These days you'll find much more than seedlings and a few greens at the first farmers markets of the season.
Just look at what we bought on opening day of the Copley Square Farmers Market!
Clockwise we have scallops and shrimp from Red's Best; white rye bread from Iggy's; almond butter from Fastachi; apples from Stillman's Farm; radishes and asparagus from The Kitchen Garden Farm; plus carrots, cucumbers, and greens purchased with our Atlas Farm market share.
We could have bought a lot more but our backpacks were full and we'll be visiting the market again on Friday.
Stillman's Farm stand at the Boston Public Market supplied shoppers with fruit and vegetables over the winter months.
Thanks to Year-Round Markets
Part of the reason we have more early season offerings is the support that shoppers have given to year-round farmers markets and the Boston Public Market.
Having someplace to sell crops has encouraged investments in cold weather farming infrastructures such as hoop houses and greenhouses.
Photo © 2016 by Halley Terry Stillman, used with permission.
Farmers can also store produce under ideal conditions resulting in crisp, crunchy apples like the Honeycrisps we bought from Stillman's Farm or the sweet spring parsnips that inspired Gordon Hamersley's parsnip soup recipe in the Boston Globe this week.
New Additions to the Market
Early season markets are also good places to get to know new vendors like Caroline from Kitchen Garden Farms who will be at Copley on Tuesdays. We not only added their radishes and asparagus to our shopping bags, we also sampled the Sriracha sauces (regular and habanero) they make with their own peppers. We'll put those on a future shopping list.
Take advantage of these May market days and visit Copley today or Friday. If not Copley, stop by another local market. Here's our List of the Opening Days of Boston area Farmers Markets.
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What's on your Food Lover's shopping list?
Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2016 Penny & Ed Cherubino except as noted the one of the Copley Square Stillman's stand is by Halley Terry Stillman.