Thursday, April 5, 2012

1st Annual Philly Farm and Food Fest

Last weekend Jeff, his sister Andrea and I drove down to Philly for the first annual Farm and Food Fest. I had high hopes for this event and I was not disappointed. Food artisans and farmers from the greater Philadelphia area were present in droves, promoting their products.

I had wondered, since it is so early in the spring, how much in the way of fresh produce could be available. It turns out, a fair bit. Besides their own herbal teas and potted ramps, this vendor (possibly Happy Cat Farm) had wild foraged mustard greens on offer.

One of the booths I was most excited about was Urban Apiaries, a Philadelphia honey company. I love that each jar is marked with the zip code where it was collected. Different zip codes mean different flavors, as the bees have different varieties of flowers to collect their pollen from. Local and delicious! I passed on the honey, since I just bought a big jar from Pineland Farms at my own farmers market, but I've been regretting it ever since. The next time I go down to Philly, I'll be sure to buy a few jars.

There were tons of cheese vendors there (not a great thing for me, since I'm watching my saturated fat intake). Jeff and Andrea certainly partook of a wide variety. I tried a few, but I'm not really a cheese person anyway (not being allowed to eat it isn't a huge problem). I was happy, though, that we got to say hi to our friends from Cherry Grove Farm (I'll be out there tomorrow to buy some eggs and check up on the adorable calves!).

I was thrilled to see multiple vendors with their own milled grains. While I know of one local farm (the Hopewell Living History Farm) that offers its own whole wheat flour, I buy most of mine from the supermarket. I was really excited to speak with a woman from Daisy Flour, which offers a variety of organic products, sourced as locally as possible (some, like the spelt, from within Pennsylvania). They weren't selling any at their booth and I didn't get to the stand in Reading Terminal Market before it closed, but they'll be on my list the next time I'm in town. What I did pick up was some buckwheat flour from Yeehaw Farm. Pancakes will be made some day soon!

One of the most interesting companies was Frecon Farms, which had a line of hard ciders (which people were, of course, lined up three and four deep at to taste). Jeff and Andrea seemed to like them, although Jeff said that it was a dangerous product, since they didn't taste nearly as strong as they were - 7.5% ABV! It's astounding to think that our colonial ancestors drank the stuff all day long.

I came home with a great haul: some delicious black bean and sweet potato soup from Good Spoon, multigrain bread from the Metropolitan Bakery, scrumptious maple almond granola from Amaranth Gluten Free Bakery, creamy and spicy black bean hummus from FreshaPeel Hummus, and a few other things I already can't remember. We also got multiple samples of delicious gelato from Capogiro (best gelato ever, in my opinion). It was a good day. I'm already looking forward to making it back next year!

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