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Oakmont/Havertown Farmers Market


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Next Wednesday will mark the grand opening of the new Oakmont Farmers' Market, located in the center of Havertown, PA. The market will run every Wednesday, 3:00 - 7:00 PM, from May 23 through November 21.

The producer-only market, in its first year, will feature ten vendors offering a wide variety of conventional and organic produce, pastured/grass-fed meats, cheeses, poultry, breads, honey and flowers.

Location specifics:

Oakmont Municipal Parking Lot

2419 West Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083

Just northwest of the intersection of Darby & Eagle Roads

Opening Ceremony: 3:00 PM, Wednesday May 23rd

The market website -- www.OakmontFarmersMarket.org (still under construction) -- will include a blog, FAQs, farm/vendor information and links to local businesses.

My hope is that this thread will function much like a miniature version of the Reading Terminal Market discussion. Reviews, finds, photos, announcements about weekly offerings and updates about special events are all encouraged.

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Confirmed producers for the inaugural year at the market include:

<ul><li>North Star Orchard: Multiple varieties of apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, fruit butters and ciders.

<li>Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm: Local honeys and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

<li>Willing Hands Organic Farm: Organic produce.

<li>Blueberry Hill Farm: Produce.

<li>Pumpkin Ridge Creations: Cut flowers.

<li>Hillacres Pride: Cows’ milk cheeses, beef, pork, lamb and poultry.

<li>Great Harvest Bread Company

<li>Backyard Bison: Burgers, steaks, ribs, roasts and cured meats from locally pastured American Plains Buffalo.</ul>

A few more farmers or "time shares" are in the midst of confirming and occasional, seasonal visitors will be added throughout the year.

Additional information regarding the mission and scope of the market, as well as links to some of the producers websites, can be found here: Oakmont Farmers Market Update.

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Opening day at the market drew a good crowd, with politicos and local press on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, curious passersby and eager shoppers all checking out the scene. Being that it's very early in the growing season, some of the producers had rather limited offerings. Nonetheless, there was plenty of good stuff to get the ball rolling.

Today's finds included:

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- Mustard greens, arugula and radishes from Willing Hands Farm.

- Asparagus and sugar snap peas from Blueberry Hill Farm

- Early Strawberries from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm

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- Raw alfalfa honey from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm

- Asian pear butter from North Star Orchard

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- Bison flank steak and ground buffalo from Backyard Bison

I reluctantly held off on the lovely rhubarb at Blueberry Hill and on the bison tongue from Ron at Backyard Bison. Maybe next week....

Edited by David McDuff (log)
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Week Two at the Market

Sorry folks, no pictures this week. But I did score some great looking produce. Many of the items I selected this time 'round were repeats from week one. Some things were so good I just had to have them again:

- Mustard greens, mixed greens and radishes from Willing Hands Farm

- Asparagus and sugar snap peas from Blueberry Hill Farm

The sugar snaps were so sweet and tender last week that I just ate them raw. Cooking them wouldn't have made sense. This week's batch, after another week in the sun, is still holding onto the sweetness but has also built up a more mature, vegetal flavor and firmer texture.

Just to play the field a bit, I tried the strawberries from Blueberry Hill this week. Dark red, sweet and juicy, they're displaying peak season flavors. If I can make them last another day or two I may just roast some of them along with the rhubarb from Blueberry's stand.

Some new items I picked up this week included:

- Cabbage and broccoli -- some of the prettiest broccoli I've ever seen -- from North Star Orchard

- A whole chicken from the newest producers at the market, Stephen and Axel Linde of Lindenhof Farm in Kirkwood, PA

Now I just have to figure out when to enjoy it all.

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dave- is the chicken fresh or frozen?

It's frozen, though the birds had been "processed" just two days before market so they're still quite fresh in that sense. I asked about never-frozen poultry and was told that the market officials had asked them to keep things simple and to keep things frozen to please the local health board. I may ask them at next week's market if they'd be able/willing to do fresh birds by special order.

Same thing goes for the bison producer. I'll be asking him the same question in the next week or two.

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A few of the goodies I picked up at this week's market:

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Beets (red, white and white-stripe) and purple kohlrabi from North Star Orchards

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Jersey strawberries from Fruitwood Orchard Honey Farm

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Red leaf lettuce from Blueberry Hill Farm and fresh, pasture raised eggs from Lindenhof Farm

These are some of my first shots with a new digital camera which I'm very much still figuring out, so my apologies for the crude quality....

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  • 2 weeks later...

