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


This is a weekend of finals, I’m afraid, and not just for the college and graduate school set struggling through exams and papers. It’s the final weekend of the year for Headhouse, though a few vendors will be offering a winter buying club throughout the colder months (more to come on that later). Besides that wrap-up, the Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill, Clark Park, Rittenhouse and Fitler Square markets will all be closed next weekend, the day after Christmas, to give the vendors a little break. What with this schedule, folks, it’s time to stock up. Yes, buy the local food gifts, because there are many and we’re sure you’re not through with your shopping quite yet, but also consider picking up a few of the items below to see you through until it’s officially 2016.

Alaskan Seafood – Otolith doesn’t always come to farmer’s markets, but when they do you know it’s because they had a good summer of fishing in Alaska. Crab, shrimp, salmon, halibut, and sablefish, all vacuum sealed and flash frozen for impeccable freshness and texture, even from far away. Plus? it’s a rare thing to be able to buy direct from your fisherman around here. Take advantage of the short supply-chain by sidling up to the Otolith table at the Headhouse market for a chance to ask questions about fishing practices and the best ways to prepare anything that they catch.

Brassicas– These crazy-mild temperatures have made this an excellent autumn for the brassica family, so the broccoli is still going really strong, as are brussels sprouts—a great addition to any holiday table, whether cooked or shredded into a slaw—and also the cabbages as well. The best news is that stored properly these vegetables last for ages in the crisper, so load up your arms with them this weekend and slowly work your way through your stash.

Jams & Tomato Sauces – Ben Wenk of Three Springs Fruit Farm and Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars have teamed up on a new line of preserves! McClellan provided the recipes and Three Springs cooked up batches of tomato jam, sour cherry jam, and brown sugar peach jam, all featuring their own summer produce. In addition, Three Springs’ line of pasta sauces – Everyday Tomato Gravy and Arrabbiata sauce are back at markets and going fast.

Bulk Potatoes – While it’s true that you’ll have no trouble finding local potatoes well into the cold weather, this weekend at Headhouse will be your last chance to pick up Savoie Organic Farm’s beautiful purple and cranberry potatoes without planning a trip to the Collingwood market. Mix and match from their bulk selection or pick up at ten pound bag. It is mashed potato season, after all.

Stoud’s Stollen & Christmas Cookie Boxes – It’s true. These aren’t for keeping. They’re for gifting or enjoying, post haste. Since it’s the time of year for a little holiday indulgence pick up a ready-to-roll box of Christmas cookies this weekend from Wild Flour bakery at Rittenhouse or Bryn Mawr or treat yourself to the Stoudt’s version of stollen, the powdered sugar-covered, fruit-studded Christmas bread at the Chestnut Hill market.