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

August is here and with it the tomatoes have arrived in full force. Now’s the time to stock up on mayonnaise, mozzarella, or that nice extra virgin olive oil–whatever your preferred accompaniment to the glut is. Summer is in full effect across the board besides the tomatoes, too, with peppers of all hues and levels of spice, eggplant in every possible purple, and plenty of fruit. It’s bittersweet to say it, but the next several additions will start to represent more autumnal flavors beginning to arrive. For now? This is summer. Eat it up.

Collard Greens – Big, broad, and leafy, we’re well past a time when the only perceived use for collard greens was to stew them into submission alongside a ham hock. Juice them, chiffonade them into a salad, or swap them in anywhere you otherwise like shredded cabbage. Look for the big beauties at the market at Wyck House and from AT Buzby Farm at Headhouse.

Sungold Tomatoes – This column would rapidly become a dissertation if I were to highlight every fantastic variety of heirloom tomato, but it bears mention that the Sungold tomatoes are ripe for the picking. These little round cherry tomatoes aren’t red, they’re not yellow, they’re orange, and they’re uncommonly sweet and tart and they’re just about the best thing you can eat this time of year. For this reason, they’re everywhere right now, whether mixed into pints of multicolored cherry tomatoes or sold on their own. You won’t regret springing for the extra pint of them .

Bunched Beets – The beets are here! Greens attached, these juicy specimens are a world different from the weathered beets we’ll be eating midwinter. Take advantage of their freshness and sauté the greens like you might swiss chard, and try the roots raw in a salad or slaw. Look for bunches of mixed varieties from Weaver’s Way Farm at Headhouse and from Taproot farm at Chestnut Hill.

Stevia – Yep. That stuff in a packet is actually from a plant, and if you’re a stevia devotee you should check out the fresh stuff from Urban Girls at the Clark Park market.

More Melons – More varieties of melon continue to arrive at market, and Headhouse this weekend will have them in all shades, perfect for whizzing up margaritas or throwing together a summery salad. Blooming Glen will have watermelon, Root Mass is bringing cantaloupe, and Savoie Organic will have galia melons, a cantaloupe-honeydew hybrid.