Northeast Times

Farmer's market reopens Tuesdays at Frankford center

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When you think Frank­ford, think farm-fresh.

At least, keep that in mind this sum­mer, be­cause a Berks County farm will sell pro­duce out­side the Frank­ford Trans­port­a­tion Cen­ter at Bustleton and Frank­ford av­en­ues every Tues­day af­ter­noon un­til Novem­ber.

Landon Jef­fer­ies and Lauren Sha­piro of Root Mass Farm of Oley, Pa., sold greens, beets, blue­ber­ries and gar­lic scapes on June 19. It was their first time selling in Frank­ford, and they had a pretty good day, Sha­piro said.

“We prob­ably had about 50 cus­tom­ers,” she stated in an e-mail to the North­east Times. Those cus­tom­ers were a mix of neigh­bor­hood people and com­muters passing through the ter­min­al, she said.

They stopped by with ques­tions as well as cash.

“People seemed genu­inely in­ter­ested in the farm and how our pro­duce was grown,” Sha­piro said.

“Cus­tom­ers un­fa­mil­i­ar with some of our products — golden beets and gar­lic scapes — asked us things like, ‘What is this and how would you use it?’ ” 

Don’t know what a gar­lic scape is? It is the sort of cres­cent-shaped top of a gar­lic plant. Grow­ers cut them off the plants a few weeks be­fore they har­vest the gar­lic bulbs. Scapes taste very “gar­licky” and some­times have a little bite of heat. They can be cut up and used in salads or in cooked dishes.

“We got ques­tions about our grow­ing meth­ods, where we are loc­ated and what crops we ex­pect to have in the com­ing weeks,” Sha­piro said.

To­ma­toes are com­ing, and soon.

“By Ju­ly 3, we should have some pints of our Sun­gold cherry to­ma­toes,” Sha­piro said last week. ldquo;They’re an or­ange vari­ety of cherry to­mato and de­light­fully sweet.  They can be en­joyed straight from the pint or cooked down in­to a fla­vor­ful to­mato jam.”

This is the second sum­mer for the Frank­ford farm­ers mar­ket, which is sponsored by the non-profit Food Trust, an or­gan­iz­a­tion ded­ic­ated to in­creas­ing the amount of fresh loc­al food in Phil­adelphi­ans’ di­ets. ••

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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