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


If death and taxes are two of life’s certainties, then produce seasonality is the opposite. Every week in this column we try to offer an up-to-the-minute view of what’s growing and showing up at area farmer’s markets, based on reports from market managers, farmers, and what we ourselves are buying and eating. Every once in a while though, we get it wrong. As with all things pertaining to seasonality, consider what follows to be a fingers-crossed scenario. The weather could change in a moment, or the harvest schedule could be thrown off by a broken-down piece of machinery, or the chef could see something on a farm’s instagram feed and snap it up before it makes it to market. The one certainty in agriculture? That whatever does make it from field to farmer’s market will be delicious.

Winter Squash – In my book it’s still too early for pumpkin-spiced beverages, but not for a little bit of actual pumpkin. Landisdale is bringing butternut squash and kabocha to Chestnut Hill and Clark Park, and 2 Gander Farm is bringing delicata and acorn squash to Bryn Mawr.

Kiwi Berries – Also called hardy kiwis, these little babies are here to soothe you now that the strawberries and blueberries of high summer have disappeared. They have a thin, velvety, edible skin with the puckery, pulpy flesh that really does look just like a kiwi. Beechwood Orchards will have them at Rittenhouse and Headhouse for the next four weeks or so.

Broccoli – Tiny trees, beautiful brassicas, or the perfect excuse to eat mac and cheese for dinner and call it a well balanced meal, Root Mass Farm (Headhouse) and 2 Gander Farm (Bryn Mawr) will both have broccoli for market shoppers this weekend.

Honeycrisp Apples – It’s official! This Sunday at Headhouse Three Springs Fruit Farm is bringing in the ringer of the season where tree fruit is concerned. For the uninitiated, honeycrisp apples are impossibly juicy and crunchy with a sweet yet tart balance. They’re so juicy that they bruise easily, which means that they must be harvested and handled with care, and that they typically cost a little more than their less-fragile brethren. But they’re worth every extra penny.

Concord Grapes – Deep purple, with a rich, tangy intensity, concord grapes have a short season that Livengood Family Farm at the Clark Park market is kicking-off this Saturday.  While some can’t be bothered with these grapes because of their slippery yet seedy texture, the richness of their flavor makes them worth looking forward to.

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