Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer’s Bounty

In September I wrote about Greensgrow Farm, an urban farm in a downtrodden neighborhood where I have been buying local, seasonal food for years. I haven’t been there much this season since the spring. That’s because of the weekly farmers’ market that comes to my neighborhood.

For the past few years on Thursdays, a handful of local produce, fruit, and meat and egg producers from the surrounding counties set up stands across the street from the Eastern State Penitentiary Historical Site. This year we’ve taken full advantage of it and we haven’t been disappointed.

The market is sponsored by The Food Trust, a local non-profit organization that strives to make healthy food available to all. One of its many programs is weekly farmers’ markets in different neighborhood throughout the city and suburbs.

For such a small market the variety of locally produced food, nearly all of it organic, is astounding. Berries of all kinds, early season peaches and corn, cantaloupes and watermelons; share space with fresh and washed mixed lettuce, Swiss chard and green beans. There’s nothing like fresh peas, but despite the short season our bellies were full.

One of my favorite stands is Country Meadows Farm, which produces homegrown pastured meats and eggs. The flank steak and ground beef are outstanding. The pastured eggs have rich nearly orange yolks that are so difficult to find, even at places that sell organic or free range eggs.

Everything in the top photo with the exception of the wine and salad dressing was produced locally. The fresh mozzarella cheese for the tomato salad didn’t come from the farmers’ market but was hand-made locally from Claudio Specialty Foods in the Philadelphia Italian Market.

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