Wyck Farm, Philadelphia, Oct. 23, 2015

ricketts4.jpgPeppers and tomatoes purchased at the Wyck Farm Market in the Germantown section of Philadelphia on October 23, 2015, photographed in Ricketts Glen

Oct. 23, 2015–Wyck Farm is an underappreciated treasure in my neighborhood in Philadelphia (as I’ve said before, for instance last July and last November). At the weekly farmers market that opens on the sidewalk of Germantown Avenue every Friday afternoon from May until around Thanksgiving, you can buy fresh-picked gourmet produce for a friendly, neighborhood price. You can also pick up gardening tips, in a stroll through the garden behind the fence, which is open for self-directed tour during market hours, or in a chat with the farm manager, Katie Brownell. Her weekly newsletter is also a fount of tips. In fact, it is what drew me to the market today.

In this week’s newsletter, Katie noted that Wyck Farm had gotten its first light frosts on two nights in a row. Since the frost was in the forecast, she was able to strip the garden of the last tomatoes, peppers and other lingering summer crops before the freeze ruined them. That meant they would be on sale at this Friday’s market for the last time of the year.

Duly alerted, I hustled on over. I came away not only with some last-of-the-season tomatoes and peppers but some hardier greens that can shake off a frost and will keep the market open until Thanksgiving.

Wyck Farm Market
6026 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(215) 848-1690
Saturdays, 2-6 p.m.

One item that the newsletter put on my must-buy list was escarole. “This week will be the first for escarole, one of my all-time favorites,” Katie wrote. Really? Escarole? I rarely buy it, which turns out to have been an inexplicable oversight, given that I like braised greens such as spinach and kale, and there’s hardly a better green for braising, as I realized when I tried Katie’s suggestion for what to do with it (see below).


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The Wyck Farm Market (above) on the brick sidewalk of cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, and just over the fence, Wyck Farm (below) 

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Last-of-the-season tomatoes

The tomatoes were weathered, as to be expected this time of year, but as tasty and sweet as at their summer peak, and like no other tomatoes we’ll see for seven or eight months.

Price: $3/lb.

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An assortment of peppers

Price: $3/lb.

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Escarole (left) and mustard greens

This is what Katie does with escarole: “Chop it up and throw it in a pan with olive oil, garlic, about ¼-cup of vegetable broth, and salt and pepper, cook for about 10 minutes until the broth mostly cooks off and the escarole is wilted, and enjoy a perfect autumn side dish!”

Price: $2/bunch mustard

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French breakfast radishes

Price: $2/bunch