Welcome to the Eat Local Challenge! This blog series is intended as a useful tool to help you achieve tasty success in your local eating undertaking. Each week, we’ll highlight a store, app, product, market, or community member in the hopes of giving you some new resources for Philly eating. Have a tip to share? I’d love to hear from you at email@example.com
The warming weather makes me crave one thing that’s just not in season quite: fresh fruit. The frozen strawberries I put up last summer are long gone, and I’m saving the last jars of preserves for some special occasion. So I went to see what I could find at the Fair Food Farmstand to satisfy my craving.
Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal is the local eating challengers safe haven; products are sourced from more than 90 growers and producers in southeast PA, south Jersey, and even urban farms in Philly. The farmstand works with growers who use responsible methods and producers who use local ingredients in their products.
Raw honey, Tait Fruit Farm Preserves, Epic Pickles, handmade pasta, and canned tomatoes are stacked in pyramids on the back shelves. The dairy cooler is stocked with a wide variety of yogurt (including goat’s milk), grass-fed raw milk, cultured buttermilk, and kefir.
I bypassed the meat case – beef (Philly Cowshare), ground lamb (Rising Spring Meats, Spring Mills, PA), and chorizo (Country Time Farm, Hamburg, PA) – to get to the crates of produce. I stuffed my bag with carrots for crunch, beets for sweetness, and a watermelon radish for color. I was content to settle for the bright veggies to fill my sweet, juicy, fruit fix, until I saw the apples. Many farms had bumper crops last year, and the Farmstand still has heaping bins of at least seven local varieties. I picked up nearly a dozen apples – Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, and, the prize, Goldrush.
The apples inspired a trip over to Jen behind the cheese counter, who gave me the list (and samples) of her favorites. I loved Washington’s Crossing – a gruyere-like, grassy cheese from Ely Farm in Newtown, and The Creamery Collection’s #9 – an aged, nutty goat from Doe Run Farms.
I ate a crisp Pink Lady as soon as I got home, sliced up the watermelon radish in my kitchen that night, and had boiled beets with my lunch the next day. The wait for summer fruit may not be so bad after all.
By Katherin Rapin
Fair Food Farmstand is located in Reading Terminal Market 12th & Arch Streets
Monday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 PM
215-386-5211 ext: 120