Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Welcome Back Headhouse Market!

This past Sunday marked the opening day for the Headhouse Farmers Market on 2nd and Lombard in Philadelphia. For those of you who are frequent followers of the Philly Food Feed, you know that out of all the markets that we love, we love this one the most. It isn't that the other markets in the area don't have a cornucopia of fresh, natural foods to enjoy or that they don't each have their own distinctive charm...it's just, the Headhouse has a feel to it like no other. It reminds me of a Bazaar where people of different backgrounds and various walks of life congregate to share their love of all things natural. And there are a lot of people too. The place was packed with vendors, customers, the mayor, Brad Lidge, police officers...my head was spinning. I'm telling you, it was enough that I was able to make it out of there with a few pictures and some asparagus (and some strawberries, and pastured eggs, and oyster mushrooms, and fresh spinach...you get the point).
There is so much to relay about this past Sunday, I don't know where to start. I arrived at about 10:15 and the place was already hoppin'. Considering that the market opened at 10, that isn't bad. I guess it didn't hurt that Phillies closer Brad Lidge and Mayor Michael Nutter were at the entrance along with Brad's wife Lindsay and Yael Lehmann, the Executive Director of the Food Trust. Imagine my surprise...I came for some spinach and I ended up rubbing elbows with some pretty important people. Hey, its the Food Feed - we are everywhere you want to be.

                                        Lindsay Lidge, Brad Lidge, Mayor Michael Nutter, Yael Lehman

During their guided tour of the market (dutifully lead by market manager Katy Wich), I actually had a chance to speak with the mayor and he informed me that over the next two years, even more markets will be opening up in Philadelphia. Katy later explained to me that the Food Trust is one of the agencies helping the city open  up to 10 new markets in low income areas thanks to 15 million of a 25.4 million dollar grant via the economic stimulus

Lindsay and Brad Lidge have joined the Food Trust in promoting healthy eating as a lifestyle. In the Food Trust's weekly newsletter, Fresh Picks, Lindsay will be offering tips on healthy eating as well as a glimpse of the eating habits of a Major League Family. If you don't receive the newsletter already, sign up! Besides tips from the Lidges, the newsletter is full of helpful information such as what's in season, Food Trust news and links to relevant articles highlighting topics concerning recipes, nutrition, and healthy living.

So now, on to the market! As I mentioned before, the place was bustling. Nice to see some things don't change! With that being said, I definitely needed to visit some of my old friends at the market like Ben Wenk over at Three Springs Fruit Farm. Even though it is early in the season, the Three Springs stand still held a garden of earthly delights. A variety of apples, asparagus, rhubarb, homemade applesauce...and of course, the man himself...Ben Wenk, gentleman farmer. Ben has been busy over the winter as the Three Springs newsletter can attest (I'm on a newsletter kick, evidently). Sign up for it and you will be up to date on  the Three Springs market schedule as well as what Ben is bringing to market. You can find recipes there as well.

I also wanted to take the time to spotlight a vendor I have visited and purchased from frequently but have  heretofore not written about. Queen's Farm out of West Chester PA always has a distinctive selection of mushrooms, of which I purchased a quarter pound of the Oyster variety this trip. Ed Yin and the Yin family grow their food in traditional Chinese fashion and according to the Food Trust website, they grow over 100 varieties of Asian vegetables each year. WOW. Up until now I have only had the pleasure of buying mushrooms from them, but I will be sure to expand my selections in the future. So far these Oysters I bought have made their way into a stir fry and eggs and its only Tuesday. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the succulent strawberries I purchased from A.T. Buzby farm. Nothing tastes like spring like the taste of fresh strawberries and these did not disappoint. I bought two pints but they were gone by today.  A pint a day...not bad. I can't take all the credit for eating them though, I had a little help!

So there you have it. It was an awesome time as usual and I can't wait to get back there again. Before I sign off I also want to give a shout out to all of the volunteers at this, and all of the Food Trust markets. Without their help, all of this access to healthy eating wouldn't be possible. Next time you are at the market and you see one, tell them thanks. See you at the market!


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