Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The freshest of markets

Here comes prime time for farmers and their real food. Farmers' markets are sprouting all over city and suburbs.

An Desaeger of Elkton, Md., completes a purchase from George Brittenburg at his Taproot farm stand at South and Passyunk Farmer’s Market. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
An Desaeger of Elkton, Md., completes a purchase from George Brittenburg at his Taproot farm stand at South and Passyunk Farmer’s Market. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
An Desaeger of Elkton, Md., completes a purchase from George Brittenburg at his Taproot farm stand at South and Passyunk Farmer’s Market. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer) Gallery: The freshest of markets

George Brittenburg was back in town, much to Simone Bostic's delight.

"I had asked at the hardware store about when you'd be coming back," Bostic told Brittenburg, who drives in from his Berks County farm every week of the growing season to sell his produce at the intersection of South Street and Passyunk Avenue.

Growers throughout the region had to delay planting a bit because of the early spring rains, but now farmers' market season is here.

On any given day, in almost every part of the city and suburbs, shoppers can find fresh, locally grown vegetables directly from farmers.

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  • Brittenburg, of Taproot Farm in Shoemakersville, had piles of Hakurei turnips, Easter Egg radishes, and pea shoots one recent Tuesday, and a hand-stitched banfner made by his wife, Ola Creston.

    It all looked good to Bostic, who says she's a pescatarian - an individual who abstains from meat and poultry but eats fish, and of course, vegetables.

    The South & Passyunk Farmers' Market, open 2:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays now through Thanksgiving, is among 15 that operate under the virtual umbrella of Farm to City, a small business founded by food and environmental consultant Bob Pierson.

    He started at this very site, with four vendors selling one afternoon a week. In 1999, the first season there, sales totaled $40,000; in 2010, with the same number of vendors and hours at that location, sales topped $80,000.

    Now Pierson works with about 60 growers and runs 15 markets (two of them new this season), with some growers going to several markets each week. (Brittenburg sells at the Chestnut Hill Growers' Market on Saturday mornings.) In 2010, total sales were $1.9 million - proof, Pierson says, of escalating interest in locally grown food.

    He and colleague Joanna Pernick field calls daily from would-be vendors wanting to get in on the busy farm market scene.

    For 2011 they're working with six new farmers. But they have steered many others away.

    Some have unrealistic expectations about the earning potential; others have products that would sway the proportion of "real food" to "other stuff" at a given location, he says, referring to handcrafted chocolates, homemade cookies, and healthy dog biscuits.

    The not-for-profit Food Trust operates more than 30 farmers' markets for the city Department of Public Health. The Food Trust opened four new farmers' markets last season and plans to launch six more closer to July Fourth.

    This season for the first time, many farmers' markets sponsored by Farm to City and the Food Trust will have machines at their stands so they can accept payments by debit, credit, and SNAP (food stamps) cards.

    And this year, shoppers with SNAP cards will get a $2 Philly Food Bucks coupon in return for every $5 they spend on produce at participating markets. (See that list at thefoodtrust.org.)

    Increased shopping at farmers' markets, especially in neighborhoods that don't have supermarkets, is a good indication that ideas about food are changing, Pierson says.

    "Bit by bit we're being faced with evidence we cannot ignore," he says, making it unlikely that we'll revert to our old ways of shopping for food that isn't in sync with the seasons or that has been shipped across the country.

    "When you see very cheap food, you know you're seeing exploitation," Pernick says, "exploitation of the soil, of animals, and of the labor force."

    Brittenburg agrees.

    "My grandfather was a farmer, but he also had to hold down a full-time job in order to feed his family," said Brittenburg, who has two little girls.

    "By the time I was growing up, he was getting out of it. And my father wasn't going into it."

    "The local organic movement is not just about the quality of the food," he said, "it's about a living wage for the farmer."

    Brittenburg loves the work, though. And he especially enjoys chatting with customers.

    Debbie Zakheim, who lives near South and Passyunk, has been a foodie for decades and remembers when there were no farmers' markets in neighborhoods - just roadside stands in the country.

    "This is a great change," Zakheim says, picking up a dozen orange eggs laid by Brittenburg's pastured hens. "It feels European."

     


    Farmer's Markets in the Region (Map Here)

    Here is a list of some area farmer's markets for 2011. Dates and times could change as the season progresses, and new markets might be added. Details on markets that accept SNAP and debit cards are at www.farmtocity.org or www.foodtrustmarkets.org. Additional suburban markets are listed at www.Localharvest.org.

    Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia

    Reading Terminal Market: 51 N 12th St; Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

    Piazza at Schmidts: 1050 N. Hancock St; Sat.-Sun. Noon-7 p.m. and first Friday of every month 5:30-10 p.m. through Sept. 25

    Greensgrow Farm Stand: 2501 E. Cumberland St.; Tue.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Oxford Circle: 900 E. Howell St.; Thur. 2-6 p.m.

    Palmer Park: Frankford Ave. & E. Palmer St.; Thur. 2-6 p.m.

    Chestnut Hill: 8229 Germantown Ave.; Thu.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-5 p.m., year-round

    Broad & Ritner (the Food Trust): Broad & Ritner Sts.; Tue. 2-7 p.m.

    Fitler Square (the Food Trust): S. 23d St. & Pine St.; Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Grays Ferry (the Food Trust): Wharton & 29th Sts.; Tue. 2-6 p.m.

    Head House (the Food Trust): Lombard & S. 2d Sts; Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Point Breeze (the Food Trust): Tasker & 22d Sts.; Tue. 2-6 p.m.

    Fairmount (the Food Trust): 2200 Fairmount Ave.; Thur. 3-7 p.m.

    South Street (The Food Trust): S. Broad & South Sts.; Wed. 2-7 p.m.

    Cecil B. Moore (the Food Trust): N. Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.; Thur. 2-6 p.m.

    Norris Square (the Food Trust): W. Susquehanna Ave. & Howard St.; Thur. 2-6 p.m.

    Schuylkill River Park (the Food Trust): Spruce & S. 25th Sts.; Wed. 3-7 p.m.

    Cecil B. Moore (the Food Trust): N. Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.; Thur. 2-6 p.m.

    Norris Square (the Food Trust): W. Susquehanna Ave. & Howard St.; Thur. 2-6 p.m.

    Germantown (the Food Trust): Germantown Ave. & E. Walnut Lane; Fri. 2-6 p.m.

    Cliveden Park (the Food Trust): Chew Ave. & E. Johnson St.; Wed. 2-6 p.m., starts late June

    West Oak Lane (the Food Trust): Ogontz Ave. & 72d Ave.; Tue. 2-6 p.m.

    Clark Park (the Food Trust): Baltimore Ave. & S. 43d St.; Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Haddington (the Food Trust): Haverford Ave. & N. 52d St.; Wed. 1-5 p.m., starts early July

    Mill Creek Farm (the Food Trust): Brown & 49th Sts.; Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., opening date TBA

    Overbrook Farms (the Food Trust): Lancaster & City Aves.; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Haddington (the Food Trust): Haverford Ave. & N. 52d St.; Wed. 1-5 p.m., starts early July

    Overbrook Farms (the Food Trust): Lancaster & City Aves.; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Dickinson Square: Farmers' Market (Farm to City): Moyamensing Ave. near Morris St. (southeast corner of square); Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Fountain Farmer's Market (Farm to City): East Passyunk Ave. & 11th St.; Wed. 3-7 p.m.

    Jefferson (Farm to City): Chestnut St. & S. 10th St.; Thur. 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

    Rittenhouse (Farm to City): Walnut St. & S. 18th St.; Tue. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

    South & Passyunk (Farm to City): South St. & E. Passyunk Ave.; Tue. 2:30-7 p.m.

    Suburban Station Farmer's Market (Farm to City): Market St. & N. 16th St.; Thur. noon-6:30 p.m.

    Girard Farm Stand (Farm to City): W. Girard Ave. & N. 27th St.; Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Chestnut Hill Grower's Market (Farm to City): Germantown Ave. & Winston Rd.; Sat. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

    East Falls Farmer's Market (Farm to City): Midvale Ave. near Ridge Ave.; Fri. 3-7 p.m.

    Manayunk (Farm to City): Main St. & Gay St.; Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Mount Airy (Farm to City): Germantown Ave. & W. Allens Lane; Tue. 3-7 p.m.

    University Square (Farm to City): Walnut St. & S. 36th St.; Wed. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Friday Farmer's Market @ The Radian (Farm to City): Plaza of Radian Building at Walnut & 40th Sts.; Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Walnut Hill Farm Stand (Farm to City): 4610 Market St.; Tue. 3-6 p.m.

    Bucks County

    Delaware Valley College: 2100 Lower State Rd., Doylestown; Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., year-round

    Newtown: 2150 S. Eagle Rd., Newtown; Thu. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

    None Such Farm: 4493 York Rd., Buckingham; Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. to 6 p.m. year-round

    Doylestown (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): W. State St. & N. Hamilton St., Doylestown; Sat. 7 a.m.-noon

    The Farmer's Market @ Playwicki Farm (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): 2350 Bridgetown Pike, Feasterville; Wed. 7 a.m.-noon

    Langhorne Farmer's Market (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): 115 W. Richardson Ave., Langhorne; Tue. 3-6:30 p.m.

