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

With Thanksgiving fully behind us, it’s time for a bit of a re-group. Though some area farmer’s markets are done for the year, Headhouse is still on through December 21st and the stalwarts at Clark Park, Fitler Square and Rittenhouse are holding steady. On offer? Storage crops like root vegetables, tubers, and greens–and plenty of ideas for local food lovers on your holiday gift list.

Scarlet Turnips – These turnips from Z Food Farm at the Rittenhouse look a little something like beets because of their bright pink skin, but take some home and you’ll find them pale inside and perfect for roasting, braising, pickling or fermenting. Like golden turnips, the scarlet ones have a more mild flavor than the standard purple topped ones, so they might be a good introduction for the turnip teetotaler.

Rainbow Trout – Alongside the grass fed beef in their coolers Rineer Family Farm has rainbow trout! Easy enough for a weeknight supper, fancy enough for a holiday meal, these are a great option to have on hand.

Savoy Cabbage – Typically smaller than red and green cabbage cousins, savoy cabbages are quite curly, the leaves having an almost pebbly flesh. Because of this, you can think of savoy cabbage as a pleasant alternative to lacinato kale. Whether shredded and eaten raw of lightly cooked, savoy cabbage is quite mild and sweet, a bit more robust than Napa cabbage but just as versatile. Look for it at Rambling Roots farm at the Rittenhouse market.

Apple Snitz, Apple Cider Vinegar & Apple Cider Caramels – The apple growers are still going strong! Though harvest is done for the year plenty of your favorite varieties of fruit will continue appearing at market until they cell out. Looking to further stock up? Stop by Beechwood Orchards (Rittenhouse, Headhouse) for a bottle of naturally fermented apple cider vinegar, or Hands on the Earth Farm (Rittenhouse) for some sweet apple cider caramels. For weekday snacks? Pick-up a bag of apple snitz. These dehydrated apple slices are pleasantly chewy (thing fruit jerky) and they make for excellent snacking.

Seed Balls – Guerrilla gardening gift idea alert! Non-profit organization Urban Tree Connection will be selling seed balls at Rittenhouse this weekend. These nuggets of soil and clay, embedded with seeds, sprout beautiful and sometimes edible things either tossed into a patch of dirt and left to their own devices, or sowed in the controlled setting of a backyard flowerpot.