Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Meet the Makers Trip: Part II

Catch up on Part I here...

Part II of my Philly Homegrown trip started at Greensgrow Farm in Fishtown, where Mary Corboy welcomed the group with a pop-up cafe in the back of the farm. (That's Mary, below). She told us the story of the farm and what's next, now that it's a wildly popular and well-embraced resource in the neighborhood. Just stop by on a Saturday around 11am, and this place looks like an outdoor festival - Lots of young couples loaded down with baskets and sun hats, little kids running around excited about vegetables, dogs everywhere, and people sharing recipes and techniques in conversation.

Every time I visit, it's even busier and the selection is even better. I used to come years ago for ingredients when visiting my family (they live a block away) so that I could prepare veggie meals at their house. 

I had already eaten breakfast so I snacked on some strawberries and had green tea. I'm not a Bloody Mary person (gotta watch the Worcestershire sauce) but they did look stunning with the fresh vegetable skewers.

We made our way to Marathon Farm in the Brewerytown neighborhood, where we learned that half of the vegetables grown would be sold to the neighborhood for below-supermarket prices, with the other half being sold at cost to the Marathon family of restaurants in Philadelphia.

The idea is to bring fresh food into a neighborhood that does not have access to it. So far, the response has been positive, and the farm will start selling to the neighborhood this Saturday.

Naturally, we headed to Marathon on the Square for lunch. I filled up on chilled cucumber soup (it's on special today! spicy and refreshing!) and vegan tofu scramble (excellent!), and many of us were served veggies that were just picked from the farm. You can order the local greens as a side, too.

The rest of the group headed off to tour Philadelphia Brewing Company. I hauled my veggies from Greensgrow back home and later on, we cooked up a feast of grilled yellow squash, zucchini, two types of mushrooms, and couscous. We snacked on some gifts from Mary - a jar of pickled ramps and pickled fiddleheads. Best pickled anything I have ever had. Finished with red wine and fell into bed.

I spend my week working with what I know, but when it comes to the weekend, I am ready to learn new things, even in my own backyard. I was so glad to have a chance to talk to farmers and feel a little more connected to my ingredients. Thanks again to Philly Homegrown, Greater Philadelphia Tourism, and everyone involved in the tour.

As a Philadelphian, I must tell you that this city is growing big things.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this.

During these past winter months I passed Greensgrow Farm a few times and wondered about them.

Intersting stuff.

Allan Smithee

Natalie @ AngstLovesSpinach said...

I think I spy two familiar faces in your group. Was the curly blond man named Alex? Was the redhead named Leslie? Do you know?

Besides that, it looks like you had a great time. Now I want to go to Marathon if for no other reason than to show them some love for what they're doing with that farm...

kellywhitephillips said...

Natalie - the farm manager at Marathon is Adam and I don't believe there was a Leslie along for the trip. Most of the writers were from out of town.

Marathon is a smart business and the Farm is such a great move for them on so many levels - Brewerytown really needs them.

Lauren said...

this sounds great! it's wonderful to see where things in your town really come from and how it all comes together, but to get to eat the delicious food!
your grilled zucchini looks so delicious!