It was unfortunate that I neglected to check my wallet before heading five blocks north to the Piazza Farmers Market this morning. I discovered this fresh foods feast on the Philly Food Feed blog that I visited a week earlier, annoyed that I had to wait another 6 days before I got to experience this appealing neighborhood addition. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and large selection of foods that met my eyes – honey-wheat and Gorgonzola fig breads; free-range, grass-fed meats; blueberry and raspberry jams; fair-trade coffees; and an abundance of colorful produce that included rainbow carrots and purple cauliflower (what would I do with those??).
Upon my first purchase at Highland Orchard Farms in Wilmington, Delaware, I realized I had to do more looking than buying – I had about $23 in cash and was short on time with early afternoon plans to head up to northern Jersey for my nephew’s birthday party. I picked up some of my weekly essentials: apples, parsnips, romaine lettuce, butternut squash, and hydroponic organic tomatoes (for a quick view into hydroponics, check out this link). While I was craving some fair-trade coffee to help shake the Saturday morning sleep haze (I rolled out of bed well after 10 am this morning), I wanted to make sure all of my “reliables” were in place. That included some more leafy greens for my lunch salads and leeks at Livengood Family Farms. Leeks have quickly become one of my favorite vegetables. I roast them with root vegetables, add as a base for soups, and sauté with diced onions and olive oil before adding my protein. Well worth the time it takes to properly clean them, leeks are a good source of vitamin C, iron, and folate, and may help to reduce cholesterol levels and protect against cancer.
As I left the Farmers Market, I vowed that next time, short on cash or not, I would pick up some purple cauliflower and rainbow carrots that I suspicious eyed. After all, this is an experiment on cooking with all types of foods and developing a taste for local and seasonal fare. But I have a feeling that my next visit will be preceded by a visit to the neighborhood ATM.