Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer in Swing
at South Street

Three produce vendors (and a baker) brought summer fruit to South Street at its weekly farmers' market today.

Taproot Farm (photo left), Beechwood Orchard (below) and Livengood's offered just about anything you'd want, from tomatoes to tree fruit to root veggies.

Hakurei turnips are an early variety, and a reminder that summer doesn't last forever. Taproot was selling bunches for $2 apiece of these small, white veggies. Small red beets were the same price. Taproot's field tomatoes were $5/quart, while Sungolds were $4/pint, mixed color and size tomatoes $6/quart.

Over at Earl Livengood's I picked up a pint of blackberries ($3.95 and both Brandywine ($4.50/pound) and red cherry tomatoes ($2.50 for a half-pint). Earl's corn was four ears for $2.50, and both yellow and green stringbeans were $3.95/quart (about a pound). Next week, expect Sam Consylman to sell his Raritan Rose peaches at Earl's stall.

See yesterday's Headhouse post for the Beechwood Orchard details. The baker at South Street, as always, was Big Sky.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Direct from Sheboygan

I thought the only food item for which Sheboygan, Wisconsin could claim fame was bratwurst. Seems they've got some tomatoes, too. Blackbird Heritage Farms featured them for $5/pound at today's Headhouse Square Farmers Market. At that price, however, too expensive for sauce making. According to Blackbird these large paste tomatos were brought to Sheboygan by Lithuanian immigrants.

Less pricey tomatoes could be found at some of the other vendors. Blooming Glen (left) had field tomatoes for $3/pound, with Sun Gold and Red cherry tomatoes for $3.50/pint, rainbow mixed cherries for $3.75. I plan to pair the rainbows with some avocados for dinner tonight. Weaver's Way had heirlooms for $4/pound, cherries for $4/pint. A.T. Buzby's field tomatos were $5/quart, which looked to be about 10 medium-sized fruits. Noelle Margareum was selling her field tomatoes for $3.95/quart.

The pepper season has begun in earnest, too. Blooming Glen had sweet frryers for $3.50/pound. At Buzby's the peppers were priced per fruit: cubans 2/$1, green bells 2/$1.50. Tom Culton's sweet heirloom peppers were $4/pound. Celery has also made its appearance, $2.50 for each thin but incredibly fresh bunch at Blooming Glen. Corn, of course, could be obtained at Buzby, 75-cents near or $6/dozen. Their musk melons were $3.50 apiece. Culton also offered Laratte fingerling potatoes at $5/pound, haricot vert (string beans) at $5, and tiny Italian artichokes for $7. Savoie Farm had a couple varieties of potatoes at varying prices. Limas in the pod were $2.50 at Queen's Farm.

And of course there is a profusion of eggplant. Culton's heirloom varieities, pictured here, are $3.50/pound. Most of Blooming Glen's varieties (Italian, Asian, pink) were $2/pound, but Rosa Biancas were selling for $3.50. Buzby's deep purple variety was $1.50 per fruit, which probably weighed in just shy of a pound.

Fruits proliferated. Culton's organic nectaries were a buck apiece.

Over at Three Springs Fruit Farm, peaches were $2.49;pound, apricots $4.50/pint, donut peaches $5/pint. Their blueberries and blackberries were $4 a half-pint, raspberries $5. They and Beechwood Orchards had Lodi apples (the latter also had Jersey Macs); Three Springs' pples were $1.99/pound, Beechwood's $2.50.

Beechwood's Dave Garretson (left) had the better deals on some of the fruit, tthough peaches were essentially the same at $2.50/pound with nectarines the same price. Plums (two or three varieties), donut peaches and apricots were all $3.50/pint or $6/quart, blueberries $4.50 for a full pint, blackberries $4, raspberries $4 a half-pint. Margarum's blueberries were even cheaper, $3.50/pint.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Getting My RTM Fix

I visited the Reading Terminal Market today for the first time in more than a month, arriving just after they opened the doors so I could avoid the crush later for the Ultimate Ice Cream Festival.

