Posts Tagged ‘Cape Ann Farmers’ Market’

Farmer’s Market Season Begins!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The (outdoors) Cape Ann Farmer’s Market begins this Thursday, June 12

When:  Thursday afternoons from 3:00 – 6:30

Location:  Stage Fort Park


Rockport Farmer’s Market begins Saturday, June 21st 

When:  Saturday mornings 9:00 – 1:00

Location:  in Harvey Park right in downtown Rockport.  Harvey Park is the little park surrounded by hedges across from The Red Skiff restaurant.


Essex Farmer’s Market begins Saturday June 21st.

When:  Saturday mornings 9:00 – 12:00

Location:  Shepard Memorial Park, 24 Martin St., Essex, MA



Fresh Peach “Burgers”

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013


Peaches will be arriving in our Famers’ Markets soon; here’s an unusual and delicious way to turn them into a light summer meal – Peach “Burgers!”

Remember, we have three Farmers’ Markets on Cape Ann:

The Essex Farmers’ Market happens on Saturday mornings at the Ebb and Flo Parking Lot on Rt. 133.  Aster B, the new locally-grown flower business is there creating bouquets.



Melissa Glorieux arrived in Essex from San Francisco, home to one of the lushest farmers’ markets in the country.  On just under an acre of cultivated farm land, Glorieux and horticulturist Renee Portanova now grow peonies, sweet peas, icelandic poppies, sunflowers, nasturtiums, strawflowers, lisianthus, verbena, and bouquet-herbs like verbena, oregano, sage, rosemary, lavender, camomile, fennel dill, and more.  Wedding planners, a steady business for Aster B., are swooning over the homegrown aesthetic, but the fetching bouquets are there for all of us on Saturday mornings.  As summer flows the flower palettes will just keep getting brighter.


 (photo – Jason Grow)

Our old favorite Cape Ann Farmers’ Market, the grand dame to the young Rockport and Essex Markets, still offers not just a bushel basket of farm choices, but a wonderful late afternoon out.  Located in Stage Fort Park from 3:00 – 6:30, the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market invites a stroll past an abundance of vendors, a chance to meet friends, and grab some homemade Lebanese flatbread for a snack. The Cape Ann Farmers’ Market is the best of marketplace shopping.  The parking is easy; the view of Gloucester Harbor is spectacular, and farmers like Maggie from Mehaffey Farm, a farm in Rowley in the Mehaffey family since 1718, smiles warmly at you as she hands you a magnificent chartreuse Romanesco broccoli grown by her son.  (Maggie’s on the right in this great Jason Grow photo.)


Who needs a grocery store in Rockport when we’ve got a Farmers’ Market Saturday morning?  Everything you need for a beautiful summer dinner is there – two farms worth of local produce, Sasquatch Smoked Fish, homemade bread, fresh pasta, The World’s Best Pesto, locally raised grass-fed beef, flowers, a Homegrower’s wheelbarrow, advice from experts, Mercedes Flavin pies, and Maple Syrup from the Sullivans, who are so nice it’s just worth stopping by to say hi.

Here’s my Peach Burger recipe, adapted from something called a “peach and goatcheese sandwich” I found scrawled in my mother’s handwriting in her recipe box.   After you’ve eaten enough ripe peaches out of your hand, make this; it probably the best thing to do with a peach after making pie.


Fresh Peach “Burgers”

serves 4

4 ounces ricotta cheese

4 ounces goat cheese

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

2 large ripe peaches

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

4 crusty round rolls



Mix cheeses until smooth and creamy.  Fold in walnuts and mint.  This mixture is best allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.

In a small bowl stir together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Slice the peaches in half, and toss halves in the dressing to coat well.

Heat a grill pan or skillet to medium high.  (You could also do this on an outside grill.) When the pan is hot, lay peaches cut side down in the pan.  Cook for four minutes or until side is dark brown and beginning to caramelize.  Flip, and cook for four minutes on the other side, really just to heat the peach, as the curved bottom doesn’t allow grill marks.  Remove to a warm oven while you are assembling the sandwiches.

Toast or grill the buns.  Spread one half thickly with the cheese mixture.  Lay lettuce leaves down on the other half, and lay the warm peach on top.  Drizzle any leftover dressing on top.  Close the sandwich and serve.


“The Food Less Traveled”

Friday, June 14th, 2013


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:

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:

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