It's summer in Boston and the sweet corn alone is reason enough to walk to the Copley Square Farmers' Market twice a week. But, that so-good-you-could-eat-it-raw sweet corn is surrounded by hundreds of other delicious choices. And, after nearly two decades of shopping at Copley, I enjoy spending time with the "small-town" community that has developed at this "big-city" market.
Copley has 28 regularly-scheduled vendors. Many booths offer a wide range of products, making the choices for shoppers plentiful. Eleven farms (four of them organic) make up the backbone of the market. In the course of a week, you'll also find four cheesemakers, three meat suppliers, seven stands with baked goods, half a dozen opportunities to buy flowers, a handful of craft vendors, and some wonderful lunch options.
The market is surrounded by office buildings. At lunchtime, workers converge on Copley to enjoy a change of menu from the usual fast food choices. A market lunch might be a sandwich from Tatte, pizza fromIggy's Bread or prepared meals from Gilson Family Herb Enterprises. Someone who wants to spend their lunch hour shopping might grab a brown-bag picnic lunch of herbed goat cheese with french bread from Crystal Brook Farm.
I was looking for a quick supper, and found it at one of the market's newest additions, Seta's Mediterranean Foods. Chef Seta Dakessian suggested that I use the lettuce in my shopping bag to wrap around her "Babaganoush & Metch" combo special. She also recommended tucking thin slices of heirloom tomato into each serving. You can see the delicious result in the slideshow.
The lettuce and tomato for my supper came from Atlas Farm, where I'm a member of a market CSA. Members pay in advance and recieve a discount on the produce they buy at the Atlas Farm stand. You can join at any time or add more money to an existing membership.
Atlas farmer, Gideon Porth described this point in his growing season, "We've got our full summer complement here. No new crops for a couple of weeks, then we'll have sweet peppers: red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, yellow and red onions, and garlic." He also promised the return of some items that have been missing from the stand or in short supply: radishes, arugula, parsley and cilantro.
Copley Square Farmers' Market (map)
St. James Avenue, Dartmouth Street and Boylston Street, Boston MA (map)
Tuesdays and Fridays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Open through November 23rd
Seasonal Produce Guide
In Season Right This Minute
Early Apple Varieties
More Pepper Varieties
About the author: Writing about food and photographing farmers' markets for Serious Eats and her own blog BostonZestis one of Penny's favorite summertime activities.