The summer solstice arrives this week with an flood of summer color: yellows, golds, salmon, orange brights and on to chartreuse and every shade and texture of green. Another month will pass before purples, reds, and additional shapes, doused in all the summer hues appear, edible signs of summertime.
More signs of summer are right on cue in the marsh, on the beach and in the field: strutting egrets, blue heron aloft, beach plum blossoms faded and quietly forming fruit- we delight in our summer place. And each day we wonder what to cook, where to find the summer foods we crave? That’s the central question asked in every home, regardless of your culinary skill or devotion to eating local. Reliably, you know the answer of where to go on Thursdays for bushels of snap peas, the first summer squashes and early corn when it arrives. But where can you go when it is NOT Thursday, when you need fresh herbs or another seasonal ingredient for a recipe, something for a cookout, to see a local food chef in action, or for a quick bite made from food raised with-love? Fortunately and gratefully, you have options every day of the week:
Martha’s Local Foods at Stephens Field is now open every day 11-3 to enjoy a quick bite of local (except on Thursdays when she’ll be serving at the farmers’ market!) Martha is a French inspired food economist who cannot abide a fresh local crop of anything going unloved or kitchenless and at the end of market day she strategically purchases what she wants to cook for a weekend of local food meals, for her family and for her customers. Martha caters home occasions and also cooks to serve lunch at Stephens Field, all summer. Her signature dishes of pate and hummus, smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, soup, pizza (from Rose and Vicki’s in Manomet where Martha cooks), even hot dogs (nitrite free!), fresh eggs from Centerhill Farm and occasional crops in abundance from her farmer friends- fresh and prepared local foods available all summer. Launch the kayak, bike or a waterfront stroll from this seaside spot and when you return hungry, Martha’s local fare will be ready.
Holmes Farm Stand, on Manomet Point Road, open Wednesday- Sunday, 10-7, is a Plymouth farm harvesting a daily selection of veggies, herbs and flowers as well as supplying staple crops from nearby farms. Bramhalls Country store on Sandwich Road in Chiltonville is a go to place for a lobster roll stuffed with freshly shucked lobster meat, just sweet and salty enough (and if it is Thursday, you can savor one while a the market) and also is an option for fresh lobster and locally grown produce as well.
Bay End Farm stand in Buzzards Bay is open Wednesdays 1:30-5:30 and Saturdays 10-2, for fresh organic crops picked just steps away in the lush fields. Farmers Kofi, Erin and Chris say, “Please come visit the farm!” Heading north you can also find several of your favorite farmers and food-makers at the Marshfield Farmers’ Market every Friday at the Fairgrounds, 2-6pm, as well as all manner of cooking demos and fun garden and green activities. This Sunday, June 23, noon to 4pm debuts the Norwell Farmers’ Market at the South Shore Science Center. This is the day to stock up for the week ahead, every Sunday into October, and a chance to enjoy the woodland trails and native wildflower colonies too.
edible South Shore Magazine makes note of all the summer food and fun happenings, a listing of all farmers markets in the region, and articles inspiring an exploration of local farms and food in the south shore region. Finally, if you care to indulge in a very special and delicious evening under the stars, among farmers and people who believe local food is essential for a strong and vibrant community, the premier South Coast Farm to Table dinner is served next Friday, June 28 at Alderbrook Farm in South Dartmouth and tickets are still available from SEMAP.
These are but a few of the most local, local food options you have when it is NOT Thursday and you need to stock up or want to enjoy a bite of local love and we encourage you to get out and about this summer and stock up on seasonal, local food wherever you can find it. And remember, the farmers and cooks await your return each and every Thursday.
May your summer be nourishing and fun, Happy Solstice!