}

August 11, 2008

Trip to the Organic Farmers Market- Amherst, MA


The Organic Farmers Market on the common at Amherst, Massachusetts was a surprise find for us, this past Saturday. It may become a weekly summer event ( and an autumn one, too) since we rarely get out of the house now, and Amherst is located on a very pleasing one hour drive, west of here. Ameherst, a lovely tiny college town in the foot hills of the Berkshires ( or, more accurately, in Pioneer Valley) is famous for Amherst College, a small, private Ivy covered college which takes up much of the small town, and which makes the town more like Cambridge and Harvard in feeling and atmosphere. I know that this will become a favorite destination, for not only does the town offer other day-drive treats such as some of our favorite tyles of small restaurants like Indian, noodle shops and used book stores, it also is my alma mater, so I love visiting and renewing memories of my college years.

Heirloom Farms' stand at the Amherst Farmers Market

Heirloom Farms' amazing yellow Lisianthus. It is so refreshing to see growers who actually appreciate the more unusual cut flowers or who have an eye for newer introductions. This grower raises their own plants from seed, and they also sell organic free range eggs.

People arriving at the Amherst Farmers Market which runs on Saturdays, until 1:30 PM on the common. Event though we grow many of our own veggies, it's still nice to find options ( such as white baby turnips and Okra, this week).

A street in Amherst, Massachusetts, a quintessential college town, with Amherst, College sharing the main center of town.

Yellow Watermelon, which was locally grown, has always been a treat for me ever since I was a lad exhibiting at the local Horticultural Society Summer Shows. An elderly couple used to exhibit and win in most every class, during the summers, from sweet peas to beets. Their exhibits of summer-grown watermelons in pink, red, coral and yellows- all sliced in half for display on white porcelain plates, always captured my attention. I would stand in front of the display and imagine what the yellow crispy melon would taste like, I had seen nothing like them, ever. Now, I can buy them occasionally at the summer markets - what a treat.

Edamame for sale ( or Soybeans- if you are Republican)


The more typical summer flower-fare, available at farmers markets - still, very nice and very August.

I love the summer squash variety called 'Zephyr', it's the one with the blossom-end tips which look as if they were dipped in green tea.

Early harvest of Ginger Crisp Apples. I had to get some of these.


OF course, the omnipresent Heirloom Tomatoes.


So what to make for dinner? With the purchase of some organic grass-fed ground beef, some Vermont Chedder, Goat Cheese, Sweet Corn, Baby White Turnips, and a fresh Ciabatta bread - I just opted on the carb-overload, since it was the weekend, and I could not decide which item should be refrigerated! Here, a simple wood-grilled burger with chedder cheese, a cup of buttered baby white turnips , some sweet corn with French Sea Salt, goat cheese and butter, and a few Russian Fingerlings, all waxy and roased in virgin olive oil, an heirloom red garlic, and served with some fresh, chopped mint from the garden.

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