Saturday found us up in Union Square, Somerville browsing the wares at the Union Square Farmer’s Market.
This is a wonderful little town center, but a little difficult for us to get to, as it is a pretty healthy trot to the other side of the city. But this weekend, we were visiting a friend who lives in that area anyway and decided to go check it out.
We first scanned the whole market and located the stands that we knew we could buy from.
We first descended on Kimball’s Fruit Farm to load up on peas for the year. We purchased somewhere in the order of seven pounds of shelling peas, which we can (hopefully) make last for part of the winter. Then we spied the sweet cherries they had. Beautiful, small, dark red sweet cherries. We bought a bunch, and are now looking for a pitter so that we can freeze and enjoy them year round. We also bought french radishes, green garlic and raspberries for munching. Oh so very tasty.
We then moved to Drumlin Farm‘s tents and tables. We really wanted to buy from them, as they are an Audubon reserve and a community farm. They do so many great things, but we could not find their farming practices on their website. Drumlin, please make this information available or easier to find! However, they had lovely little cards discussing their practices, which I will pass on here.
“To us, Community-based farming signifies our deep commitment to the people, land, water and air that support our farm. We grow using organic principles plus the following:
- We build the soil through fallowing and green-manuring. Each drumlin acre grows crops for five years and then rests (lies fallow) for two years. During those two years, we seed the acre to clover- a green manure- which fixes nitrogen and builds organic matter.
- We use only organic matter for fertilizer. With help from our farm animals, we make and spread our own compost on our fields.
- We don’t irrigate. Our focus on building healthy soils allows us to avoid irrigation- an energy intensive method of watering plants.
- We sell our locally grown food only to surrounding communities, cutting down on “food miles.” We avoid buring fossil fuels for long-distane shipping , and our food is always freshly harvested, never truck or chemical ripened.
- We seek to reduce our use of non-reusable materials. Therefore, we only use straw and bark mulch to cover beds; we do not use plastic mulch. Our market bags are biodegradable and compostable
- We never use ANY chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.”
My goodness, this fit perfectly with our principles, so we selected a few choice items and admired the stand and the flowers. We ended by purchasing rhubarb, sugar snap peas, and chioggia beets. So good!
During this time we met up with Stephanie, who bought some carrots, cherries and blueberries.
After the market, we went to Stephanie’s house and (very enviously) perused her garden, played her pets and enjoyed general good company all around.
When we made it home late in the afternoon, we put out all of our loot and admired the glory of early summer produce.
We are very pleased with our day, and feel like we learned a lot, talked to some great people, and came home with some good food. Lovely!
[Laura’s note: In the last picture, the lovely bunch of lavender is from Stephanie’s garden. It is wonderfully pungent!]