Monday, January 30, 2012

Brookline & Wayland Winter Farmers Markets 1/28

On Saturday Gail and I went on quite the local food shopping trip, starting very close to home at the one-off Brookline winter farmers market and continuing on to the Wayland Market.
The Brookline market was part of climate week in the town of Brookline and was only a one time market. We decided to check it out because it was very close and a new there would be a few things (really local grains/flour) that I wanted to pick up as I had not seen them at any other markets. We definitely ended up getting some local grains/flour (15 lbs worth!!) as well as a few other items at the Brookline Winter Market:
We got a small bit of hedgehog & dried porcini mushrooms from an unknown but very eccentric vendor. A package of roasted red pepper, goat cheese & chive ravioli from the ladies at Nella Pasta.  Two jars of honey (Massachusetts Wildflower & Pollen and Propolis infused) as well as a great taste testing from the Boston Honey Company. Last but not least from our trip to the Brookline Market was the 15 lbs of grains/flour we got from Four Star Farms! We took home 5lbs of bolted Warthog bread flour, 4 lbs of whole wheat Zorro bread flour, 2lbs of whole wheat Bravo pastry flour, 2lbs of bolted buckwheat flour, and 2lbs of wheat berries!
Based on our conversation whole grain flour is cleaned grain which is then milled. Larger pieces of bran are left, giving the flour a rougher texture and stronger flavor, whereas the bolted flour has been sifted and screening resulting in a finer and more consistent texture. The difference between the Warthog and Zorro flours is protein content and flavor. The buckwheat looks to be a good alternative for 'heartier' breakfast breads, pancakes, and similar dishes. The wheat berries were definitely an impulse buy, as Gail tried them, fell in love and decided we had to take some home for ourselves! Elizabeth from Four Star Farms was really helpful in taking the time to answer all of our questions and explain the differences in all their products to Gail and I.
After our time was up in Brookline we headed over to the Wayland Market to grab some meat, produce, and, to my surprise some local booze! Saturday was one of the winery days the Wayland Market has throughout the season. As we browsed the produce, cheese, and other goods we also sampled a few wines and ended up bringing some home along with our meat, produce, and apples!
Our haul from the Wayland Market included a bag of salad mix from E&T Farms. Garlic and beets from Red Fire Farm. Parsnips, carrots, and 3 types of radish (watermelon, white, and daikon) from Winter Moon Farm. Apples from Charlton Orchards. Spicy Italian Beef Sausage and Beef Kielbasa from Caledonia Farm. An Ice WIne from Running Brook Vineyard and Winery, and Ginger Libation a spicy sweet carbonated brew from Green River Ambrosia.
Such a great haul for a Saturday afternoon. I'm amazed at all the great local products we are able to find even in the middle of (an unusually mild) winter. 

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