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!