    Lower Makefield (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): Edgewood Rd. & Heacock Rd., Morrisville; Thu. 3:30-6:30 p.m.

    New Hope (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): New Hope Flea Market, Route 202 (next to Eagle Diner), New Hope; Thu. 2:30-6:30 p.m.

    Ottsville Farmer's Market at Linden Hill Gardens (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): 8230 Easton Rd., Ottsville; Fri. 4-8 p.m.

    Perkasie Farmer's Market (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): Market & 7th Sts., Perkasie; Sat. 7 a.m.-noon

    Plumsteadville Grange (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance): Pa. Route 611 north of Stump Rd., Pipersville; Sat. 9 a.m.-noon

    Wrightstown (Bucks County Foodshed Alliance and the Food Trust): 2203 2d Street Pike, Newtown; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Chester County

    Kennett Square: 100 E. State St., Kennett Square; Fri. 2-6 p.m.

    Pete's Produce Farm: 1225 Street Rd., West Chester; Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Phoenixville: Under Gay St. Bridge, Phoenixville; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    West Chester: N. Church St. & W. Chestnut St., West Chester; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    West Grove: N. Guernsey Rd. & W. Harmony Rd., West Grove; Thu. 2-6 p.m.

    Delaware County

    Ardmore: Coulter Ave. & St. James Place, Ardmore; Tue-Fri. 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Lancaster County: 389 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; Wed., Fri-Sat., 6 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Lansdowne (the Food Trust): 30 N. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. starting May 28

     Oakmont (Farm to City): Darby Rd. & W. Eagle Rd., Havertown; Wed. 3-7 p.m.

    Swarthmore (Farm to City): 341 Dartmouth Ave., Swarthmore; Sat. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

    Montgomery County

    Bala Cynwyd Farmer's Market (Farm to City): E. City Ave. & Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd; Thur. 3-7 p.m.

    Bryn Mawr (Farm to City): Lancaster Ave. in front of Bryn Mawr Train Station, Bryn Mawr; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Collegeville Farmer's Market: 460 E. Main St., Collegeville; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Creekside Farmer's Market: High School Rd. & Montgomery Ave., Cheltenham; Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Glenside Farmer's Market: Easton Rd. at Glenside Ave., Glenside; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Lansdale: Railroad Ave. & Main St., Lansdale; Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Quarry Hill Farm: 620 Quarry Rd., Harleysville; Sat. 8 a.m.-noon; Wed. 5-8 p.m.

    New Jersey

    Burlington County

    Burlington County Farmer's Market: 500 Centerton Rd., Moorestown; Sat. 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Camden County

     Camden Community Farmer's Market: Broadway & Martin Luther King Blvd., Camden; Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., starting June 17

    Camden Community Farmer's Market: Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, 1600 Haddon Ave., Camden; Wed. 2-5 p.m., starting June 29

    Camden Community Farmer's Market: Virtua Health, Mt. Ephraim and Atlantic Aves., Camden; Thu. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. starting June 30

    Collingswood: Atlantic Ave. & Dayton Ave., Collingswood; Sat. 8 a.m.-noon

    Haddonfield: Kings Hwy. E. & Chestnut St., Haddonfield; Sat. 8 a.m.-noon

    Silver Diner: 2131 Route 38, Cherry Hill; Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

    Springdale Farms: 1638 S. Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill; Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Westmont Farmer's Market: Haddon Ave. & Stratford Ave., Collingswood; Wed. 4-7 p.m.

    Gloucester County

    Duffield's Farm Market: 280 Chapel Heights Rd., Sewell; Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Mood's Farm Market: 901 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill; Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., starting mid-June


    Hakurei Turnips and Greens

    Makes 2 servings

    6 Hakurei turnips with their greens

    Olive oil

    Sea salt

     

    1. Wash the turnips and their green stalks.

    2. Remove the turnips from their greens.

    3. Cut the turnips into quarters; then cut the quarters in half, so you have small wedges.

    4. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces.

    5. Heat the olive oil until hot. Then add turnips and saute them about 3 minutes.

    6. Add the greens, and cook until the turnips are tender and almost translucent.

    7. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

     

    - From Sue Syrnick

    Per serving: 224 calories, 3 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams sugar, 14 grams fat, no cholesterol, 474 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber.


    Contact staff writer Dianna Marder at 215-854-4211, dmarder@phillynews.com, or @marderd on Twitter. Read her recent work at http://go.philly.com/diannamarder.

    Dianna Marder Inquirer Staff Writer
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