Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The less crowded side of Headhouse, home of Otolith
(shown here), Happy Cat,
Yogi-ism at Headhouse

No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded -- Yogi Berra

Enter the Sunday Headhouse Square farmers' market from the Lombard Street side and find yourself enveloped in an over-populated mass of humanity, squeezed between Blooming Glen's pristine display of greens, squashes and radishes on the left and Wild Flour Bakery's baguettes and brioche rolls on the right.

Wander just a little further down and join the line where they must be giving produce away.  Oops. No, it's Tom Culton and Matt Yoder's lengthy stall, filled with exotic produce you never knew existed. And they are definitely not giving it away.

In manoeuvering through the Times-Square-on-New-Year's-Eve conglomeration you've also got to contend with double-wide prams and dogs on leashes threatening to trip passersby flat on their derrières.

But keep on walking. As you draw nearer to Pine Street the crowd thins, making shopping at Headhouse almost pleasurable.
Happy Cat Organics
Root Mass Farm

Savoie Organic Farm
Vendors at the far end of the Headhouse market suffer from their location. Just ask Dave Garrettson of Beechwood Orchards, who saw his sales increase when he obtained a slot nearer the center of the Shambles.

So if you want to insure a variety of producers at Headhouse, be sure to patronize vendors near the Lombard Street end for more than tacos, lemonade or a sausage sandwich. You'll find great purveyors of produce and protein.

Like Otolith Sustainable Seafood, the peripatetic Alaskan seafood purveyor. Their blast-frozen frozen vacuum-packed seafood is usually no more expensive or within a couple of dollars per pound of the price you'd pay at retail fish stores. And if you buy prawns, rockfish, pacific cod, or sablefish (a.k.a. black cod) from Otolith, you'll be making your purchase from the same people who caught it: Amanda Bossard, Otolith's owner, and her husband, Murat Aritan, who fish Alaskan waters for those species on their 65-foot long-liner. The other fish they sell, primarily salmon and halibut, are purchased from other harvesters who "share our commitment to sustainability," says Bossard

Also closer to the Pine Street end is Happy Cat Organics of Kennett Square. You won't find the masses of produce that some other vendors offer, but what you will find is choice. This week Tim had lots of different onions and plenty of radishes, among other items.

Savoie Organic Farm is the place to go for potatoes, though that's hardly all Barry and Carol Savoie offer. This past week they had plenty of fresh greens and radishes, but the new potato harvest is getting underway, too. They typically produce 10 different varieties of specialty potatoes, including Onaway, Red Cloud, Rose Gold, Carola, All Blue, Cranberry Red, Butte Russet, and Rose Finn Apple fingerlings on their South Jersey farm.

Root Mass Farm in Oley offers all the good produce we expect this time of year:  garlic scapes, salad and cooking greens, radishes, green onions, snap peas, asparagus, etc. But if you want to learn something about farming, check out Lindsey's and Landon's video, all about how to use a broad fork to disrupt hardpan. 

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