I'd been doing farmers markets for about three years before I realized I was part of the food industry. I know that sounds silly, but we farmer types are very territorial and are so proud to be counted among the roughly 0.6% of the population in our country who work in agriculture, we are slow to recognize this crossover.
But now I'm lovin' it! I've met a lot of great people working in food and it's changed a lot about what we do here at Three Springs. We're like kindred spirits - those living in the farming and restaurant realms. We all love what we do (most of the time), keep weird and long hours, put up with a lot of bologna, and bring a unique perspective to everyday things. I like being in the food industry and I thank them for making hayseeds much like myself and others of my ilk to be welcome in their company.
What I didn't expect from my newfound role in food was to receive praise from some of their finest - and both in the same month, for what its worth!
The first was some lovin' we got from none other than...
In this sweet review of Headhouse Market! Cheers to Blooming Glen, Birchrun Hills, Market Day Canele, and Wild Flour Bakery who make Sunday mornings fun and delish for us too!
I was told the famous window sticker is in the mail...
The second was a shout out from The Philly Inquirer's Craig LaBan. The renown restaurant critic gave us special props in the open of his weekly food chat. Then, hit us back on twitter with this juicy review:
For our readers at the James Beard Foundation and Michelin Guide, our contact information can be found at the bottom of this blog!
That was a joke guys.
Some say you'd have to be pretty bold to toot your own horn like this.
Others would say, Farmer Ben is a trumpet player and if you know other trumpet players, you know they can't help themselves. Plus, he's using this blog entry to puff himself up before the crushing realization that all of his Honeycrisp might be worthless after this Hurricane blows through.
"How Do You Like Your Peaches" - Colesville Patch dishes on the best way to enjoy these summer gems
Burst of Flavor at the Fourth Annual Tomato Taste - Silver Spring Patch, after a well-earned tie for second place in last years competition, we narrowly missed the first place crown after, yet again, coming in second place to Mock's 'Sungold' tomatoes. Yet again, we were growing the winning tomato just missed the crown
So here we are in our fifth year attending farmers markets! Hard to believe it's been that long in some ways. Quite a few things have changed since we attended our first market in 2007 (Schuylkill River Park, Philly - update your Three Springs Trivial Pursuit packs). More trivia later - back on topic, one of the things I've noticed as a trend at farmers markets is the renewed interest in food preservation, canning, and pickling. There's a canvolution taking place in this great nation of ours and it was with this in mind that we opened our online store, so that the most voracious, discerning, and preservation-minded among our customers could get, what we Central Pennsylvanians call, "good stuff cheap" (apologies). Are we on to something? We asked Headhouse Market frequenter Ben S. of Philadelphia how we're doing. These are his responses, printed verbatim with his permission.
THREE SPRINGS: What led you to order online from Three Springs?
BEN S.: I buy lots (and lots[at least I consider it to be a lot - I'm not sure how I compare to your overall customer base]) of fruit from Three Springs anyway, and when I want to make a bulk purchase it is quicker and simpler to do it online instead of through email. I like that I can pay via Paypal versus having to go the ATM to get cash. I just show up at the market, grab my crate and go.
They also have great deals on seconds which are great for ice cream, jam etc.
THREE SPRINGS: So! How'd that work out for ya?
BEN S.: Deliciously. So far this year I have bought strawberry seconds, sour cherries, peaches and peach seconds online and all have been good quality (seconds are obviously going to have some bruises etc) and worked well for my various projects.
THREE SPRINGS: What the blazes did you do with all that fruit?
BEN S. : My preferred breakfast is steel cut oatmeal with fruit, so I processed and froze a substantial portion of the fruit for breakfasts throughout the year. I also have started dabbling in making jam and ice cream this summer so that has been the destination for quite a bit of the fruit. My preferred end result though is pie. I like pie. (editor's note: We too love pie - pies of any description. Pies are commonly used to leverage bribes against us)
THREE SPRINGS: Would you order online with Three Springs again and, if so why (if not, why not)?
BEN S.: Definitely. You can get great fruit at a great price. That being said, it would be nice to have some of the other fruits listed up there as well - blueberries, apricots etc and in somewhat smaller quantities (half flat/crate instead of a full one) since a full crate can be a lot to deal with on a Sunday afternoon. Also, they sold strawberry seconds by the pound and I think that would be great for other fruit (apricots - hint, hint). Actually, forget the hint, do you have apricot seconds? Because I want them.
THREE SPRINGS: One non sequitur, have a guess - which of these people have not shopped with Three Springs: Pres. Barack Obama (Happy Birthday), Tony Danza of "Who's The Boss", "Angels in the Outfield", Phillies legend Greg "The Bull" Luzinski, or 1973 AL Rookie of the Year, Al Bumbry?
BEN S. : Definitely Al Bumbry.
So there ya have it - an honest testimonial from a brave Philadelphia pie lover who took the plunge, ordered bulk online with Three Springs, and was rewarded with sweet, sweet pie and the promise of many happy breakfasts in an otherwise cold, barren wintertime. This man could be you! Well... provided you've learned to put up with my bizarre sense of humor like Ben does - thanks man. Second thought, you don't even need a shred of personality to appreciate a deal this good! Generally not a problem at our stand, but not required all the same. If you have any further questions about online orders, just email me or add a comment. If you need good canning inspiration, check out Food in Jars. As a Biglerville native, Canners are very important to me.
And for your Three Springs Trivial Pursuit game, the correct answer is "Greg Luzinski". Orioles Hall of Famer Al Bumbry once left a complimentary voicemail on our office machine that I forbid anyone erase for at least eight months. "The Bull" is always welcome at our stand. We'll trade for BBQ.
Can it forward!
- Farmer Ben