Northampton Winter Market

I promised you a visit to Northampton’s unique shopping plaza, Thorne’s Market, and we’re way overdue because it’s been overrun with Christmas shoppers and hustle and bustle. So we’re sneaking in today by way of the basement, where on Saturday mornings you’ll find the Northampton Winter Market. It’s kind of chilly and kind of bare, but you’ll still find the local farmers and local shoppers mixing it up here:

This is the stand of Atlas Farms, from Deerfield, and here’s what’s in some of what their baskets:

Have you ever seen a watermelon radish before? I hadn’t! They look remarkably like their namesake, and are milder tasting than you might expect a radish to be, more like a turnip, in fact, of which there are plenty at the market:

These radishes were grown at  Town Farms, which, as the name promises, grows its crops in an area called The Meadows, right in the heart of the city of Northampton. (To see my intensely green discovery, the incredible tatsoi, also grown at Town Farms, click here on A View from the Woods —)

There are plenty of greens for sale, in fact, because rather than killing, frost more often nips their toes lovingly. Wild Sky Farm in Easthampton produced the “frost-sweetened” spinach here —

Potatoes are keepers all winter, and I was overwhelmed with the choice at this stand:

They’re grown at Twin Oaks Farm, in Agawam, and the farmer here is John Spineti:

Our region is blessedly fertile, but not heavily populated, which creates too much of a good thing, perhaps. John was quoted in the New York Times this summer about the resulting glut of farmers’ markets, with serious economic effects for local farmers. But farming’s always been like that. Weather, economic conditions, nothing’s ever certain —

Except that farmers love what they do, and fight to the last breath to be able to go on doing it. Luckily for us — So let’s hear it for John and all the farmers of the Northampton Winter Market:

THANK YOU

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This entry was posted in Etcetera, Food, Photography, Pioneer Valley, winter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Northampton Winter Market

  1. ceceliafutch says:

    Yes, THANK YOU! Everything looks delicious.

    Like

  2. Pauline says:

    There’s nothing like a fresh vegetable in the dead of winter, one that’s grown locally and green-ly. My winter squash numbered a paltry few this year and have all been eaten. I may have to come for a visit and hit the market with you!

    Like

  3. Amy says:

    Lovely! It all looks so wonderful!

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      I was amazed myself, Amy —
      And looking forward to visiting again. Maybe picking up tatsoi if they have any again (the photo on View in the link, most exotic offering of all!)
      Happy New Year to you! 🙂

      Like

  4. Rebekah says:

    Oh, I love places like this … especially in the Winter … all the scents! In this, particular market, I know what I would have bought: Potatoes! What a wonderful selection …

    In our grocery store, they always used to have a certain kind of potatoes, referred to as «fingerlings», I bought them all the time but now they no longer have them. Normally, I buy yellow-fleshed potatoes, except for making mashed potatoes, where I use the white ones.

    In Quebec City, they had beautiful markets like this … here we do have the City Market, but that’s a little different … think I’ll write a blog about it some time.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Do the blog post, Rebekah! I for one would love to see it —
      I just bought a little sack of fingerlings in the regular big supermarket today. All of a sudden they’re everywhere. The yellow-fleshed are my “go to” potatoes, even for mashed. For baking, though, I like Idahos, although I’m more apt to bake sweet potatoes instead.
      It was fun to see John Spintini’s varieties — there were even more than shown in the photo.

      Like

  5. barb19 says:

    They have some nice produce there, and a fantastic selection of potatoes to choose from!
    Thank you to all the farmers who make it all possible.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      This particular farmer (of the potatoes, and in summer of tomatoes and eggplants and fig trees!) was so nice and kind and welcoming!
      And I ADORE potatoes of all colors and varieties. Sounds like you do too!

      Like

  6. At first I thought this was here in the UK!
    Beautiful food right from the source, theres nothing better.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Absolutely, Gilly. Summer here is quite wonderful because of that —
      It’s tougher in winter. I always think of the UK winter as milder, but I guess that depends where you are.
      Thanks so much for the visit!

      Like

  7. What a great Winter market: I’d love to be able to buy my vegtables there !

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  8. thirdhandart says:

    The potatoes look yummy, so I’d buy a couple pounds of them. But, I’d also like one of those butternut squashes please. They’re pretty good baked with butter.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      After you get ’em hacked open with a cleaver or a hatchet! I confess — I only buy them when they’ve cut and peeled them —
      But they’re delicious all right. The more butter the better —
      😉

      Like

  9. cocomino says:

    Sounds great shop. I like such shops because I like eating and growing vegetables.
    In our country local small farmers have difficulty selling their vegetables. So this is a good example.

    Like

  10. Patti Kuche says:

    What gorgeous, colourful produce and how wonderful to have such freshness available within the seasons. My absolute favourite is the Union Sq market in NYC where I will now look out for frosty spinach and other treats.
    Wishing you happy browsing and shopping when next at your wonderful local FM!

    Like

  11. Stef says:

    I’ve never even heard of a watermelon radish before, much less seen one. That could be a great item for #75 on my 101 list (http://smilekiddo.wordpress.com/101-in-1001/).

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      I was too quick on the draw (see reply to comment on View). Watermelon radish is very striking and unusual and makes a cool photo. But taste? Meh.
      Stick with me, though, and you’ll be fulfillin’ #75 again and again 😉

      Like

  12. I do love a great Farmer’s Market. Thank you for taking us into yours. The watermelon radish look quite delicious. I have never heard of those before.

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