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


Sadly, strawberries are done for the year. But the good news is that we’ve got plenty of other super exciting new arrivals to the farmer’s market, and new farmer’s markets to boot! The Food Trust is rolling out the opening of new markets nearly every weekend these days, and the fine folks at Fork and High Street launched a new Saturday market just last weekend in partnership with Farm to City! No matter which market you wind up visiting, here’s what should be on your shopping list.

Nanking Cherries – I’m gonna be honest. I consider myself a serious produce nerd, but I have never seen these things until the Urban Nutrition Initiative brought them to the Clark Park Market last weekend. Nanking cherries look like, you guessed it, little tiny cherries. But they’re actually the fruit of a shrub and not a cherry tree and, unsurprisingly, are sometimes called bush cherries for that reason. If you manage to get your hands on some this weekend try making jelly with them, or infusing them in booze. Just try them, okay? And report back to the rest of us what they actually taste like!

Sour Cherries – The weather, for once, is cooperating and according to the fruit growers it is cherry time in a big way this weekend, folks! Though sweet cherries were available in abundance last weekend, this will be the week to watch if you plan on baking up a pie or two with the sour ones. Planning on putting up preserves? Call your favorite fruit farm and reserve a flat today.

Agretti – Apparently this is the week for extremely esoteric produce, because Blooming Glen Farm (Headhouse) has agretti for us. This Italian vegetable, also called saltwort, has a stringy appearance and a fluffy, frond-like texture that most closely resembles fresh dill. And though you might not be able to tell the two apart at first glance, their texture is markedly different. Argretti has a firm enough texture that it can stand up to being sautéed, and it has a pronounced, grassy flavor.

Peas – Sugar, snap, snow, and shelling, the peas are showing themselves in full force these days and they’ll likely not hang out for too much longer.

Pac Choi – Whereas bok choi is all bulb and komatsuna is all leaf, pac choi strikes the perfect balance between the two. Each head has juicy stems great for chopping and stir frying, topped with big round green leaves that wilt down nicely. Look for pac choi on the table at Root Mass Farm at Headhouse.