When Ben posted about the opening of a Farmers Market being held every Wednesday at Philadelphia’s City Hall I was instantly intrigued. I immediately commented practically begging Ben to go and report back on what it was like. Ben's response was that I should go and report on it and I will be forever grateful for that suggestion.
If you are a Philly resident like me getting to City Hall is easy enough. There is always the option of the bus and El, but I opted for hopping on the R8 since the station is so close to my house. Cash in pocket and stylish city casual clothes on I embarked on my adventure with my friend Dana. Once we got to the Market East station at the Gallery we hopped off and went in search of promised good fresh food and fun times. Downtown here we come!
After grabbing an eye opening cup of coffee we navigated Market Street like a couple of pros and headed straight toward City Hall. Even if you have lived in Philadelphia your whole life approaching City Hall can be thrilling. You look straight up at William Penn’s statue beckoning you to the seat of city government and feel a sense of pride to be close to the action. However the city-pride in my veins quickly stopped pumping when we walked into the courtyard. I was surprised to see only four tables set up. Surely I thought that couldn’t be it and I felt a sudden sense of panic having dragged my friend here for nothing. “C’mon,” I said to Dana, “Let’s make the most of it!” and smiling I led her over hoping that I wasn’t wrong about the fun. And oh what fun it became!
The main stand that caught our attention was representing the McCann Farm from Elk Township, New Jersey. Dana and I looked over farm fresh corn, plump peas still in their pods, baskets of broccoli, and other great looking vegetables. I spotted the two owners, Anita and Nancy McCann, chatting with various customers and I waited for an opening to introduce myself. After warmly shaking hands I discovered that these two farmers were friendly and full of great stories. One story included Anita driving her tractor into a ditch as she tried to drive closer to a wi-fi signal to update her Facebook status. Once I heard this I was hooked since I am a die hard Facebook addict myself.
The best part of the McCann stand was the honey. I’m not talking plain old honey, instead there were honeys of varying flavors, like blueberry, and crystallized honey. We were given some to sample and my taste buds were treated to an explosion of flavor. The texture was an added treat. It was like tasting the nectar of the gods. Seriously, it was that good. I'm not kidding. I could easily picture myself spreading some on toast sans butter because with this honey there would be no need for any extra condiments.
The other stands at the market included a freshly brewed coffee area and a wonderful assortment of baked goods from a New Jersey baker. We took some pictures and since it was only 12:00pm Dana and I decided to step out and enjoy some of the action the city had to offer and get lunch. Before we headed home we came back to stock up on the McCann Farm vegetables and some baked snacks to fortify us for our trip home. I can honestly say that the trip was a rousing success. We had the opportunity to support regional growers and see some city sights. If you have the opportunity and a free Wednesday I would highly recommend you taking the time to visit the City Hall Farmers Market.