Quincy Farmers Market

This past Friday, I finally made it to Quincy Farmers Market. Even though I live in Quincy, I’m usually working in Boston. So the only farmers markets that I can get to in time tend to be in Boston.

I’ve been between projects for a couple of weeks, so I’ve had some free time to spend out and about closer to home. A few years ago I went to Quincy Farmers Market, when it was at a different location.  I was not impressed. If I remember correctly, it was in a parking lot in Quincy Center. There wasn’t much there and I encountered some less than friendly people.

Now the farmers market is in a much better location. It’s in a wide open green space at Pageant Field on Merrymount Parkway. There is a wonderful selection of fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, baked goods, some prepared foods, skin care items and more.

The one thing that I don’t remember seeing and hoping for was fresh flowers, but maybe they have them at other times. There were lots of pumpkins though if you’re looking!

Everyone was friendly and eager to tell me about their products. It was a very welcoming atmosphere and  stayed longer than I had planned. The farmers market goes on through November 16th, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to go at least once more. The hours are limited though, Fridays from 11:30am – 5pm.

While I was there, I bought some sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, pears and maple syrup. Maple syrup is one of my favorite things. I use it on my oatmeal and in my morning coffee.

The syrup that I bought is from Ackermann Maple Farm in Vermont. There were so many lovely flavors and I enjoyed a sweet taste testing!

The pears that I bought are Asian pears from Sky Meadow Orchards, in Scituate. A taste test revealed a very crisp and juicy fruit that I enjoyed immensely — almost more like an apple.

Even though summer is over, many summer farmers markets continue through late October mid-November.

Winter Markets will be open soon and we still have the year-round Boston Public Market. So there are still plenty of opportunities to continue getting fresh produce as the New England chill turns to frost, ice and snow.

Hey Boston! Time To Shop Farmers Markets!

Green bush with small white flowers, like flowers you can buy fresh at farmers markets.

Hope you’re enjoying the start to the Memorial Day weekend! Since this is the unofficial start to summer, it’s time to start thinking about summery things.

For those of us in New England, we don’t have year-round outdoor markets like those of you in different parts of the country. For us, it’s a real treat when we can start shopping outdoors for fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and other locally grown and made items.

Some area farmers markets have already opened. Copley Square’s Farmers Market, which is closest to where I’m working now, opened on May 12th and will be open until November 21st.

Take a look at the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets website to find a farmers market near you and for the opening date. It doesn’t seem to be fully updated yet, but keep checking back.

It’s Massachusetts Farmers Market Week!

Picture of the farm and picture of sunflowers in container.

It’s time to support our local farmers. Governor Charlie Baker proclaimed that this coming week, August 7 -13 is Farmers Market Week.

If you’re not here in the Bay State, it’s a national effort too! According to the USDA, there are over 8500 farmers markets across the country.

Stacked Zucchinis on the left and persimmons on the right.

Here in Massachusetts, according to the press release, we have “approximately 248 summer and fall farmers’ markets and 40 winter farmers’ markets ….” There is an interactive map listing all the farmers market in the state, so you can find one near you.

Going to work I take the Red Line to South Station, so I pass the Dewey Square Farmers Market every Tuesday and Thursday. It couldn’t be any easier, so I have been buying fresh produce and flowers there on a regular basis. Also, on occasion, I stop by Hanson Farm in Bridgewater.

Maybe this week, I’ll buy something a bit different. What about you?



Now That It’s Spring


Warmer weather is here and after a full week of clouds, cold and rain, I am ready to enjoy the sunny warm outdoors. Yay spring!

Did you know that this past Saturday, May 7th was World Labyrinth Day? People all over the globe “Walked as One at 1” in order to generate a wave of peaceful energy.

I didn’t get to do any labyrinth walking, but it got me thinking that spring is the perfect time to renew my Life List efforts, see #82, and walk some new labyrinths.

In case you’re interested as well, The Labyrinth Society‘s labyrinth locator helps you find a labyrinth in your area. It’s fun, relaxing and a walking meditation.

spring brings farmers market produce
Also, I am so excited that with the arrival of spring, the open markets are all finally coming back! SoWa Open Market opened May 1st.

SoWa Open Market in spring

Take a look on the Massachusetts Farmers Market website for a listing of markets and when they are open for the season.

Copley Square Farmers Market opens tomorrow and Dewey Square Farmers Market opens next week on Thursday, May 19th. Dewey Square is easiest for me to get to, since it’s right outside South Station. I cannot wait for such easy access to just picked fruits and vegetables again!

Apples 2 Apples: Spencer + Mutsu

applesNot only do I love the board game, but over the past few years, I’ve found my love for apples increasing.

Back in 2009, I blogged an apple taste test, Macoun v. Braebern. They were both good, but I chose the Braebern and it was my apple of choice for several years, even though I ate, cooked and baked with other apples too.

A couple of years later, I attended TECHmunch in Boston and heard Amy Traverso speaking as part of a panel discussion. This may have been the first time that I learned about her book,The Apple Lover’s Cookbook. I planned to get it right away, but didn’t and now find myself thinking that this book is becoming a necessity.

There are so many different types of apples and this is supposed to be a very good season here in New England. I want to learn more about apples and of course eat them too. Chronicle, a local lifestyle television program, recently had a wonderful show all about apples.

They mentioned some urban orchards that allow apple picking and talked about the Roxbury Russett, which originated in the Roxbury section of Boston, where I was born. My parents, who grew up in Roxbury, talk about how when they were young, they could just randomly pick apples and other fruits on trees that were around the city.

When my brother and I were little, my parents would take us apple picking in the fall. By then we had moved out of the city to the suburbs. My father loved taking us on long drives and we’d go all over New England. We’d get fresh apple cider and my mom would make apple sauce, apple pie and buckwheat pancakes with apples. Just the memory of the scent of apples cooking, usually with cinnamon, makes me smile.

When I was at the farmers market at Dewey Square last week, I saw so many new to me varieties of apples. I decided to try the Spencer and Mutsu. Below are descriptions of both from the New England Apple Association’s blog.

Ripening in mid- to late September, Spencer is a conical apple, nearly solid red-pink in color, with green highlights. Its flesh is crisp, juicy, and more sweet than tart, though less sweet than its Golden Delicious parent (Spencer’s other parent — surprise! — is McIntosh). Spencer is an all-purpose apple, especially good in pies and sauce. It does not have a lengthy storage life.

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They make outstanding sauce and cider. Also known as Crispin, Mutsus have a sweet, light flavor when cooked, and hold their shape well. An excellent dessert apple, they are also especially good in salads.

Mutsus are a late-season apple ranging in color from greenish to yellow, with an orange blush. Their firm, juicy flesh is creamy white to pale yellow. They can grow quite large (a pie made with Mutsus may require as few as three apples).

Mutsu has its origins in Japan, from a Golden Delicious crossed with an Indo, a Japanese seedling, in 1930. It was introduced in the United States in 1948.

I ate these apples raw and loved them both. There was no side-by-side comparison, so I can’t describe them that way, but they were sweet enough for me and super juicy.

The plan is to make Apples 2 Apples a continuing series of posts about apples, so we’ll see how it plays out. Plus, there may be a surprise announcement to come!