The market is really beginning to kick into gear now, both in terms of increased patronage and in the context of a richer diversity of seasonal produce. Asparagus has come and gone, strawberries are on the wane, but more and more vegetables and now small berry fruits have arrived each week. And yesterday was the first time I've seen sizeable lines of people queued up to make their selections from the produce farmers.

I've been really grooving on the variety of beets (red, golden, white, white stripe) from North Star Orchards, the mustard greens and pink beauty radishes from Willing Hands, the ground buffalo from Backyard Bison and the farm-fresh eggs from Lindenhof Farms. They've all become weekly staples. The newest discoveries this week included:

Early season carrots and radish pods from North Star Orchards

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The carrots have yet to build a high level of sugar or structural density so they're light, tender and have a nice, bright green hint to their flavor profile. I'd never seen radish pods before. As the name suggests, they taste an awful lot like radishes, sort of crossed with the herbaceousness of a string bean. They worked well served raw in a mixed salad last night.

Cherries from Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm

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I'm not sure of the exact variety here, as the producer labeled them simply as "sweet cherries." They're small, still clustered together as they were picked from the trees and have a nice sugar/acid balance -- not too sweet nor too tangy.

The market website has been up and running for a while now and, though it's still not "finished," it does provide a list of weekly availability and has links to our producers and to the market blog.

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I've been really grooving on the variety of beets (red, golden, white, white stripe) from North Star Orchards

harumph. where's our beets? all north star brings into town are.... well, the greatest asian pears money can buy.

ok i guess i really shouldn't complain.

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This week I bought blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries, strawberries and green beans from Blueberry Hill, cherries and huge yellow squash from Fruitwood Orchards, and snap peas, broccoli, tomatoes and more cherries from North Star. The raspberries were gone by Wednesday evening, eaten one by one out of the container by my husband and I until they were gone. I'll miss the strawberries, but these were perfectly ripe and lovely. The green beans were roasted last night and eaten with hummus and tomato wraps. Snap peas for tonight, with buffalo burgers from the meat I bought two weeks ago. I bought both kinds of cherries to do a taste test and North Star's are better, although Fruitwood's are perfectly good.

This farmer's market is the best thing to happen to this area in...oh, who knows? Since I've lived here (seven years), definitely.

Cupcake Planet: my (possibly obsessive) cupcake-centric 'blog
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  • 3 weeks later...

Today marked the welcome return of our farmers after market day fell on the 4th of July last week. I was plum out of fruit (pun half-intended) and

just about out of greens as well, so I headed over at 3:00 to make sure to get the pick of the crop. After a two-week hiatus, lots of new goodies have come into season. Aside from corn, I spotted okra, eggplants, cucumbers, several varieties of squash, plums and yellow peaches. Also, Hillacres Pride is now bringing natural, pasture raised beef to market. I picked up a pound of ground to start. Here are a few of the other things I stuffed into my shopping bag:

Fresh onions and the first sweet corn of the season from Blueberry Hill Farm

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Blueberries and red raspberries, also from the appropriately named Blueberry Hill

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Two varieties of peaches, plums, sweet peppers and heirloom tomatoes from North Star Orchards

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Fresh garlic from Willing Hands, grown from seeds provided by Keith Stewart of Keith's Farm at the Union Square Green Market.

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Now it's time to get cooking!

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  • 1 month later...

The peaches and the pearl plums are pretty awesome too.

Can't wait for the first Asian Pears to come in. My annual countdown has begun...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Hey, I've been enjoying the tomatoes. I had one of the heirlooms (that got a bit smashed on the trip home from today's market) this evening, simply sliced and served with a drizzle of Tuscan olive oil and a sprinkle of salt an pepper. Yum.

As for the Asian Pears, I've yet to experience them in their fresh form. Their Asian Pear Butter, though, makes a tasty condiment for savory sandwiches. Try a little on your next ham and cheese, turkey and provolone, etc.

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  • 1 month later...

With the <a href="http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/AutumnalEquinox.html" target="_blank">vernal equinox</a> looming large, I think a seasonal market update is in order.

Greens, both lettuces and crucifers, are back. Fall squash, even pumpkins, are ready. And root vegetables – potatoes, sweet potatoes and red beets – are becoming staples.

