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


Consider this your two week warning.

In two weeks you’ll be expected to eat nothing that doesn’t include turkey, sweet potato, cranberry and/or unholy amounts of butter, but for now you’re still the master of your own plate. This weekend, chill in the air or no, that plate should include some of the following…

Kohlrabi – Crunchy, juicy and nothing if not good for you, green and purple kohlrabi bulbs are back at market. Though surrounded by other root veggies like turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips that benefit from a little caramelization, kohlrabi bulbs, once peeled and chopped into batons, make for good eating raw. Cook up the leaves as you would any hearty green and you’ll be feeling self-righteous in no time.

New Apple Varieties – Though harvest season is slowing down for many, many crops, local orchards are still working through some of the later apple varieties. While the Macouns and the Arlet apples are basically done for the year, the Honeycrisps are still hanging on and there are a whole new set of apple flavors and textures worth seeking out. Look for dense, bright green Granny Smiths from Hands on the Earth farm at Clark Park, dark red Staymen-Winesaps from Beechwood Orchards (Rittenhouse, N3Rd, Headhouse, Fairmount), and the freckled yellow-green Gold Rush apples from Three Springs (Headhouse).

Collard Greens – These first nights dipping into freezing temperatures might mean the end of your backyard basil, but they also mean that dark, leafy greens like kale and collards can taste even sweeter. Why? These plants actually make physiological changes to increase the sugars in their leaves to protect themselves against freezing. This means that greens that might have tasted bitter in the summer months will have sweetened considerably now that sweater weather has set in. Pick up a bunch of beautiful prehistoric-looking collard greens from Root Mass Farm, Landisdale Farm, Rineer Family Farm or Taproot.

Celeriac – This. This ugly vegetable is what makes up the puree that you’re already seeing on restaurant menus under all manner of stews and short ribs and whatnot. Celeriac, sometimes called celery root, is a variety of celery cultivated specifically for its bulbous, starchy cream colored root which has a warty appearance. It’s not going to win any beauty contests, for sure, but in terms of providing foundational flavor, well, let’s just say there’s a reason that it’s beloved by chefs. Look for it at Weimer’s Organic Farm (Bryn Mawr), and at Weaver’s Way and Blooming Glen, each at Headhouse.

Persimmons – Not widely cultivated here in Pennsylvania, it’s still occasionally possible to find these custardy little amber colored fruits at the farmer’s market, and now’s the time. Weaver’s Way (Headhouse) had some persimmons a few weeks ago. No promises on whether or not they’ll crop up again, but keep your eyes peeled…

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