Market Scene: Harvard University Farmers' Market, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents from around the country checks in with what's fresh at the farmstands in a particular region. Today, Penny Cherubino (Boston Zest) drops by from Boston.
Steps from Harvard Yard, with historic Memorial Hall as a backdrop, you'll find the Harvard Farmers' Market.
It's part of the University's Food Literacy Project, which "cultivates an understanding of food from the ground up."
One of the wettest Junes on record has delayed sun-loving summer crops in the Northeast. Farms with greenhouse operations have had an advantage by producing some early broccoli and cauliflower.
Other market staples, like fresh eggs from Silverbrook Farm, are available all season. Yes, those are blue eggs among the white and brown. But, inside they're all alike, with bright-yellow yolks and super fresh character.
The organic farm Plato's Harvest seems perfectly named for a market at Harvard. This week its stand had beets, radishes, turnips, greens, scapes, Swiss chard, peas, eggs, summer squash, and fresh garlic.
Students may be initially attracted by market extras like chocolatiers, bakeries, and ice cream and nut vendors but soon learn to enjoy farm fresh flavors. It was fun to watch a group of students devour a basket of strawberries. "I'll buy the next round!" one of them called out as he headed for the berry stand.
Besides bringing farmers and their products on campus, the market holds cooking demos with area chefs. At other times, market manager Theresa McCulla (above) lets shoppers sample something fresh and tempting made with produce that's at its peak.
Aside from students and faculty, this market's customers include Harvard's staff and neighbors. To help everyone benefit from the fresh food, the market accepts Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) coupons, and food stamps.
The Harvard Market is held on Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will continue through October 27.