A Tisket, A Tasket, Lets Fill Our Market Basket!!

What a beautiful day to go to the farmers market, but even on cloudy days seeing all the fresh produce in all its splendid glory just makes any day seem brighter! So after walking the dogs and having my morning cup of coffee, off to the market I went.  For the past few weeks I just couldn’t get over early enough to bring my camera along. The market is barely passable after 9, so many people come in from Philadelphia on the high speed line (the market is conveniently placed in the parking lot underneath the high speed line), carrying home their treasures in their reusable bags!  Along with my camera  I carried my very own Collingswood Farmers Market Bag, purchased a few years ago, and today it looked as though it was getting filled to capacity!

The market was brimming with beautiful produce, nicely laid out for everyone’s inspection.  As I usually do I walk once from end to end and back again, to see all that is being offered, today I actually made two walk through’s before I started making my purchases, taking photos along the way.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful farmers market so close by, it runs from the end of April till mid November, and we get to see all the best of our own local farms.  I particularly like going to Formasano Farms from Buena, they are always at the market.  The family are old friends of mine from somewhere in a previous life…..many years ago I was a wrestling coach for Galloway Township and one of our biggest rivals was Buena.  It seems that they became my closest and most trusted friends.  I even had a restaurant in Buena and directly behind me were part of Formisano Farms, the sons had wrestled for Buena and they would stop to say hello when ever they could be seen on their tractors.  They knew I loved fresh Basil and frequently during the summer I would pull up to work to find a bushel basket overfilled with fresh basil.  I would always pick up the basket and bury my head into it, breathing in that wonderful fragrance….sigh…..  So any chance I get to see the family still makes me smile.   My wrestling days are far behind me, but old friendships, especially the kind you make with people like the Formasano’s last a lifetime.
So after saying hello and taking some wonderful pictures of their produce, I continued on my way.
The farmer’s market has such a wonderful selection of produce, but they also have a few restaurants set up with booths selling their wares.  We also have a free range, meat and egg vendor, as well as a pet snack stand with freshly baked treats for your furbabies, and beautiful cut flowers as well as plants for your garden or yard.  They also have live entertainment, guitarists and singers, doing a wonderful job of keeping everyone smiling as they sit at their tables enjoying breakfast! So much to see and do!
I did manage to find some wonderful produce, I do need to start cooking again my posts have been too irregular lately, so as I shopped I tried to think of some new wonderful treats, but one came to mind that my wife has been asking me to make since I first made it for her earlier this year.  My version of a Provincial Ratatouille!  So as I wondered thru the market I looked for what I would need…finding all that and more!
So with a bulging market bag, I made my way back to the car to take home all the goodies I had just purchased.  Blueberries, Apricots, Nectarines, and a Mango!  Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Eggplant, Yellow and Orange Carrots, Purple Leeks, Jersey Corn, Jersey Hot House Tomatoes (can’t wait for the field grown!), Fennel, and of course some lovely fresh herbs!
Thanks so much for coming along with me to the market!  I promise to post a new recipe very soon with some pictures of what I have made from this wonderful produce!


  1. Looks like a wonderful market, Dennis! We have great farmers markets here in the Northwest, but it's been so cool and rainy–it will be awhile before we see any local corn, beans, or tomatoes!

  2. Moving from Eastern PA to Western MI we missed buying fresh produce right from the Menonite farms sooooooo much until we found a local market. There is something very rewarding in buying produce from the farmer that grew it and with an abundance in COC organic farms here we are back in the swing of things. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  3. I love looking at farmer's market photos. I posted on our FM too, nice to know there are other out there that appreciate it as much as I do. Yours seems a lot like ours, and we are lucky enough to have it all year! Thanks for taking us along! Beautiful photos, now when do we get to see what you are going to do with the full bag you brought home!

  4. The market looks amazing! So much fresh produce and bright colours 🙂

  5. Oh Dennis, what beautiful photos! You are lucky to have a nearby market – I have to travel waaay out to get to a farmer's market!

