Tag Archives | Farmer’s Market

Turnip tip

Turniptip

One of my turnips from this weekend’s farmer’s market has an especially nice hourglass figure. I wonder what biological factors caused the variation in the shape of this usually spherical root vegetable. I love turnips. They’re members of the Brassicaceae family (along with kale, cabbage, radishes, etc…). I usually eat them thinly sliced in a fresh salad. To store them, I remove the greens, which will draw water out of the root if left attached. Then I float the turnips in a bath of water in a container kept in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh and crunchy for more than a week this way, though they never last that long in my house because I eat them so quickly. The greens needn’t be tossed out—they’re edible, and quite tasty. They can be used raw in salads and stir-fried as a stand alone dish or with other ingredients. They can also be added to soups or used to make a broth. I get such a kick out of growing, shopping for, and eating plants that can be consumed in their entirety. Roots, stocks, leaves, flowers, fruit, and all. No pealing or shucking required.

During a class discussion on recycling in my Master Composter Training course, I learned that food storage plastic wrap (Saran wrap, Clingwrap) is not a recyclable plastic film. Plastic film receptacles are located at major grocery stores and pharmacies across the state of Rhode Island to collect stretch plastic poducts like plastic bags, which shouldn’t go into your bin with your other recyclable items. I thought that plastic wrap fell into this category and would sometimes deposit rinsed pieces that had been used at catered events at my office. Learning that the material cannot be processed to become resource material (plastic lumber for decking or park furniture for instance) secured plastic wrap a place at the top of my list of household trash “offenders”. In preparation for a No Trash Talk I gave recently, I spent a lot of time thinking about ways to present basic tips to people who are interested in reducing their waste output but don’t know where to begin. At the end of the talk I encouraged audience members to start in the kitchen, and I tried to impress upon listeners that one habit we should all try to break is purchasing and using plastic wrap. I really think it’s a completely unnecessary product and a waste of money. I’m not sure what case can be made to suggest that using plastic wrap is easier than using a container to store leftovers. Besides, who wants to futz with that stuff anyway? It’s always clinging to itself and it never stays put. Food storage can be effective, efficient, and convenient without disposables!

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The Local Catch

yellowtailflounder

I rode my bike over to the Wintertime Farmer’s Market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket this afternoon to pick up some fish for dinner tonight. Rich and Ann from The Local Catch take a stainless steel container from me each week and fill it with something fresh caught. I never know exactly what I’m going to get. But they know a bit about my preferences and I’ve never been dissatisfied with an order. They always give me something low on the food chain and it’s always really fresh and delicious. This week it’s yellowtail flounder, which I love. It’s sweet and mild. I’m going to prepare it with some long grain wild rice, celeriac mash, and greens.

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Snacks

kalechips

I’ve been getting some delicious organic Kale from the Wintertime Farmer’s Market lately. I like to eat it raw, in stir fries, or as a delicious snack in chip form. Kale chips are really easy to make at home. And you don’t need to own a dehydrator. Just rinse and dry the kale leaves, remove the center stems (which hold a lot of water) and cut them into bite-size pieces. Lightly coat them in cooking oil and bake them in a shallow pan or on a cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes or until the leaves are dry and crispy but not brown. Shake or turn them in the pan periodically so they crisp evenly. I usually sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on mine. I like to use the discarded stems to make vegetable broth.

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Glove love

gloves

The index finger on the left hand of my beloved SmartWool gloves gave out this winter. It started to unravel at the beginning of the season and I tried to tie it off but it didn’t hold and now I’m exposed to halfway down my proximal phalanx. It’s been fine when I’m on foot and can pocket my hands, but on really cold days while I’m riding my bike, it can get pretty uncomfortable. I’ve been trying to buddy up in the middle finger, but it’s a tight fit. So it was time for new pair. I searched around for some used gloves in local thrift and consignment stores but couldn’t find any that had much life left in them. So I picked up the above beauties from the Moonlight Rose Alpacas stand at the Wintertime Farmer’s Market. Moonlight Rose breeds and raises alpacas in Swansea, Massachusetts less than 20 miles from Providence. I’ve long admired their hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, and socks on display at the markets. The grey, brown, beige, and white colors are the natural alpaca fiber colors. No dyes are used. Unfortunately the gloves did come with a plastic tagging barb (not recyclable) that holds the company’s paper tag to their products. I find it’s really hard to avoid these little guys when shopping for clothing, even when you are buying used garments. They are so soft and warm and I’m really happy with my purchase. It feels good to buy a locally sourced and produced pair. Hopefully with proper care they will last a long time!

