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


Ramps and fiddleheads are winding down, but the next batch of exciting fruits and vegetables is waiting in the wings ready to make a grand entrance. While early spring tends to be a sea of greens and whites, this week we’re starting to see red…

Strawberries – The single most anticipated fruit of the year, strawberries made a prudent debut (and sold out in record time) at last week’s farmer’s markets. If you’re an earlybird to market, you can expect a few more pints this week at Queen’s Farm (Headhouse) or Rineer Family Farm (Rittenhouse), but they’ll likely be in short supply. Can’t wait another moment? Fifer Orchards in Delaware is having their annual Strawberry Festival tomorrow complete with pick-your-own, music, kids activities and new-to-you Delaware food truck line-up!

Radishes – Another rosy hue appearing on more and more market tables everybody seems to have some kind of radishes this week. Landisdale has black radishes from Spain, Blooming Glen (Headhouse) has the familiar red variety, Weaver’s Way (Headhouse) has the long, two-toned variety called French Breakfast, and you might find Easter Egg radishes (in hues of white, pink, and purple) at the Rittenhouse market as well.

Apples – Nope, your eyes don’t deceive you. Local orchards still have plenty of apples from last autumn’s harvest. These apples have been stored in special refrigerators that regulate the humidity and the atmosphere, so the fruit isn’t just being kept cold. It’s as though it has been “paused” for the last few months. Sure, you’re not going to find the fresh-off-the-tree honeycrisps, but look for cameo and fuji apples that are in great shape.

Rainbow Chard – Swiss chard comes in all different colors, green leaves with stems that can be white, bright red, yellow, and even pink. The best chard though, called Bright Lights, is a mixture of all of the above. Though you might be used to stripping the tough center ribs out of kale, collards, or mustard greens, if you pick up some rainbow chard from Landisdale this weekend (Clark Park, Chestnut Hill) don;t send the stems to the compost bin. Instead chop them fine and sauté them the way you would (or along with) chopped onion. They cook up tender-crisp and they make for juicy, nutritious eating.

Fresh Chicken – Warm weather has meant that Canter Hill Farm’s (Bryn Mawr) first batch of meat chickens (which are more pink than red, thank goodness) are ready to go surprisingly early this year, so not only will they have birds ready for a Sunday roast, they’re also offering a discount on frozen birds this week as well! Prefer red meat? Pick up some of their lamb instead.

Tomatoes – Don’t get excited, folks. It’s still way too early for tomatoes out in the field, but it’s not too late to pick up some tomato plants from Happy Cat Farm or Savoie Organic Farm at Headhouse this weekend. Or, you can avoid the waiting and the work in the garden altogether and pick up some hothouse tomatoes from AT Buzby Farm (Headhouse) or even some cherry tomatoes from Forest View (Clark Park).