A culinary winter wonderland

Mari Otto

Outdoor farmers’ market open through the season

With the groundhog’s promise of an early spring, the blues of winter could not be any more humdrum. And while the thought of staying in bed may appear much more enticing than the prospect of braving the tundra outside, the Easton Farmers Market makes its return just in time to awaken Lafayette students from hibernation.

Having delayed the opening of the indoor Easton Public Market due to construction, the Easton Farmers’ Market is holding an outdoor winter mart in its place.

“Our goal is really to offer as many options as possible, so we will continue to have the winter market next year even when the indoor market is open,” said Megan McBride, the market manager.

Although 2016 is the winter market’s first year outside, Easton’s beloved speciality has been a tremendous success despite the wintry weather.

“We’re really encouraged to see the number of folks that are coming out, and since it [the market] is only held the second and fourth Saturdays, they really stock up,” McBride said. “It just shows people’s commitment to buying fresh and local even during the winter months.”

Owing to a farming technique called high tunnel farming, which places plastic tunnels over fields to be warmed by the sun, the market is able to feature the freshest of ingredients throughout the year, even in the cold, dark month of February.

Students will find Fieldstone Coffee Roasters and Tea, Pickle Licious, Debbie’s Pie in the Sky, Tomblers Bakery and along with other vendors. Apple Ridge Farm, Purely Farm, Primordia Mushrooms, Scholl Orchards and others are also offering nutritional foods.

“There’s wonderful, hearty breads, soups, but you have a nice selection of winter vegetables, a lot of root vegetables; turnips, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, mushrooms, squashes,” McBride said.

The indoor Easton Public Market will be opening in mid-March, and fortunately, we’ve got the winter market to tide us over until then. In the former Express Times parking lot beside 30 N. Fourth St., the winter market will be open 10-12 a.m. snow or shine on the following Saturdays: Feb. 13, Feb. 27, Mar. 12, Mar. 26, April 9 and April 23.