(photo from Tinyfarmblog, thanks!)
I’m pleased to begin this blog with the first farmers’ market of the year in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I’m the person picking through shriveled apples in late November, trying to eke out my supply of fresh local vegetables for another week. One of the things I loved about living in Boston was the sheer number of farmers’ markets. It was City Hall on Monday and Wednesday; Copley Square on Tuesday and Friday, Thursday was Brookline, and Saturday was the farmers’ market in my very own JP. Sunday was the day to cook up all my lovely vegetables before I ventured out again to buy more. Now that I live on the North Shore I go to the farmers’ market on Saturday, but the quality of the Marblehead Farmers’ Market makes up for the fact that it only happens once a week.
The first farmer’s market of the season is always about greens. Back in the days I lived in North Carolina (sigh…the Carrboro Farmers Market was better than any Yankee market I have seen thus far….) greens season began in March. There would be collards, kale, mustard greens, arugula, red-leaf lettuce, beet greens, turnip greens, and watercress. The good folks of Marblehead have their greens in mid-June. I saw three kinds of lettuce, along with some spinach, and garlic snips, which are sprouts from the garlic bulb. They have a mild garlic flavor and taste very good sautéed in olive oil and served over fish (or anything else). I bought a cup of fair trade coffee to console myself for the lack of mustard greens. Our favorite Vermont cheese lady was there and we cheerfully stocked up on Cambridge cheese and the best lamb, rosemary, red wine, and feta sausages I have ever eaten.
Marblehead Farmers’ Market is open June 14 through October 25, 9–12. It is located at 217 Pleasant Street in Marblehead (take a dramatic 165-degree turn onto Vine Street just past the middle school to enter the middle school parking lot). Or just park in the shade across from the school on Pleasant Street.