Friday, August 24, 2012

New England Farmers Market, Late August


It is sometimes hard, in the moment, to differentiate between cycles and trends compared to permanent changes and evolutions. One would like to believe, for example, that today's flimsy clothes are just a trend. In contrast, Hopefully the incredible year-over-year increases in availability of fresh, locally grown produce are permanent.

Here are some of the items available  today (compared to in May).
  • Lettuce: for salads
  • Carrots: for steaming and in soups
  • Green beans: for eating raw and steaming
  • Peaches: for eating raw and in pies
  • Apples: for eating raw and in pies
  • Leeks: for leek and potato chowder
  • Onions: for sautéing in beans and rice dishes and sautéing  for soups
  • Beets: for steaming
  • Tomatoes: for salads and eaten raw
  • Broccoli: for steaming and in a broccoli/scallion/garlic over pasta dish
  • Peppers: for eating raw
  • Cabbage: for cabbage salad (raw)
  • Raspberries: for eating raw and in blended fruit drink with yogurt, bananas, and other berries.
Be suspicious of roadside stands. Many trucks that park in parking lots and put out farm-stand-looking set-ups are not selling what they have grown. Instead, they purchase the same food from the same regional wholesalers markets that supply large grocery store chains. What is implied as locally grown tomatoes, for example, may have been grown anywhere, and under any conditions, and transported thousands of miles.

18 comments:

binker said...

Beautiful, yummy and straight from the earth.

I have always wondered about those truck farm stands. Thankfully, I have never stopped. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Muffy:

I wonder if it's the same case with truck stands in Europe. For example, Poland, Italy, Russia and Portugal. I have seen this in my travels through the mentioned places and imagined, and was told, while teaching in Northern Poland...that the wild mushrooms were freshly picked--indeed ,they were great!

As always, thanks for sharing your life with us.

w.g.

WRJ said...

These photos are beautiful. Over the past few days I've enjoyed delicious peaches, corn, cucumbers, beans, and squash from the farm stand. We go to Whittle's, a little farm in Mystic that's surrounded by stone walls and gnarled apple trees. My mother's mother used to stop by there on her way back from golfing in Stonington for at least 50 years. I doubt it's changed much since then. The property also has a beautiful, deep lake that came in handy in high school, until guards were (understandably) posted. We're awaiting silverqueen with great anticipation.

There's another wonderful little farm in our area, the Groton Family Farm, which brightens up an otherwise unremarkable stretch of Rt. 1 with true free-range chickens and sheep wandering around and ignoring a couple of beautiful Pyrenees dogs. And on Nantucket, Moor's End Farm has wonderful produce and beautiful flower arrangements.

WRJ said...

Oh, and I should mention that the Groton Family Farm has a pretty infrequently updated blog that others might nevertheless enjoy (http://grotonfamilyfarm.blogspot.com)

Zenas313 said...

Muffy:

Nice post and beautiful photos. We are working through 6 or 7 bushels of locally-grown tomatoes this week and weekend - soup, spaghetti sauce, salsa, and pizza sauce amassing in jars (tomato heaven becoming tomato hell).

There was a small piece in the Times this weekend about Rachel Carson and the Maine coast, good article but couldn't help thinking that Muffy and Clark Aldrich might have a story (and more photos) to share.

I have also wanted to know if you have any EB White stories/photos in that archive of yours. Just a few thoughts...

Cheers!

Marie said...

Westport Farmers market had a post about the same thing-items marketed as from a farm, but in fact not so!

WRJ said...

Apparently I have many thoughts on this subject! I wanted to add that while farmer's markets are fine, and can be good, some (in Connecticut and New York, at least) have taken on an almost carnival-like atmosphere. And many offer goods driven in from (relatively) far afield. Meanwhile, my local farm stand is peaceful, friendly, and uncrowded, yet offers great variety and quality, with produce that is unlikely to have traveled more than a half-mile.

Bitsy said...

The photograph reminds me of a Flemish baroque still life - Frans Snyders' Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables comes to mind. I'm fortunate to also live in an area with abundant locally grown produce, as well as locally made cheeses and breads, available at the local farmers' market, which is still small and intimate. The faces at the stalls are ones I know, and the live music entertainment is provided by the young daughter of someone I know from work. I am also fortunate to be able to grow some things myself, such as tomatoes, herbs and fruit. I share my overflow with neighbors, who likewise share their overflow. It's too bad people take advantage of the locally-grown movement to trick people into thinking they are buying locally-grown when they are not.

binker said...

on second look...I noticed no corn and tomatoes? Two of my favorite summer veggies.

Paul Connors said...

Muffy,

Once again, great photos! The fact that you mentioned potatoes and LEEKS for soup made my mouth water (even if we are STILL in warm weather)!

Thank you again.

Paul

Paul Connors said...

@ WRJ

Produce that probably traveled less than half a mile.

What a novel idea! I wish I could find a farm stand that would allow me to make the same claim.

You are indeed fortunate.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing. You should see all the dead corn in the midwest.

Bethany Hissong said...

If you join a CSA then you will know exactly where your food is coming from and you will be supporting your local farmer. You can find one near you by going to www.localharvest.org You can also find farmer's markets listed there too. I do both. We have the oldest indoor farmers market in the US in Lancaster, PA and I know which stands sell our local produce and meats. If you go regularly you get to know the people and it is a way of building community. Farmers who are practicing sustainable agriculture don't make a whole lot of profit so they need our support so they can continue to do what is done more for our benefit, less for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Because we live at elevation, we don't get peaches every year. This year we have been inundated with them, from our four trees. I never thought I'd get tired of them.

Anyway, I've made peach cobbler several times. It's delicious, and much easier than peach pie.

Anonymous said...

Your beautiful photo is fit for a magazine. How was your corn season, if any? Here in the Northern Neck of Virginia, we're still going strong... relishing what is left of ours.

Zenas313 said...

Congrats to the Twiggs and Trues - 52 and 47 years of marriage are fine milestones. Imagine the blog entries they could write!

Zenas313

Samantha said...

I do love when you post about food. Perhaps because I share your general food ethic, or simply because I love to eat! Here in the Hudson River valley we have enjoyed a wonderful summer bounty with some of the best heirloom tomatoes I have had in years. I would assume your cooking habits and recipes are similar to my own-- focused on quality, simplicity, and learned or handed down over many years-- but do you ever find yourself itching to try new things? I rely a handfull of well-culled cookbooks, both old and new, ranging from church fundraisers to major publications, and would love your recommendations. What (if any) cookbooks could be found on The Daily Prep's kitchen shelf?

fGs said...

I recently found out that at the farmers market I have frequented for several years purchases foods from another market from regional suppliers. That was disappointing. Still, that's better than getting foods from other country's.