Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of BostonZest. Take us to the market, Penny!
It's autumn in New England and each week a few farmers' markets close for the season, but the Boston Public Market outside of South Station will remain open through the end of October.
Aside from providing shoppers in the waterfront, financial and shopping districts with fresh food, this market has symbolic importance. It's operated by the Boston Public Market Association and is a seasonal reminder that the people of Boston want a permanent, year-round public market.
Besides selling to retail shoppers, Red Fire Farm uses this market as one of its CSA pick-up centers. One crew was busy with CSA shares, while another took care of market customers.
Red Fire farmer Ryan Voiland (pictured above) said the farm lost most of their potato crop this season to the late blight. As an organic farmer, he's faced more challenges this year than any other fighting the fungus that attacked potatoes and tomatoes in the Northeast.
Voiland was able to bring a few potatoes to market and pointed out his first of the season sweet potatoes. He was alerting customers that frost this week would signal the end of some crops.
Other late-season crops like Brussels sprouts and parsnips will only grow sweeter and tastier when nipped by frosty nights.
Farmers' markets are wonderful places to discover new, local specialty food products. Irene Costello (above left) of Effie's Homemade was offering samples, selling to regulars and making new friends with her addictive Oatcakes and Crispy Corncakes.
While fall crops were appearing, there were still plenty of greens, summer squash, stone fruits, apples, pears, corn, and peppers available from Keown Orchards and Spring Brook Farms.
In October, products change, some vendors drop out, and the season winds down, but in the next few weeks, devoted shoppers of the Boston Public Market will be rewarded with the abundance of the harvest season.
The Boston Public Market at Dewey Square
Near South Station (map) Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 28 through October 29 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
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