Saturday, August 08, 2009

Back in the Markets

After a week in Maine we got back to Philadelphia last Sunday afternoon, too late for Headhouse, which I intend to hit tomorrow. But by Tuesday the laundry was done, the cats retrieved, the mail sorted and dealt with . . . so it was time for a trip to South & Passyunk.

The usual assortment of vendors were there, though I made all of my purchases from Beechwood Orchards: a crenshaw melon, a half-pint of blackberries, three heirloom tomatoes, and about a half-dozen small donut (Saturn) peaches. All were quite tasty, though the peaches were hard and needed a couple of days to ripen; when they did, they were juicy and sweet.

Prices at Beechwood: $3.50 would buy you a pint ($6.50 a quart) of apricots, donut peaches, blueberries, or numerous varieties of plums. Heirloom cherry tomatoes were $2 for a half-pint, but the larger heirlooms were $3.50/pound. Among the heirloom tomato varieties: Nyagous (a Russian black variety), Silver Fir Tree (another Russian variety), Juan Flamme, German Orange-Strawberry, Stupice (Central European in origin), Red Zebra and Amish paste. Raspberries were $2.50 a half-pint, blackberries $4. Melons, depending on size, were priced from $1 to $4 and included cantelopes as well as the crenshaws. Expect similar variety and pricing from Beechwood tomorrow at Headhouse.

Over at Rineer’s pricing was similar: Beefstake tomatoes $2.99, heirloom tomatoes $3.50/pound, blackberries $3.75 half-pint (twofer $7), blues $2.75 (twofer $5). Rineer’s offerings extend beyond vines and berry fruit. Traditional large eggplant were $1.50 apiece, quart boxes of fairtales $3. Green Bell peppers sold at 3/$2.50 or a buck apiece and kirby cucumbers at $2.50/pint or $3.50/quart. Among the melons, watermelon was 50-cents a pound, lopes $3.75 apiece or twofer $7. Whole corn was 65-cents an ear, six for $3.50.

Earl Livengood’s conventional blackberries were $3.95/pint, heirloom tomatoes $4.25, string beans $3.95 for either a quart or a pound. Okra and beets were among other offerings; not much in the way of lettuce on Tuesday.

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