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

Sunchoke Flowers

This time a year ago we were experiencing a polar vortex. Things today are positively balmy by comparison. Still, even though it isn’t nearly as cold as a year ago, it’s still very much cold and flu season. Shore up your immune system (or at least feed it if you’re getting over something) with this week’s farmer’s market offerings.

Spinach – Popeye don’t lie, people, and juicy, iron-rich spinach is as healthy as it gets. Plus, the juicy, mildly-flavored leaves of spinach wilt down easily, so you can easily add a pop of bright green to soup, smoothies, scrambled eggs, and pretty much anything else. Pick up some spinach this weekend from Two Gander Farm at the Bryn Mawr market.

Chicken – Jewish penicillin for Jews and non-Jews alike is matzoh ball soup, but the healing part of the whole shebang is the chicken, not the dumplings. Grab yourself a fresh, pasture raised chicken from Canter Hill Farm at both the Bryn Mawr and Chestnut Hill markets tomorrow. Roast up the bird for one dinner, then make slow-simmered stock with the leftover bones to have on hand. Delicious chicken soup is just a few carrots, a little dill, and a couple of matzoh balls away.

Sunchokes – AKA Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are the roots of a kind of sunflower and they have a pronounced earthiness that makes them a favorite on restaurant menus around town. Pleasantly juicy and crunchy when raw—think water chestnuts—they turn creamy when cooked and some people do think they have a similar flavor to artichoke hearts. Regardless of how you eat them, they’re super high in fiber, they’re high in iron and potassium, and they’re an exceptionally good “prebiotic” food, especially good for feeding those beneficial gut bacteria of yours. Look for them at Taproot Farm at the Chestnut Hill market.

Prize Winning Cheeses – Okay. Loading up on cheese probably isn’t going to help if you’re feeling under the weather, but this week in Harrisburg the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show had their first ever cheese competition and several Southeastern Pennsylvania farms left as prizewinners. You can taste some of these prizewinning cheeses at the Rittenhouse Market this weekend. Birchrun Hills Farm took home ribbons for their Birchrun Blue, Tomme Mole (which came in third place for Best in Show!), and Red Cat. Shellback Hollow Farm took home ribbons for their Bloomy Ash chevre, their Sharp 2 chevre, and their tomato nest.