Sunday, May 04, 2008

Headhouse Square Opens Season With 25 Vendors

The Food Trust began its 2008 farmers' market season with a bang: 25 vendors showed up for opening day at Headhouse Square Sunday. Considering how early it is in the growing season, that's a phenomenal turnout.

Among the returnees, whose wares are featured in photos at the right: Queens Farm, with their mushrooms and Asian greens, and Versailles Bakery, featuring breads and pastries.

Other vendors appearing today were: Hurley Nursery, plants; Los Taquitos de Pueblo, restaurant; Yoder Heirlooms, produce; Weaver's Way, produce; Joe Coffee Bar; Natural Meadows Farms, eggs, meats; S&S Kitchens, baked goods, preserves; Busy Bee Farms, honey, soap; Happy Cat Organics, produce; Young's Garden, flowers; Griggstown Quail Farm, poultry and pot pies; Patches of Star Farm, goat dairy, meat; Hillacres Farm, cheese; Mountain View Poultry Farm, eggs, poultry; Culton Organics, produce; A.T. Buzby Farm, produce; Talula's Table, charcuterie; Demarah, body care products and fragrances; Spring Hill Farms, maple syrup; Betty's Tasty Buttons, chocolate; Longview Flowers; Birchrun Hills Farm, cheese; Wildflour Bakery.

Versailles Bakery, which last year just sold at Headhouse and the Haddonfield NJ Farmers' Market, is adding other local markets this season, starting Thursday at Fairmount & 22nd. Versailles will also sell at Schuykill River Park (Spruce & 25th) and New Hope. They retail at the bakery, 1026 Haddon Ave., Collingswood NJ.

Versailles won't be the only new vendor at the Fairmount market, according to The Food Trust's Jon Glyn. Amish produce seller Sam Stolfus is scheduled to return. New vendor Bill Weller's Orchard Hills Farm of Bloomsburg will start out selling budding plants and hanging baskets, but is expected to expand offerings as the season progressses, starting soon with strawberries and asparagus, then leading up late-summer stone fruits and other goodies.

Bryan Sikora of Talula's Table (that's Bryan on the far left) said he'll be bringing a couple of pat├ęs in the future, along with his wide ranging sausage selection. I tasted the lamb curry with golden raisins, dry juniper and summer sausages. The lamb had nice but manageable heat along with the sweet notes, the juniper was pleasantly smokey, and the summer sausage (which I bought) cries out for some Spotted Cow Ale from Wisconsin, home of many fine summer sausages.

One of last year's farm vendors who didn't make it back is Old Earth Farm. I've been told they've shuttered their operations.

At least for much of the first hour, crowds were manageable, not at all like a peak summer weekend. I left before the 11 a.m. speechifying began, but a band was playing from the small plaza leading into New Market opposite the Shambles.

Youngs Flowers, no longer at the Reading Terminal Market, also sells at Rice's Market in New Hope this year. That's a long haul for Russell and Pamela Young (pictured at left) from their greenhouse operations deep in South Jersey's Salem County.

Weaver's Way held the entry corner spot opposite the Young's. Their fine selection of radishes, pictured below, disappeared quickly. The photo was taken shortly before the market's 10 a.m. opening bell; the radishes were gone by 10:30.

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