Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Taste of the Wayland Winter Farmer's Market

That glorious lime green and fuchsia orb is why I would rather shop at farmer's markets than anywhere else. Where else could I discover sweet, crisp and dramatic watermelon radishes? Or hydroponically grown microgreens? Or eggs laid by chickens that morning?
And, better still, these gems were located in a tropical oasis on a grey morning. The Wayland Winter's Farmer's Market isn't like any others that I have been to. First it is located in Russell's Garden Center. At first I was a bit skeptical-would I feel pressured to buy plants (and mind you, I can't keep a cactus alive!) while I checked out turnips? Instead, it was a relief to be in a warm setting and see the bright colors of flowers.
Second, there was a glorious range of produce. I loved the huge bags of fresh basil, arugula and mixed greens from E and T Farms. They also offered small bags of mini-amaranth and carrot micro-greens. And, all of these are grown using water that is recycled from fish tanks!

I purchased crisp Macintosh apples from Springdell Farm, as well as those watermelon radishes and some of the sweetest carrots I have eaten from Winter Moon Farm. Next, at the Red Fire Farm stand were a range of potatoes (such as the Beauregard Orange flesh sweet potato), greens, turnips, shallots, onions, parsnips and garlic.

Next, there were multiple stands offering all natural grass-fed meat, such as Springdell Farm which had everything from fresh eggs, steaks, hamburger meat. They even promised to deliver some special meats upon request such as tongue and liver.

But, the other treat of this market were the range of speciality items that were produced locally. I enjoyed a sip of Tower Root Beer that has been produced using a 3 generation old-recipe. Samples of tart, tangy Teather are the brainchild of Jim Broderick who wanted an organic fruit snack for his kids.
Number 9 Salsa was fresh and tangy from lime juice (rather than vinegar.) Samira's Homemade offered homemade hommus and Ful Medammes (made from favas.) I loved both the names of the Tortured Orchard line, and the quality of their all natural condiments. I could envision spreading the spiced pineapple zinger on cheddar cheese sandwiches or on grilled chicken.
Bola Granola was crisp and had the perfect balance of sweetness and salt. Giovanna's Gelatos offered samples in flavors such as hazelnut or pumpkin.
There were breads and pastries from the Danish Pastry House, as well as fresh cheese from Lawton's Family Farm. I resisted buying bags of freshly roasted Karma Coffee only because I knew I was headed down Route 20 to the Karma Coffeehouse itself.
There were other treats-maple syrup from Warren Farms, teas from the Gay Grace Tea Company and cookies galore. For a full list of vendors, you can go to the Russell site.

Wayland Winter Farmer's Market, Russell's Garden Center, Saturdays 10 to 1.


  1. I was there last Saturday! I live in the next town over. I picked up greens, cilantro & fresh eggs from Red Fire farm - delicious! Oh - and also cookies for my girls. Definitely check out Karma Coffee if you happen to go again. SO worth it!

  2. Hi Shelley,
    I love your blog--I think we are almost neighbors so it's fun to read about local establishments. Thanks for the Russo's reminder. I hadn't been in years. I went the other day before going to work--and was in heaven.

    Hope you will try Stone Hearth Pizza if you haven't already. My husband is a co-owner and would welcome you! They are totally kid friendly AND date friendly. Amazing pizza, pastas, salads, wine and beer. Gluten free offerings too. Commitment to organic and locally sourced. Please check it out!


  3. Indoor farmer's market sounds great. Is it really pricey, as I've noticed a lot of farmer's markets charge a lot more?

  4. Ladybug's Picnic: I made it to Karma Coffee. What a fabulous place. Stay tuned for my next post : )

    LMS: I did try Stone Hearth once, with high expectations. It didn't quite hit the mark, esp. for the price. But I am always game for trying a place again, and you reminded me that I can bring the kids!

    Sabrina: Great question. The Chef of Henrietta's Table in Cambridge had a great response to this point. He noted two things. First, the work of a local farmer is phenomenally hard and is truly year round. Even more importantly, because the food we buy at the grocery has also traveled for a number of days, the shelf life may be much shorter than the produce at the Farmer's Market. Case in point: the arugula that I bought on this day was still fantastic by the next Sunday! So, while it may seem more expensive, the chance to get to know a farmer and know where the item came from, and the fact that it may actually be better to eat for a longer time, can be worth the price.

  5. Hi, just discovered your amazing blog about a month ago. New to the area (we live on Plum Island) transplant from the Canadian West Coast and love love LOVE good local food - I am so thankful to you for sharing your finds--THANK YOU