Fairest food lovers, I'm going to hit the highlights of emerging fall produce right quick and then change gears a bit, because today's missive is mostly about CHEESE. But first, the fruit and veg.
I paid a visit this weekend to Alvin Stoltzfus' Spring Water Farm, home of Dutch Meadows Organic Dairy. I was there for the annual customer appreciation potluck and farm tour, and a happy result of my visit (in addition to all the delicious pork BBQ the Stoltzfus family whipped up) was that I brought back a big box of the season's first NECK PUMPKINS. Neck pumpkins are what BUTTERNUT SQUASH used to be before they were bred down for compactness and size. And I got a great deal on them, so we're passing the savings on to you: $4 per neck! That's enough to make a lot of pumpkin everything to celebrate fall. But hurry, the supply is limited, so grab them while you can. We'll be getting in even more awesome heirloom pumpkins in the coming weeks.
Additional autumnal goodness: juicy, tender SECKEL PEARS and crisp, sweet IDA RED APPLES are new from Beechwood Orchards, and on Friday, Common Market brings us the first STAYMAN WINESAP APPLES from Weaver's Orchard. Taproot Farm brings us CELERIAC (aka CELERY ROOT - great in soups) and the season's first PARSNIPS. Trauger's Farm has WHITE and CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER and Valley Road Farm has more beautiful RED RASPBERRIES. And don't forget to pick up some long, colorful ears of ORNAMENTAL MAIZE to decorate your table for the season. Now: CHEESE. Did you know that October is Cheese Month? We're celebrating by partnering with the Chester County Cheese Artisans, makers of some of our favorite farmstead cheeses, for a series of Meet The Farmer sampling events this month! You'll have a chance to talk cheese, cows, and feed with the farmers and try their delicious goods. Many of these farmers don't do markets in Philly, so you're in for a rare experience. And we'll be featuring samples of their cheeses all week before the tasting at our cheese counter, along with perfect pairings of produce, honey, jams, and pickles. This week's featured pairing is Conebella Farm's creamy, umami-rich SMOKED CHEDDAR paired with slices of SMOKEHOUSE APPLES or Epic Pickles' GARLIC DILLS. See the sidebar to the left or click here to check when these hardworking cheesemaker-farmers will be bringing their cheesy love to the Farmstand.