Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'll Miss My Market

The harvest holiday is upon us. While Thanksgiving makes for a great opportunity to enjoy good food and good wine(s) with friends and family, it also marks the end, at least in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, of growing season. Sadly, that means that today was the last day for my local farmers market. On this Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the Oakmont Farmers Market celebrated the finale of a successful first year. I made sure to take advantage of one last opportunity to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies, as well as to stock the freezer with a few cuts of naturally raised buffalo meat from Backyard Bison.

As I sit here, writing and munching on a Bosc pear from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm, I can’t help but think of how sorely I’ll miss all the fresh, locally grown produce, as well as the connection with the farmers and friends, over the cold, dreary months to come. I missed the market only twice all season: once while entrenched in re-pointing the masonry on the south facing side of my house, the other while recovering from an emergency appendectomy. It became a weekly habit that will be hard to break.

I'll miss Jay and Lisa at North Star Orchard almost as much as I'll miss their great tree fruits, root vegetables, and heirloom tomatoes.

For those of you in the Philadelphia area who have developed a similar craving throughout the warmer months, all is not yet lost. The Headhouse Farmers Market, the largest and arguably most diverse of our local markets, will continue through December 23. Obviously, fresh produce will dwindle in diversity and availability as the weeks pass. But some of our region’s best meats, cheeses and other locally produced specialty products will continue to be available straight from the arms of their producers. I only managed to make it there once during the summer. Something tells me, though, that I’ll be heading back a couple of times between now and Xmas.


Jeff said...

Due to an unusual set of circumstances, I worked all but two Saturdays all summer long. I think the hardest part of that for me was not being able to go to my local farmer's market. I've got to fix that before next summer.

albert said...

don't forget the fair foods farmstand in reading terminal which is open year round!

Wine Scamp said...

I guess this is one reason that living in Texas can be pretty OK. It's illegal to buy alcohol today, Thanksgiving (I mean, really), but on the other hand I just signed up for the winter portion of my local CSA, which will provide me with local, organically grown produce for the next 10 weeks, including arugula, broccoli, tatsoi, collards, cabbage, beets and turnips.

But then, you have snow! I miss snow.

Spring will be here before you know it, David!

Tom Hudson said...


I feel your pain, re the dearth of local, ultra-fresh produce.

However, as they say in Jamaica, Soon Come.


David McDuff said...

I feel your pain. I work Saturdays as well. But I kind of lucked out, as my market happens to fall on my regular mid-week day off.

Right you are. Thanks for the reminder. Perhaps a worthy topic for a follow-up post.

Scamp and Tom,
I know, I know, spring is right around the corner. The CSA's are pretty much done with in these parts, WS. There are some winter buying clubs but not all of their produce is local.

Anonymous said...

I came across this post, and wanted to comment that the farmers' market season is coming back! I know there is a grand opening at Headhouse Farmers' Market (2nd & Lombard Sts) on Sunday May 4th, 10am-2pm... so excited!

David McDuff said...

Thanks for sharing the good news, Anon. The Oakmont Farmers Market is good to go for its second year but it won't be starting until May 21. I'm sure I'll hit Headhouse for at least a fix or two before then.

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