“The Food Less Traveled”

 

We’re hoping farmers’ markets will mean a big cultural and gastronomic shift for Cape Ann.

In addition to the grand, festive Cape Ann Farmers’ Market on Thursday afternoons in Gloucester (3:00 – 6:30 at Stage Fort Park) both Rockport and Essex will be hosting Saturday morning farmers’ markets.

The Essex Market, featuring Frank McClelland’s Apple Street Farms and Aster B Flowers, will set up in the Ebb & Flow Interiors parking lot, 166 Eastern Avenue (rt. 133) on Saturday mornings.  “We’re small but mighty,” organizer Alison Taylor says.

The Rockport Farmers’ Market, “The Food Less Traveled,” will be a similar, small gem of a market.

Located in Harvey Park in downtown Rockport, the market should be the first ingredient to a recipe for a perfect summer Saturday.

Walk, ride your bike, drive if you must.  (It’s street parking, but park on a little side street and enjoy the local gardens you’ll pass on your walk to Harvey Park.)  Before you start shopping get a cup of Brothers Brew coffee, perhaps even a cappucino, a homemade donut or cannele, find a bench and enjoy seeing the kids racing off to their sailing lessons, the boats bobbing in the harbor,  Motif #1 still in shadow from the early morning light.

From your place on the bench you can eye First Light Farm’s produce, and begin planning your evening menu.

Your appetizer will be Sasquatch Smoked Fish.  Gloucester resident Paul Cohan chooses the plumpest mussels, the pinkest salmon, and smokes all the products himself.  This is the best smoked fish you will taste; nothing from a Zabar’s or Dean & DeLuca counter can compare to the sweetness and richness of this glorious Cape Ann product.

After your appetizer you will brag to your friends that you are serving the “Best Pesto in the World.”  Paolo Laboa, chef at Pride’s Osteria, won the Best Pesto in the World Competition in Genoa, Italy, Laboa’s hometown, and the city where pesto is king.  You can watch Laboa making his winning pesto on this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYdAW9sZQrQ

Laboa’s pesto will be featured on the cover of La Cucina Italiana in August.  Along with his silky fresh pasta, you will be able to purchase his pesto at our little Rockport Market.  Laboa lives in Rockport, and his wife, Mercedes Flavin, also a wonderful cook and baker, will have pies, cakes and breads on their table, too.

For your entree, you will be pick up Rockport-raised, grass-fed beef from Seaview Farms.  Seven generations of Lanes have run this farm since 1838; Ken Lane is continuing the tradition with his beef, and vegetable garden.  He has his own charming market at Seaview Farm, but the Rockport Farmers’ Market wouldn’t be right without a Lane presence.

Every week farmer Mike Raymond from First Light Farms will have a bounty.  This first week Raymond expects spring lettuces, kale, collards, small spring salad turnips, garlic scapes, herbs and more.

Pick up a loaf of Fish Shack Bread, a pie from Mercedes Flavin, and your dinner is complete.

At 11:00 every Saturday the Rockport Farmers Market will also host a short “Garden Talk” by a local expert.  The first week Marvin Roberts, who holds a Ph.D. in botany, will talk about Perennial Vegetable gardens.  Gardener Mary White will speak the following week.

(Read more about Roberts and see photos of his own garden here:  https://heatheratwood.com/blog/?tag=marvin-roberts)

Finish your coffee, wipe the crumbs off your lap, pick up your dinner ingredients, stroll for a bit, visit with friends.  Isn’t that how shopping should be?  Beautiful local ingredients you won’t find everywhere else in the world, picked up in your town’s center, mixed in with a little socializing?

And then you go sailing, and forget everything until dinner time.

Here’s The Official Rockport Farmers’ Market menu; post it on your refrigerator; plan serving a variation of it every Saturday night from June 22 – September 7th.

 

 

Sasquatch smoked mussels served with toasted Fish Shack Bread croutons and salted First Light Farms spring turnips

Pride’s Osteria fresh fettucini and pesto

Seaview Farm Rib Eye Steaks

First Light Farm salad of spring greens and herbs

Homemade Pie from Mercedes Flavin 

or perhaps 

lavender cake from Mayflour confections

 

 

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