Farm stand in Reading Terminal and he’ll fix you up with some juicy ground lamb from Virginia. Or take the lazy route (and perhaps the most delicious one) to burgertown by simply forming patties of Cherry Grove Farm’s lamb sausage, cooking them up, slapping them on buns, and calling them burgers. Tomorrow at the Rittenhouse market Cherry Grove will have three varieties of lamb sausage (merquez, havilah and rosemary, and tomato and basil) so you can do just that.

Find something great at your local market? Instagram it and tag accordingly: @foobooz #fooboozthedirt