Meanwhile I have to decide what to do with my old pair. I considered the possibility of composting them but they contain 1% elastane and 4% nylon (the other 95% of the yarn is merino wool). I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to cut the rest of the fingers off and sew the ends well enough to prevent unraveling and make them fingerless gloves for warmer weather or for working in the cold studio or archive. I’m determined to stretch their life out, repurpose, or recycle them somehow.

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Hake

Picked up some hake in my stainless steel container from The Local Catch today at the Farmer’s Market.

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Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season for family gatherings. I visited with my grandparents yesterday for Thanksgiving. After work on Wednesday, I swung by the Wintertime Farmer’s Market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket and picked up some ingredients to make a couple dishes to share with extended family and friends. I bought a butternut squash, an onion, bulk cranberries (displayed in a large reed basket), russet potatoes, and apples. With the orchard bought sugar pumpkin I had on my counter at home, I made organic vegan potato, butternut squash, and pumpkin mash—seasoned with ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I also made cranberry sauce with my fresh berries, co-op bulk honey, lemon, and ginger. I poured the food into stainless steel and glass containers and refrigerated them until Thursday morning. My grandmother reheated the mash before dinner and the cranberry sauce was served chilled. The container above sits on the maple dining table my grandfather built for my grandmother. Dinner was delicious, and the conversations even better.

Back home with a friend tonight, I made soup from the leftover mash, sautéed onion and garlic, homemade vegetable broth, cayenne, cracked pepper, and olive oil.

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Romanesco

Romanesco broccoli from the farmer’s market. It has kept well in a shallow bowl of water (stem side down) in the refrigerator for the past four days. I never tire of admiring the forms of this vegetable.

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Well-stocked

More cruciferous veg from the market. Brussels sprouts still attached to the stock will stay fresher longer than those sold individually. I always put the end of the stock in a cup of water and refrigerate it, snapping the sprouts off over the next several days as needed. This one is pretty tall so I will halve it to fit.

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Cauliflower

A beautiful treat from the Saturday Wintertime Farmer’s Market at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. I found a recipe online for whole roasted tandoori cauliflower that I can’t wait to try! I will post my results…

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Lippitt Park Wednesday Market

garlicgrass

Rode to the Lippitt Park farmer’s market today to restock on garlic. Grabbed up some delicious grape and lemon tomatoes too. It was overcast all day, but the sun peaked through the clouds as it was setting and turned everything rosy.

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A healthy addiction

Mustard greens from Arcadia Farms.

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Strawberry rhubarb salad

I’d like to share this sweet and tart salad I’ve been making with ingredients from the farmer’s market. Back in May I started buying rhubarb and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I’ve been experimenting with different recipes and this one is my favorite so far. It’s so simple and easy to make. The recipe below is loose. The measurements will depend on the size and number of salads. I just wing it.

Ingredients:

spinach, rhubarb, strawberries (optional), red wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, and water

Tear and rinse spinach and place it on a plate.

Cut the rhubarb on a diagonal to get two-inch pieces. 

Place the pieces in a skillet and add enough water to float them. Bring to a boil and stir in about a tablespoon of honey. Simmer them until soft (they cook quickly, maybe 3-5 minutes).

Remove the rhubarb from the liquid with a slotted spoon or spatula and place over the bed of spinach, but leave one or two pieces of rhubarb in the skillet to make the dressing.

Add about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar to the skillet and simmer the liquid until it thickens to a syrupy consistency. Let cool and then stir in olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Add sliced strawberries if desired.

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Sugar snap peas

From City Farm.

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Pow!

Chioggia beets from Arcadia Farms!

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Rasberries

From City Farm! Well, at least what’s left of them…

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Garlic scapes

From Schartner.

