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.
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.