Saturday, April 30, 2011

Clark Park Farmer's Market at 43rd & Baltimore, Philadelphia

One of the best things about where we live is our close proximity to the Clark Park Farmer's Market. Five short blocks away (through a very sweet neighborhood, I might add) is the perfect place to score some local produce, dairy, and yes, Amish baked goods. Vendors accept vouchers from local food assistance programs, and some, like Landisdale Farms from Jonestown PA, travel over 100 miles to be here each week.

Detail of a photo (C) Conrad Erb

This market is year-round, but I have to admit that in this particularly harsh and snowy Philadelphia winter, we haven't made it down since the fall. It takes place on Saturdays throughout the year, and also on Thursday afternoons from May through November. There is also a funky flea market that takes place inside the park itself (the farmer's market is on the edge) on certain Saturdays, but it wasn't in action today.

On this visit, I was hoping to score some local goat cheese for whole-grain pasta shells with goat cheese and walnuts that I will be making this week, but I didn't get lucky with that one. Still, there was plenty of local, organic, "raw" dairy present, among many other treasures. One guy was even selling beautiful hand-thrown ceramics.

I can't be sure, but I get the sense that though it's a year-round market, the true summer produce boom has not yet begun. Greens, asparagus, onions and spring garlic are plentiful though, and I got in on a little bit of the action.

Two yellow onions, one red onion, a fab-looking bean soup mix, hot salsa from Landisdale Farms, and some dried chilies.
There is no doubt that we'll become more frequent customers as the season goes on. I can't wait to get my hands on some fresh summer tomatoes!

Quote of the Day: "It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician." ~ Meryl Streep

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