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Summer solstice

Today was a great day. I hit up the farmer’s market, stopped into the new olive oil and vinegar shop on Hope Street and bought some amazing aged bulk balsamic vinegar (more on this soon!) and then headed for the coast to watch the sun set on the longest day of the year (and for some relief from the heat). It was particularly beautiful tonight. I managed to get a swim in too. Happy summer solstice!

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Jewel tones

Red, purple, and yellow cherry and grape tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

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Precious things

Today was the first Wednesday Lippitt Park Farmer’s Market of the season. Venders showed up even in the rainy weather. I bought these red beauties from Dave at Schartner Farms and they are the best strawberries I have ever tasted! I no longer buy strawberries year-round because they are always packed in PET plastic clamshell containers. So I look forward to and appreciate the short growing seasons of certain produce more than ever.

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Cod

From The Local Catch.

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Pea greens

From the City Farm stand at the farmer’s market.

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Fingerling potatoes

From Wishing Stone Farm. These are so delicious and they have an incredible texture. I’ve eaten them stir fried, stewed, and baked this week and I will definitely be looking for them again at tomorrow’s market.

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Lettuce

From Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton, RI.

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Arugula flowers

Delicious and beautiful arugula flowers from New Urban Farmers. I never knew that so many greens could be eaten in their flowering stage. I always assumed that once plants like arugula and kale shot out blooms, they were past their peak. These are great in a salad or as a garnish. Spicy, peppery, and delicious!

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Baby beets

I’ve been enjoying these Schartner baby beets raw and thinly sliced in salad.

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Bounty

Beautiful rhubarb from the Schartner Farms! I love relying so heavily on the farmer’s market for groceries because it means buying local, seasonal foods. My ingredients shift based on what’s available at the moment and I’ve been inspired to try a wider range of food than I used to when I did most of my shopping at the grocery store. My meals are made with fresher, more flavorful foods because they aren’t being trucked in from far off places.

Aside from strawberry rhubarb pie, I am not very familiar with this stalky vegetable. I think I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of having to cut the tart taste with fat and/or sugar. But I did some browsing through recipes and tips online and I am looking forward to experimenting with this batch. I saw some rhubarb and spinach salads on several sites that look pretty good. I will post what I come up with.

Look at these perfect baby radishes from New Urban Farmers in Pawtucket. Whether you live near by or not, I strongly recommend checking out their site. The farmers are doing amazing things in their Garden of Life. They even have three geodesic dome greenhouses, and the largest is equipped with two aquaponic systems.

This salad mix is also from New Urban Farmers. Are you seeing the color theme of this week’s market bounty? The purple leaves are amaranth! I never knew that little grain produced such a beautiful and delicious leaf. I think it tastes a little bit like chard. I read that you can even sautée the leaves when they mature. I wonder if I could get the amaranth I buy in bulk to germinate? I’d love to grow some this summer.

Asparagus from Schartner Farms.

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Hey old friend

Spicy salad greens from Wishing Stone Farm. I’ve missed these over the winter!

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Kale flowers

From Dave at Schartner Farms. I love these colors.

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Grateful

Free peppers from my favorite farmer’s market vender. These came with a warning not to touch my eyes after handling them.

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Edible flowers

These came from the farmer’s market. I was told that the flowers and stalks are edible, but I wasn’t given the name of the plant. I believe they’re in the brassicaceae family… anyone know what they’re called?

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From the market

Sunflower sprouts!

Flounder from The Local Catch.

I love, love, love arugula.

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From the farmer’s market

 

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Market goods

At the farmer’s market yesterday I picked up some chard from Dave of Schartner Farms. It was a little wilted by the time I got it home but the leaves perked up in some water in the fridge.

I also picked up my stainless steel container from guys at The Local Catch. This week they filled it with fresh scallops from Block Island. I’m so grateful that they have agreed to tote my container to and from the market every week.

I couldn’t resist picking up some herbs from another stand I passed. Lemon balm and mint. The woman helping me said that they would gladly take back the plastic containers to be reused if I return them after repotting.

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Market day

Garlic and potatoes from Schartner Farms. Onions from Wishing Stone Farm.

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Greens

From today’s market. Stored in cups of water in the fridge, these leafy good foods will stay fresh for several days.

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