My first stop (photo at left) was to check out the status of summer produce at Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce, where proprietor Benuel complained about how hot it's been. (Why should he be different than anyone else?)

The mid-summer stone fruits were greatly in evidence: sugar and yellow plums for $2/pint, yellow peaches for $2.49/pound, pinks for $2.99, apricots $2.95/pint. Despite reading elsewhere the the blueberry season would be abbreviated this year, Ben had plenty, though pricey at $4.95/pint. Silver King corn was 50 cents an ear. Tomatos: beefstakes $3.49/pound, cherries $4.95/pint, Sun Golds $3/pint, heirlooms $4.99/pound

Sweet white corn picked yesterday was also 50-cents an ear (6/$2.59) at the Fair Food Farmstand. Organic purple eggplant $3.50/pound, Fairytale $4.50. Heirloom tomatoes here were $5.75/pound, organic fields $4, Sun Golds $5/pint. Stone fruits: nectaries and white and yellow peaches $2.50/pound; apricots $3.50/pint, all varieties of plums (Shiro, sugar, Early Gold) $3.50/pint. Lemon cucumbers $3/pound, baby white cukes $3.75. Musk melons (cantelopes) from A.T. Buzby were $4.50 each.

L. Halteman (photo at right) ususally has some of the best deals in local produce and today was no exception with peaches going for $1.99/pound, apricots $2.59/pint, sugar plums $2.89/pint. The musk melons were $1.29 each, or two for $2. Whole round yellow watermelons were $5.19 apiece. Blueberries $3.29/pint, $5.49/quart. Corn was 3/$1, field tomatoes $2.99, Brandywines $4.19 a quart (3 large tomatoes).

Over at Iovine Brothers Produce the corn was also three for a buck. Limes were 10 for a buck, Hass avocados $1.49. Jersey field tomatos 99-cents, Jersey green peppers $1.49/pound, red long hots and frying peps the same price. String beans $1.99. Jersey blueberries $1.99/pint. California black figs were $1.99 a pack (eight ounces). White and red seedless grapes were $1.49/pound, blacks $1.99.

Since I'm just back from Norway I had to check the fish at John Hi, where dry scallops were quite high at $18.99/pound. Among the salmons, farm-raised Norwegian was about $10/pound while wild Alaskan King and Sockeye were $17.99 and $14.99, respectively. There was also New Zealand "wild" king, $15.99, but it's undoubtedly farm-raised despite the sign.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back from Norway

As noted in previous post, I'm back from Norway. The month-long trip was full of great vistas, people and food, like the fiskesuppe (right) I enjoyed at Sorvågen in the Lofoten Islands.

If you're interested, I've created a blog about the trip, including entries on the the foods I bought, cooked and ate during the visit, much of it spent north of the Arctic Circle.

I'm still catching up on adding blog entries from the last week of the trip, but there's plenty there now to read.

First Stop: Fairmount Market

Like a siren, my neighborhood farmers' market called on our first day back in Philadelphia after the Norway sojourn. It took great restraint to limit my purchases to some blueberries from Bill Weller and carrots, Brandywine tomatoes, and endive from Earl Livengood's stall (left). Especially since corn is in season. But that will wait until the weekend.

Sam Stolfus, as seen in photo, had plenty of stone fruit: apricots and peaches in addition to a full assortment of veggies. The produce vendors also offered musk melons, blackberries, a variety of lettuces, fresh onions, scallions, potatoes, a variety of string and pole beans.

Had I been in the mood for more pølse (see Norway blog) I would have indulged in the encased goodies provided by Renaissance Sausage, which started frequenting the Fairmount market after my mid-June departure to Scandinavi. Other vendors at Fairmount yesterday included Wild Flour Bakery and Country Meadow Meats.