Massachusetts in June is not exactly the best place to go looking for a harvest, so a trip to the farmers' market this early always runs the risk of being something of a disappointment if you don't have seasonally appropriate expectations.
Last week I tried out the Farmers' Market in Davis Square in Somerville for the first time, with a shopping list full of vegetables for wishful thinking, but keeping in mind what I was actually likely to find: plants. Luckily, there was a plant on my list. I love tomatoes, but they go bad very quickly, and if you try to refrigerate them they become tasteless and mushy, kind of a like a Mitch Albom novel, so being able to get them right from the source is imperative.
I got a Big Beef tomato plant from Enterprise Farm in South Deerfield, MA. It's currently still inside on the window sill, but with temperatures in the 80's like they have been this week, I should transplant it soon.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that this market had taken seasonal monotony into consideration when selecting vendors, such as Valicenti Organico can be trusted to have their artisan pastas and homemade "red gravy" year round, and The Danish Pastry House, who provide snacks for your stroll around the rest of the market no matter what the whims of the weather happen to be.
A provider of animal products is one of the most important things I look for in a farmers' market. At the grocery store, whether it's organic and where it was grown are relatively easy facts to track down about your fruits and vegetables, meat production is a much more nuanced and controversial issue. I like to be able to talk to the farmer face to face and figure out what really went on with these animals, and how and where the meat was processed. Copicut Farms in North Dartmouth, MA offers pasture-fed poultry and eggs.
What's your favorite farmers' market? Any in the Boston area that I'm missing? Let me know in the comments section!