    Gorgeous =)

    Jax x

  6. Allie and Pattie says:

    I'm jealous Dennis- the markets here are so much smaller. I miss our New York markets which were at least a half day affair for me. Can't wait to see what you do!
    xoxo Pattie

  7. Cook with Madin says:

    So lovely to see all those wonderful fresh produce. Thank you for taking me with you, I had a wonderful time.

    p.s. Wow Chef Dennis, and you were a wrestling coach before?

  8. Jennifurla says:

    Looks like a great way to spend the day if you ask me!

  9. What a wonderful excursion you had; love all those photos. Markets are my thing in the summer, but it will be at least another month before we have any produce. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Sounds like a wonderful Day! When I lived closer to Boston, I used to go to Haymarket and buy the wonderful fresh produce. Now I live a little too out of the way, so I never get to make into town. I sure miss it, though.

    Looking forward to the ratatouille:)

  11. Kathleen says:

    What a fabulous farmers market!

  12. 5 Star Foodie says:

    What an amazing selection of products at this farmer's market! Your pictures are terrific!

  13. Bridgett says:

    Now that is an amazing market! Your photos are stellar as well.

  14. Dennis, I adore the farmer's market. It is my "happy place." Our Salt Lake City Farmer's market is revered as one of the top ten in the country…I am spoiled. What a fun trip to take us all on.

  15. WOW, we don't have anything thatbig here. it's puny!!!
    On a better note, heading out strawberry picking tomorrow.. ( Sunday) Gonna get us some fresh berries!!
    Gorgeous photos !

  16. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says:

    I LOVE going to the farmers market! It's just so fun to see the people and walk around. SO FUN! Thanks!

  17. Wow, Dennis! Your photos in this post are really extraordinary. Truly beautiful!

  18. Tickled Red says:

    What a spectacular farmer's market!! Thank you for sharing. The monkeys and I enjoy going to ours, we have four in town. The love the baked goods, i of course love getting the veggies that we don't grow ourselves.

  19. What a wonderful farmer's market you have. Ours is much smaller, but I love going to it just the same.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog-I'm glad to have found yours! I've enjoyed browsing through your posts and I'll enjoy visiting often.

  20. bunkycooks says:

    This is a beautiful farmer's market. I miss all the PA and NJ fruits and veggies, although the ones here in the GA area are quite good. There are different flavors that you need to taste to understand. You need to come here to make the comparison!

  21. Lazaro Cooks! says:

    Wonderful post. Farmers markets are truly an inspiration. What a great day out in the sun. Fantastic photos by the way. Great job!

    Be Well…

  22. Cooking With Kait says:

    What a wonderful day at the market. I can't wait to see what you make with the purple leeks. The color must be amazing!

  23. Diana's Cocina says:

    Wow ~ what a fabulous farmers market! Love the colors of all that the market has to offer. Thank you for stopping by and the kind words.

  24. The Cilantropist says:

    Oh I am so jealous that you have a vendor selling free-range eggs and meat at your farmers market!!! I would die to have access to local free-range meat…

    I can't wait to see what goodies you make with all your fruits and veggies! 🙂

  25. This is what a Farmer's Market should look like! Unfortunately in Colorado, our markets are quite pitiful. I miss being on the East Coast and all the abundant produce available during summer and spring. Thank you for sharing the photos!

  26. Nirmala says:

    I love going to our local farmers market too though. I do the same thing. I walk up and take a look at what everyone's offering and than I purchase.

  27. What a gorgeous market! And the sunshine…. I love seeing sweet corn – mine is growing, and the rabbits are leaving it alone. Maybe by the end of July I'll have some. We can't buy it in France – pig food, so if I want it, I grow it.

  28. You make me realize I need a better camera so you can see what's up at the markets in Rome! Love your blog.ciao

  29. I also love the title twist on Ella Fitzgerald!

    What a beautiful & colourful produce of one fine market!! The food looks stunning & ooh so appetizing too!

