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


It’s about as idyllic as it gets out there for autumn weather. Go ahead, eat some apples, carve some pumpkins, and sprinkle some cinnamon on damn-well anything you please. Also? Go to the farmer’s market to stock up on these and other seasonal goodies.

Romanesco Cauliflower – North Star Orchards brought the first bright green spirals of romanesco cauliflower to the Headhouse market last week. Look for cauliflower in this and in other shades at market tables all over.

Foraged Mushrooms – While steadfast mushroom growers keep us in shiitakes and oyster mushrooms for most of the year, mycophiles know that now’s the moment for wild-harvested mushrooms around town. Stop by the tables of Primordia Mushroom (Clark Park, Chestnut Hill) and Davidson Exotic Mushrooms (Rittenhouse, Bryn Mawr) to see if you can spy some dense, trumpet-shaped abalone mushrooms, purple blewits, of feathery hen of the woods.

Cabbage – Whether you prefer juicy, soft Chinese cabbage for stir fries, red cabbage for slaw, or green cabbage for slow cooking with butter, you’ll find all three at markets this weekend.

Parsnips – The creamier, starchier, sweeter cousin of carrots, ivory-colored parsnips add savory richness to almost any preparation of fall veggies. They keep well, so as with carrots we’ll have them well into the colder weather, but they’re at their juiciest right now while they’re freshly coming out of the fields.

Salad Greens – As long as mild temperatures persist, we’ll have no shortage of greens both large and small. There’s peppery arugula, or if you prefer a milder flavor, look for a mix of red and green lettuces like those from Weavers Way Farm (Headhouse) and Landisdale Farm (Rittenhouse, Clark Park). For something more robust, seek out spicy, piquant mizuna, tatsoi, or baby mustard greens as in Taproot Farm’s (Chestnut Hill) spicy salad mix. For a diverse mix that includes baby beet greens and rainbow chard, pick up a bag of spring mix from Rineer Family Farm (Rittenhouse, Chestnut Hill).