The Market Report: November 10, 2012

November 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

Amherst, MA, USA

Last weekend was the type of weather than farmers and football fans alike dream of. And it so happened that I was up at Amherst College for those two reasons: a farmers’ market and a football game, in that order.

It was Homecoming at Amherst College, a place where family ties run deep. My little brother and sister are current undergraduates, and my other brother, mother and grandfather are alumni. We wear a lot of purple.

While the College isn’t known for football (although the team logged a win over Williams), it is known for its farms. My brother is even starting one on campus! So the local Saturday morning farmers’ market is packed with local produce, as well as grass-based meats and dairy.

“Feast your eyes” never held more meaning than in the packed produce stalls of Amherst’s farmers, even in fall. I’ve never found more varieties of turnips, carrots and radishes in one place, and with such color!

Early start at the Amherst Farmers’ Market

The market sits in the center of the town green, equidistant from Main Street and the College’s campus.

Fresh ginger, grown organically in greenhouses to survive the harshest Northeastern winters. Its skin is so delicate, I didn’t even need to peel it when I made green curry!
Old Friends Farm in Amherst, MA

Another surprise from Old Friends Farm: fresh turmeric, also grown organically.

A panoply of colors among the carrots from Simple Gifts Farm, an organic operation where a pair of oxen sometimes help!
Simple Gifts Farm in North Amherst, MA

A single variety of radish produces this colorful array — another bright surprise from Simple Gifts Farm.

A side of popcorn few people see anymore — on the cob!
Astarte Farm in Hadley, MA

Flying Amherst colors: these turnips capture the Lord Jeffs’ hue as if by design.
Atlas Farm in Deerfield, MA

Curious about the funny name for this radish? Cut into it and you’ll understand — their inside is a shocking shade of pink! Another organically-grown heirloom variety from Atlas Farm

Inspiration in the kitchen:

Thai Chicken & Coconut Soup: Fresh ginger is the secret ingredient in this flavorful soup, a simple recipe that takes no more than 5 minutes to make. And from Williams Sonoma of all places!

Spicy Carrot Salad: Show off different varieties of carrots with this elegant yet easy preparation — especially if you like cayenne pepper!

Pickled Radishes: Let radishes become the exotic pickle on your next gourmet burger or even just a garnish on a garden salad. This recipe adds vim and vi(ne)gor to the humble root.

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