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

It’s time, people, to start saying goodbye. This year’s supply of tomatoes is beginning to dwindle as area farms finally let the plants go, pulling them out to plant winter’s cover crops. We’ll still have green ones for a bit, but here’s your warning: do what you have to in order to max out the season. Freeze them whole, put up a batch of salsa, roast and freeze them, or just eat them until you can stand them no longer. It’s always sad to say goodbye, but there are plenty of new additions to distract…

Fresh Ginger & Ginger Grass – By far, one of the most exciting items to have appeared at last week’s Headhouse Market was recently certified organic Blooming Glen Farm’s supply of fresh ginger and ginger grass. The ginger roots themselves are golden, with waxy, smooth skin punctuated by hot pink petals. Where cured ginger has a papery, burnished appearance, the fresh roots almost glow. Beside them, long fronds of ginger grass, the leafy tops of fresh ginger, that can be used like lemongrass. Sure, you can use the fresh stuff as you would any fresh ginger, saving the step of peeling it, but the noblest use for it might be muddled with vodka and lime juice and topped with club soda for a fresh ginger Moscow Mule.

PawPaws – These extremely local tree fruits – that look a little bit like green mangoes – have no business growing wild here, but they do. Peel the mottled green skin to reveal custardy flesh and smooth dark seeds. Pawpaws taste as though they was shopped in from somewhere tropical. Tom Culton will have a limited quantity at Headhouse, but if you miss them there check the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal for a supply from local forager, David Siller.

Italian Prune Plums – Ripening later than many other stone fruits, it’s not too late to get your hands on some sweet, oblong prune plums from Beechwood Orchards (Headhouse, Rittenhouse, N3rd), but hurry, these little gems aren’t likely to last another week.

Cauliflower – Cool evenings are perfect for roasting a pan of something, and few things are better with a little bit of caramelized char than cauliflower. Check out the tables of Rineer Family Farm (Chestnut Hill) and Two Gander Farm (Bryn Mawr) for a head or two.

Swiss Gourmet Apples – Honeycrisps get all the glamour this time of year, but don’t miss Swiss Gourmet apples (the variety is also called Arlet) from Beechwood and Three Springs. The variety is a cross between Idared and Golden Delicious apples, with a balanced flavor and a pleasantly crunchy, flesh that holds its shape well during cooking.

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