  30. What a fabulous farmer's market! I can't wait until ours are open with home-grown veggies and fruits the end of June. There's definitely nothing like all the fresh produce.

    You have an interesting bio, doing lots of good work. I am looking forward to your future posts to read what you did with all that fine produce!

  31. Hey Dennis, I loved looking through these photos, and I wish we had something like this here. I think you post pretty regularly by the way. I mean, for a working chef and all?!?…
    p.s. the green bean pic really pops!

  32. I love all of these photos! So colorful, especially those sunflowers. Can't wait to see what you make from all this!

  33. Autumn @Good Eats Girl says:

    This looks like a fabulous market! All of that great produce…I'm a little jealous as it will be a while before we see some of those things at our market! Your pics of everything are just beautiful!

  34. What beautiful photos! They have made me feel so incredibly guilty for sleeping in and not going to the farmers market!! Next week …

  35. Jen_from_NJ says:

    This is one of my very favorite places! I love your photos!

  36. one of the things I hate most about where we live…no farmer's market! I'm from pennsylvania where we have farmer's markets all summer long! It's hard to find fresh fruit and veggies around here, except on road side stands 😛

  37. I am incredibly jealous. I don't even know how to begin to look for awesome fresh markets in NYC. This looks stunning (especially all those green beans, I think I just stopped breathing….) Anyway great pics, and make some yummiriffic things!

  38. Oh my gosh, these pictures look so bright and colorful! I would love to make a visit to this market 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend!

  39. Pacheco Patty says:

    Hi Dennis,
    A good farmers market is an inspiration and yours is no exception, love your story and photos, can't wait to see what you cook up! All the Best, Patty

  40. Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } says:

    Nothing better than you local farmers market. Just visited mine yesterday. The bing cherries were amazing along with all of the stone fruit. Looks like you have a great one in your area!

  41. That looks like an amazing farmer's market. Your photos were so true to life and it was like we were walking with you through the market too!

  42. what a wonderful market, ours is no where near the size, and because of the heat, only runs for another few weeks – oh, I made your tollhouse pie the other day and, well,, it's gone now…splendid, used southern pecans with a bourbon drizzle…tehee

  43. Wow, wow, wow! I miss the big extravagant markets like this! (it's skimpy up here in Montana) On the other hand, I have a nice garden that's coming right along so I'll have to be satisfied with that. Very nice post – love your blog!

  44. intuitive eggplant says:

    What a lovely tribute to your local farmers market. Superb photos too! One can't help but be inspired to cook, with all that fresh produce. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  45. Cinnamon-Girl says:

    What a beautiful market! You came home with a great haul! Can't wait to see what you cook up.

  46. The Mom Chef says:

    I'd be all over the leeks! They looked great. I love the farmers market too. Thanks for sharing your love with us.

  47. Magic of Spice says:

    A perfect way to spend a morning… Beautiful market, and your photos are just great. You really captured the feel:)

  48. Magdalena says:

    Congrats for the market! Looks very nice. I love them, too, and fortunately for the whole my life I was living close to some food markets. Here, in Krakow, just few steps away, I can enjoy seasonal products from farmers (I know some of them since many years); and in Paris, we have a food market too, at blvd Raspail.
    Unfortunately, the spring and the beginning of summer was not generous for us this year; a lot of rain (we had a flood here) and humidity; farmers complain a lot … and clients, too.
    Kind regards!

  49. Julie M. says:

    It sounds like you really got a nice bunch of produce! I just cooked with fennel for the first time this past weekend and now I'm addicted to it! The flavor is really nice.

    I can't wait to hear about your ratatouille. Hope you had a nice weekend!

  50. baking.serendipity says:

    There is nothing better than a good farmer's market. I haven't found one I like quite as much as my favorite in Ohio, and can't wait to go home and frequent it in a few weeks!

