Brookline Has a New Winter Farmers Market

Last week, Wicked Local Brookline brought word that the city was considering approval for a once-weekly Farmers Market in the Coolidge Corner Arcade, at 318 Harvard Ave,  which would run every Sunday from November 2012 to June 2013. The city had a successful trial run of the idea last year, when a one-day-only market ran on Saturday, January 28th, 2012; this year, the same woman responsible for the initial idea, Linda Plazonja, was hoping that the city was on board with a more permanent offering.

It would appear that those hopes will be realized: today, Brookline selectman Jesse Mermell tweeted that the market will officially be open for business starting on Saturday, November 11th. At least one popular local vendor, Clear Flour Bread (purveyors of probably the finest bread you can get in the area), has posted on their website that they will be there. The aforementioned Wicked Local article quoted area farmers market veteran Kate Stillman, so it stands to reason that local heavyweight Stillman’s Farm will also be in attendance.

It’s a big win for Boston area residents, who already have an excellent Saturday winter farmers market in Somerville, at the Armory on 191 Highland Ave. If you’ve never been, these markets are hardly lean: while fruit may be in short supply (it is New England, after all), basically everything else is available, from vegetables, breads, and meats; to “specialty” items like cheeses, pastas, jams, kombucha, chocolate, and beer. New England’s local food scene is beginning to come full-circle: long after the passing of the age of the root cellar, eating seasonally is, once again, basically well within reach of any city resident. It’s much easier now, though: just grab a few bags, hop on the T, and shop.

Dread not the cold: a winter’s worth of sweet potatoes, leafy kale, Taza chocolate, and local beer awaits you. Is it December yet?

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Boston Area Farmers Markets: 2011

The always-awesome Copley Square Farmers Market. Begins May 17th, 2011; runs every Tuesday and Friday throughout the summer/fall. // Flickr/WBUR

It’s been a very rainy April this year in Boston: over 4 inches have fallen thus far, with a bit more likely before the month is over (last April we got under 2 inches). It’s what we’ve heard is supposed to happen this month. April is wet, and then, just when you can’t stand it any more, things turn beautiful. If you’ve been around the greater Boston area in the past few days, you’ve likely already noticed this phenomenon coming to pass: flowers are blooming, tree buds are blossoming, green shoots are appearing in spots which before were dominated by browns and grays. It’s official: May is upon us.

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Maraschino Cherry Factory + Rooftop Bees = Not Honey

From Brooklyn, NY: red honey. It's red because it contains Red #40, a food coloring additive used in things like Mountain Dew Code Red. It's also not honey, because the bees used High Fructose Corn Syrup instead of pollen. Yum! // Gita Nandan (oneearth.org)

Per an article in last week’s Monday edition of the New York Times, a number of beekeepers in Brooklyn were startled recently when their bees began coming home a curious shade of red — and then producing bright-red honey. While the beekeepers were initially perplexed, the mystery didn’t persist for very long.  A bit of common-sense guesswork — and a lab test of the honeycomb — pointed to a likely explanation: the bees were getting into the runoff from a local maraschino cherry factory. The maraschino cherry, for those who aren’t sure, is a fully modernized product: a cherry preserved (and de-colored) in alcohol and then soaked in a suspension of corn syrup and Red 40 (a bright red food coloring). The red coloring in the “honey?” Yep. It’s red 40.

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Boston’s 2011 Food Truck Challenge: Vote Now

Boston's city Hall Plaza -- one of the ugliest places in the developed world. Sustainable food trucks would spruce up the area, improve Boston's rep as a leading green city, and, you know, be delicious.

As has been mentioned here previously, the City of Boston has recently begun an initiative to populate City Hall Plaza with (hopefully) sustainably-minded Food Trucks beginning in approximately April of next year.  The Mayor’s office’s folks just finished running an open call for submissions; that call is now over, and they’ve winnowed down the entrants to a list of 12 Semifinalists. That list is available here; please check out the entries and vote on which six concepts you’d like to see advance to the next phase.

As a reminder, there’s a good chance that the restaurant which wins the contest will actually be serving many thousands of meals in City Hall Plaza to the workers of downtown Boston next year, so its important that we select a business whose sustainability plan seems earnest and legitimate. It’s obvious, when reading the blurbs, which businesses gave more thought to this than others.

(Sorry, Sushi Station — you’re probably not making my Top 6).

Downtown Boston really, really needs healthy, sustainable alternatives to the food that’s available there right now. Go read about the potential trucks and vote!

The 2011 Boston Food Truck Challenge

Clover Food Lab has enjoyed a very successful summer in Dewey Square. Who will be the star of next summer's mobile food scene? // weeklydig.com

 

Food trucks! Long a staple of the West Coast food scene, food trucks have been gaining popularity both locally and nationally in recent times. They’re a hit with consumers (especially young ones) because they offer quick, lower-cost meal options which don’t necessarily offer a significant downgrade from restaurant-quality food. Local governments, too, are starting to pay attention to them, seeing them as a low-cost way to potentially attract foot traffic and patronage to previously underutilized public spaces. The trucks are just one part of a resurgence in the larger “street food” scene; carts, bicycles, and towable stands have all been benefitting from renewed interest in this form of straightforward food delivery. The city of Boston jumped on the bandwagon this summer when they worked with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy to install a number of mobile food vendors on the Greenway. Now, the mayor’s office wants to do the same for City Hall Plaza

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