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



We’ve officially entered countdown mode for the single biggest food holiday of the year. Order up that heritage breed turkey, figure out who’s responsible for the candied yams this year, and settle the debate of fresh vs. canned cranberry sauce, even if it requires a truce. Oh, and don’t forget to feed yourself something in the meantime.

Mustard Greens & Broccoli Raabe – Leafy greens are still going strong in these mild temperatures, and now’s a great time to eat your fill and even blanch and freeze some, the ultimate in nutritious convenience food. There’s lots of kale, tatsoi, and cabbage, but don’t miss spicy mustard greens, leafy mizuna and juicy broccoli rabe as well. Taproot Farm (Chestnut Hill) and Root Mass Farm (Headhouse) each have great selections of greens to choose from.

Porcini Mushrooms – The parade of beautiful, local mushrooms continues this week as Primordia (Clark Park, Chestnut Hill) is planning to bring porcinis. These squat mushrooms with thick stems have a pronounced nutty flavor widely prized in some regional Italian cookery.

Spinach – Another green to add to your salads and sautés, spinach is back and I don’t need to tell you what a nutritional powerhouse it is. Look for it at Rineer Family Farm and Queen Farm at the downtown markets, and Sunny Slope Farm at the West Oak Lane market.

More Apples – Apple harvest stretches all the way from August into November, and we’ve already cycled out of the early and midseason varieties and we’re wrapping up harvest time. As a result, orchards are bringing new varieties in record numbers so now’s your chance to stray from your usual routine and try some new flavors. North Star has Newtown Pippins and Gallerina apples at Headhouse, Three Springs has Gold Rush and Cameo apples, Fahnestock has Winesaps at Chestnut Hill, and Frecon has Blushing Golds at Rittenhouse.

Fennel – Juicy bulbs of fennel with feathery green fronds, lots of people think they don’t like the licorice flavor of this distinctive vegetable, which leaves more of it for the rest of us to enjoy. It’s especially good in a salad with apples, or roasted. You’ll find it at Margerum’s Herbs (Clark Park), Root Mass Farm (Headhouse) and Weavers Way (Headhouse).

Thanksgiving Pre-Orders – It’s true, folks. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, so it’s absolutely time to start preparing plans for your holiday table. Our friends over at Be Well Philly have already pulled together a guide to some places to find a local bird for your holiday, but this is also the last weekend when you can also place your order directly with farmer’s market vendors Canter Hill Farm (Chestnut Hill), Livengood Produce (Bryn Mawr), and Rineer Family Farm (Chestnut Hill, Rittenhouse). Plus? Weimer’s Organics and Landisdale Farm’s sweet potatoes and broccoli are so popular for Thanksgiving they’re taking pre-orders this year, too!