  51. Caroline says:

    Wow, what beautiful colors in that market. We don't have anything like that where I live…hopefully near school in the fall. I can't wait to see your ratatouille as that is one of my favorite dishes!

  52. Jess @ Bakericious says:

    how i wish i can b there too…

  53. Dennis – those sunflowers alone could brighten a cloudy day! Looks like you made the most of a great market – you bought something for every letter of the alphabet (well just about)! 🙂

  54. I love going to the farmers' marking and smelling all the fresh produce.

  55. The Housewife says:

    I love farmers markets and really enjoy reading about the different ones all over the country. They're such a great source of inspiration!

  56. Foodessa says:

    Chef Dennis…I am way too envious of all the selections that have come your way. I would probably still be at your market ;O)
    Great visuals!
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  57. Emily Malloy (Ziegler) says:

    Gorgeous photos!

  58. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron says:

    Farmers market always give us an inspiration! Great photos Dennis and congrats on the top9!

  59. islandvittles.com says:

    What gorgeous colours and photos! Theresa

  60. ~~louise~~ says:

    What a Stupendous market, Dennis. So very cool. It sure looks like you have an array of delectables to "play" with. I'm already sold on the Ratatouille.

    We have quite an assortment of Mennonite and Amish stands within walking distance. I LOVE it!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing…I'm looking forward to seeing what you conger up:)

    Hopefully, you'll be "bringing" a few delights to the Picnic Game Just pick any letter that isn't already chosen and you're in!!! I should be doing a letter update tomorrow.

    Thanks again…I enjoyed my visit at the market with you and my legs don't even hurt, lol…

  61. denise @ quickies on the dinner table says:

    I am almost as green as those beans, with envy!! *sigh*

    Beautiful post – love the photos. What an inpiration!!

  62. Maria Carra says:

    These pictures are amazing!!!

  63. Gorgeous! I should have gone to our Farmer's Market on Saturday and now I'm regretting missing it!

  64. Beautiful photos! Gets me excited to head to my local farmer's market on Thursday. Or maybe I'll drive a few miles farther and hit the one in a nearby town that's tomorrow. 🙂

  65. frenchieliza says:

    Hello Chef Dennis! I love your blog! I am SO glad you stopped by the Foodie Mommie, otherwise I would never have had the chance to visit your blog! I am now following you. I am a HUGE fan of ratatouille and I must say that you will have to check out my recipe when I post it later this summer. My French mother Pauline taught me how to make it. You have some GORGEOUS pictures. I will definitely be returning again and again!

  66. Chow and Chatter says:

    wow your blog is wonderful adore ratatoillue and France great post Chef

  67. ana @ iMadeItSo says:

    chef dennis,
    thank you for coming by my blog today and sharing your perspective. your photos and recipes here are wonderful! good luck with that greenhouse, i'm sure the fresh herbs will be worth the effort.
    ~ ana

  68. What A Dish! says:

    I LOVE the pictures of the market! I wish we had that variety of produce here! I miss corn on the cob.

  69. Lori Lynn says:

    Terrific photos. Especially the beans!

  70. Wendy Irene says:

    I love that you took your camera along to take such beautiful photos! Just hearing the word market makes me happy 😀 If your travels should ever take you to the west coast of Canada Granville Island Market http://www.granvilleisland.com/ is a must-do!

  71. Oh what a stunning, gorgeous market and fabulous produce! And corn! I want that! Can't ever get it in France. Beautiful! Thanks for taking us!

  72. Beth Luwandi says:

    Chef Dennis! These pictures are absolutely beautiful! I just LOVE a farmer's markets. It has been too long…

  73. Jenn@slim-shoppin says:

    I like your description of putting your head in the basket of basil to take a whiff!

    I do the same thing with herbs. That's such a nice story!

    I LOVE the farmers market. I like in a suburb of Chicago and we have a farmers market that has been around for 40+ years. It's so good!

    Thanks for the pictures!

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