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Feast: Fall Farmer’s Market Tour, Part 1

September 17, 2010

I’m kicking off the fall with a tour of local farmers markets*, one of my favorite things.

Today, I packed up my umbrella and visited the Harvard Square Farmer’s Market, just outside the Charles Hotel. The location is fitting, as the Charles hosts Jody Adams, chef at Rialto and staunch supporter of using local and seasonal ingredients. (Personally I prefer Henrietta’s Table -also at the Charles- a little more low key and less expensive, but still seasonal/local focused.)

There were eight stands, and a fair amount of local produce – Coy Brook and Kimball Farms. Hi Rise bakery and Big Sky also had a tent, and there was a general refreshments area. Hi Rise is right around the corner, so I can see why they were there, but in general it seemed like too rainy of a day for bread and baked goods to live outside and maintain any kind of integrity. The produce, however, was great.

I had never seen speckled roman tomatoes before, and whenever I see a new-to-me vegetable, I get excited. I think that will be a criteria for an eventual ranking of these markets- having something unique.

speckled romans in front

Kimball Farms was hands down the best tent, with a great selection of fall squash (and I appreciate their use of IPM), but Coy Brook did have great flowers.

dahlias.

All in all, the Harvard Square market was good, not great. Preliminary criteria for future ranking:

-Variety of booths

-Quality of offerings

-Unique-ness factor: does it have something no other market has? Or something I have never seen before?

*It is possible I will stretch the term “farmer’s market” to encompass apple picking venues or pumpkin patches, fair warning.

 

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