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

Happy Halloween, one and all! Expect this weekend’s farmer’s markets to be as festive and colorful as your kid’s bag of trick-or-treats, except with substantially fewer artificial flavors and colors. You’ll see lots of greens, reds, oranges, and browns, a rainbow of colors you can feel good about eating tomorrow as a means of balancing out a dinner of mini-candy bars pilfered from your toddler’s stash.

Celery – This foundational flavor in pretty much any seasonal soup or stew, farmer’s market celery looks a little different from the sterile, bagged hearts you’ll find at the grocery store. You’ll find thinner, more abundant stalks, a darker green color, and lots more leaves. This kind of celery tends to have a stronger flavor, and the tender leaves make a great, piquant addition to salads, or in soups. Look for celery from Landisdale Farm (Chestnut Hill, Clark Park) and Root Mass Farm (Headhouse).

Cut Herbs – Mild temperatures mean that tender herbs like parsley and woody ones like rosemary and thyme are still just going gangbusters. Look for delicate bunches at market stands all over.

Tatsoi – What does Frankenstein wear on his lapel? Delicate, dark green florets of tatsoi, of course. Just as tasty as they are beautiful, these delicate leaves make for a juicy sauté. You’ll find them on the table at Taproot Farm (Chestnut Hill), Queen’s Farm (Headhouse).

Pie Pumpkins – There’s a reason you don’t want to eat the pulpy, fibrous insides of those giant pumpkins. Meant for carving, big pumpkins tend to be woody and dry, not ideal for pumpkin soup or muffins. What you need instead are sweet, thin-skinned little pie pumpkins. Look for them from Savoie Organic Farm (Headhouse) and Pennypack Farm (Clark Park).

Halloween Treats – What’s Halloween without a little indulgence, am I right? Spiced Caramel Pumpkins from John & Kira’s are back if you’re looking to quell a sugar craving. Crunch-lovers will go for toffee popcorn MoJo Pop Co. (Rittenhouse), and fans of all things creamy can claim pumpkin pie gelato from Jenny & Frank’s (Bryn Mawr). Plus, Wild Flour Bakery will be bringing cream-cheese iced pumpkin eclairs and pumpkin cranberry bread to both the Rittenhouse and Headhouse markets.