Sunday, May 02, 2010

Strawberries Galore, and Local
Headhouse begins new season

At today's opening of the Sunday Headhouse Square market the biggest surprise came from A.T. Buzby. Despite my prediction as recently as yesterday that local strawberries had a few more weeks before they made a solid appearance. Buzby had loads of them, grown out-of-doors. The quart I purchased ($5.50) is destined for dessert tonight, but the single berry I tasted -- admittedly, the reddest in the bunch -- was real. Good flavor, and it will require only the smallest boost from some added sugar.

Tom Culton of Culton Organics had a line of fawning purchasers for his pricey produce today. He also flashed a small quantity of morels at me, which he said he should have available next Sunday (figure north of $100/pound, which would make them expensive, even for fresh morels which usually sell for about $65). The ones Tom displayed looked big and clean. Whether I'd pay that much for them is an entirely different matter.

Ringing the opening bell for the 2010 Headhouse Square Farmers Market were Lindsay and Brad Lidge. The Phillies' reliever and his wife have long been active in local charities both here in Philadelphia and, before that, in Houston when pitcher was an Astro. Lindsay, who has a background in nutrition, will be writing healthy eating tips weekly for the Food Trust's web site.

There were plenty of vendors at Headhouse today, though Blooming Glen, which usually anchors the southwest entrance to the Shambles, was missing. Katy Wich, manager of the market, said the farm has skipped opening day in recent years because they just don't have enough to sell so early in the season. Among all the produce vendors at Headhouse, Tom Murtha and Tricia Borneman's Blooming Glen usually has the cornucopiest stall, overflowing with great looking produce, so it's worth the wait.

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