Wild for Spring - At the Farmstand: April 17-23

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt’s finally feeling like spring – and with the warm weather and rainy days come the new season’s goodies! Our forager friend David Siller has brought us the first precious RAMPS, and we expect another delivery of PATIENCE DOCK, NETTLES, and new FIDDLEHEAD FERNS by this weekend! Foraged food comes and goes out of season quickly, so hurry to the market to make sure you get your fill of these rare, once-a-year wild foods.  

Spring-Cheeses-from-PAWe’re also adding in big bunches of I.P.M. BROCCOLI RABE from Petrongolo Farms, and ORGANIC FRENCH BREAKFAST RADISHES from Landisdale Farm. And Blue Moon Acres brings us their first certified organic field crops, BABY SPINACH and BABY HEAD LETTUCE, on Friday. Make sure you save space for these spring goodies on your Easter table, along with new soft-ripened cheeses like Keswick Creamery’s FROSTY MORNING, King’s Kreamery’s RING OF FIRE, and Doe Run’s super-limited, Neufchatel-style bloomy rind, DRAGONFLY. Read more about local spring cheeses in this great piece by Madame Fromage!


Wild_Turkey_Egg_(4752131265)For you Easter celebration, we’ve still got a few pastured, nitrate-free smoked HALF HAMS from Meadow Run Farm, as well as Griggstown DUCK BREAST, Brooke-Lee RABBIT, and Jamison Farm’s BONELESS LEG OF LAMB as your mouthwatering centerpiece. And of course, EGGS of all kinds – emu, goose, duck, brown and multicolored chicken, and maybe even some rare TURKEY EGGS.


But before Sunday’s celebration, I want to report back on some of the amazing new products I spotted at our own spring festival, the Philly Farm & Food Fest! Read on to see some of my favorite locally produced items from last week’s event – and be sure to give them a try if you see them at the Farmstand this season.


20140415_111507Our friends at Blue Moon Acres, growers of immaculate, organic microgreens and salad mixes, made me and other local food nerds gasp with the debut of a new product they’d been sitting on since last fall: ORGANIC ARBORIO RICE grown in their Pennington, NJ fields. For now it’s only available at their farm store there, but it should be available for wholesale to outlets like the Fair Food Farmstand after the Fall 2014 harvest. I’m going to use this batch in a ramp risotto.


20140415_111658Happy Cat Farm is in the tea game, too – I first tried their fragrant, healing HOLY BASIL tea blend when our Programs Coordinator, Annemarie, brought some to the office. I couldn’t leave Fest without a tin of my own, and I hope to get it on the Farmstand’s shelves this season.


20140415_112005Healcrest Urban Farm came all the way from Pittsburgh with their teas, tisanes, and frozen tea pops to be at Fest, and I’m so glad they did! Not only because I believe that when it comes to farm food and small, artisan products, Pennsylvania’s east and west coasts should work together more – but also because Healcrest grows its own culinary and medicinal herbs on a 1.5 acre urban farm. This COCONUT GREEN CHAI is one of the few blends that includes actual tea and makes for an excellent afternoon sip.


20140415_112230John and Sukey Jamison of Jamison Farm supply some of the country’s top chefs and hobnob with culinary legends – but the thing Sukey made sure I didn’t leave their table without was a pack of their new LAMB HOT DOGS. Made with pastured, grass-finished lamb, they’re a new twist on a summertime standby.


20140415_111733Farmer Donna Howard of Spotted Hill Farm makes something a little different with the milk from her herd of goats: A wide array of SOAPS in dozens of scents that include organic herbs and oils. I love the fresh scent and astringent qualities of tea tree oil, so I picked Tea Tree & Seaweed to try out. If you see me around and I smell extra-good, that’s probably why.


20140415_111555Small Valley Milling grows and mills organic grains near Williamsport, PA and supplies some other local mills, like Daisy Flour and Castle Valley Mill. This PURPLE CORNMEAL – from a GMO-free hybrid variety called Suntava – is packed with free-radical-fighting anthocyanins, even more than blueberries when compared cup for cup.


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