|Coffee is always our first order of business on any market adventure.|
I wasn't sure what to expect so early in the season, but as we wandered around I made a few precious discoveries.
|Broadfork Farm and their army of glorious tomato seedlings.|
After coffee, the stunning tomato seedlings from Broadfork Farm were the first to catch my eye. They had so many varieties I could barely contain myself, and I saw a San Marzano plant that was nearly a foot tall! When I commented on the size and health of their plants, Shannon explained to me that they heat their seedlings from underneath: perfect growing conditions for heat-loving, sun-sucking tomatoes. I will most definitely be visiting them again soon.
|Blueberry honey from Higbee's Berry Farm in New Ross.|
I was drawn like bees to honey (.....what??) to a large corner table where Higbee's Berry Farm was displaying jar upon jar of sunny yellow honey. And not just any honey - they were selling blueberry honey. I was sold, and so were a lot of other people; in the time it took me to snap a few close-ups and scratch out some notes, I saw at least half a dozen other honey-lovers buy a jar of the sweet stuff. Higbee's is well-known for its blueberry production, and they have managed to extend their strawberry season to one of the longest in the province. Their market table is always full of surprises: last fall I even scored some chanterelles. Thanks to Cindy for letting me get so close.
|Sunflower (left) and pea shoots from Pleasant Hill Farm.|
Our last stop on the Hubbards Market circuit was Pleasant Hill Farm's outdoor stand, where generous bags of organic bright green arugula and pea shoots practically shouted spring. I talked with Cindy (another Cindy) for a minute about my bag of pea shoots and she professed to love the sunflower shoots even more. She gave me a sample, and I instantly bought a bag of those too. They were sunflower seed meets leafy green and I was already imagining them on my dinner plate.
And so, an hour later, we took our small bag of market treasures and a camera full of pictures home for the day. Filled with low-key country atmosphere and brilliant surprises, I think the Hubbard's Market opening was just the beginning of an exciting market season to come. Hope to see you there soon!
ps. There are a few extra photos of the market opening on the Hungry Tiller Facebook site. Just follow the link on your upper right.