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvU_8tQv_HI/AAAAAAAAAS8/ZZ-tNrIbt7o/s1600-h/Heirloom+Tomatoes.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvU_8tQv_HI/AAAAAAAAAS8/ZZ-tNrIbt7o/s200/Heirloom+Tomatoes.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5113063264123616370" /></a>Now certainly reaching the end of their long run this year, I was surprised to find a fairly broad selection of tomatoes still at this week’s market. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised though, after the intensity of flavor in the batch of heirlooms I picked up a week earlier. Regrettably, I didn’t manage to snap a picture of the lovely composed salad they were destined for at <a href="http://mcduffwine.blogspot.com/2007/09/notes-on-wedding.html">my friend’s wedding</a> but I did save a decent shot of a smaller, slightly less diverse batch I picked up back in August.

The fruit selection has been one of the surest meters of seasonality throughout the year. The last couple of weeks have seen the departure of peaches and all but the last plums with the corresponding arrival of a growing variety of apples and pears. And Asian pears are rolling in as well. Regrettably, North Star Orchard’s decadent, vanilla and butterscotch laced Ichibans (which I wrote about <a href="http://www.oakmontfarmersmarket.org/blog/labels/Asian%20Pears.html" target="_blank">on the Oakmont Market blog</a>), came and went in only one week. But their crisp, sweet Hosui are still in full swing.

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp1.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvVA09Qv_II/AAAAAAAAATE/Kq1cYjCSCYg/s1600-h/Thunder+Grapes.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvVA09Qv_II/AAAAAAAAATE/Kq1cYjCSCYg/s200/Thunder+Grapes.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5113064230491257986" /></a><span style="font-weight:bold;">Tasting Thunder:</span>

Speaking of <a href="http://www.northstarorchard.com/" target="_blank">North Star Orchard</a>, co-proprietor Ike Kerschner is apparently beginning to pursue his dream of becoming not just an artisanal orchardist but also a fruit breeder. One of his first ventures in fruit genetics, a grape variety dubbed “Thunder,” appeared at the market for the first time Wednesday just past. It’s a perfect sign of the autumn harvest season. Blue-black berries, thick skinned and bearing seeds, give a blast of robust flavor sparked by peak ripeness, good acidity and just a hint of bitterness. If you’ve been looking for a table grape that actually tastes like something more than diluted Welch’s grape juice, you might want to catch some Thunder.

<span style="font-weight:bold;">Tasting Childhood:</span>

Some of my clearest recollections of childhood revolve around the simple pleasures of food. Distinct among those memories is the taste and smell of fresh pressed apple cider, purchased at roadside farm stands on the trip home, up Route 29 in central Virginia, after late summer visits with my grandmother. That memory resurfaced recently, kindled by the arrival at the Oakmont market of honest, fresh pressed cider from <a href="http://www.fruitwoodorchardshoney.com/" target="_blank">Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm</a>. Available in pint, half-gallon and gallon jugs, it’s the real deal: sweet, rich, cloudy, a little chunky – wholesome goodness.

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvVDOtQv_LI/AAAAAAAAATc/rMyAHKzXsIw/s1600-h/Fruitwood+Cider.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvVDOtQv_LI/AAAAAAAAATc/rMyAHKzXsIw/s320/Fruitwood+Cider.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5113066871896145074" /></a>

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvVCAtQv_JI/AAAAAAAAATM/PE3j4WH3WEM/s1600-h/Fruitwood+Orchards.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_uM3mtUg7NQw/RvVCAtQv_JI/AAAAAAAAATM/PE3j4WH3WEM/s320/Fruitwood+Orchards.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5113065531866348690" /></a><center><font size=1><i>A bit of the autumn harvest from Fruitwood Orchards</i></font></center>

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  • 10 months later...

I wanted to update this thread. I have been going regularly to this market and I love it. Here is the link to the producers: Oakmont Farmer's Market Producers. I get an email every Monday specifying who'll be there that week. This week everyone's coming except Spotted Hill Farms (Soap). Most weeks they are all there. It is useful to go to the website to see where to park.

I have been buying fruits and vegetables, of course, but also chicken, pork and buffalo. I want to particularly recommend the pork from Lindenhof Farms, which is heirloom and free range (of course) and like the pork of many years ago.

On the produce, overall all are great. Here are just a few of my highlights: Blueberry Hill Farm has the long line for a reason. Everything is picked just right and packaged very well. Fruitwood Orchards (from NJ) has had the best peaches. North Star Orchard has had the best and only plums and apples. Wimer Organics sells basil clean and ready to use.

The hours are 2-7 pm until May 27 and 2-6 pm after that until Nov 26.

If you live anywhere near to this market you should definitely check it out!

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