Know Your Farmer Chef & Media Event
Know Your Farmer Chef & Media Event - 7/30/16
I had the pleasure of being invited to the West Chester Growers Farmers Market for the “Know Your Farmer Chef & Media Event”. This was held on July 30th 2016 in West Chester, PA. I was thrilled to have been one of the few picked to attend this event. Since I’m from Philadelphia, I live in an area that has limited access to quality produce. So I was very eager to attend. Upon my arrival, all attendees of the event had to check in.
After checking in, we were given enormous swag bags of so many things that the market provided. I’ve never seen anything like it! We were all given everything from free vouchers to assortments of delicious jams, produce, veggies, bread, pasta, coffee, nuts, pico de gallo, the list goes on! It was such an extremely lovely gift to receive. I could tell a lot of thought went into planning this event. They definitely did a great job of making the attendees feel very welcomed.As I explored the farmers market, I instantly noticed the incredible difference between the produce that they provided and the produce that I would find in a local grocery store in the city of Philadelphia. My personal feelings on produce sold in the city….well, it sucks. I feel like people who live in urban areas are subjected to the left overs and the rejects when it comes to produce. If you venture out to the suburbs, you notice that there’s a huge difference in the quality and variety of produce that’s provided for those areas. It’s always seems to be fresher and the quality is much better. While the city does have farmers markets and co-ops, there’s still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to local grocery stores with the produce that they provide to their communities.
And now, here’s a few favorite items that I grabbed during the Know Your Farmer, Chef and Media event. A vendor that won my heart was Chile Spot! Chile Spot is owned by Jeff Porter. The Chile Spot provides artisan chile pepper products from hot sauce to jams and a variety of peppers. As soon as I stepped up to this vendor’s table, my eyes were set on a apricot habanero jam! I love apricot, so I knew this was going to be something delicious that I just had to bring back home with me. I was able to try a sample, and oh my goodness…It was AMAZING! There was a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. The ingredients mainly contained apricots, sugar, red bell pepper, red habanero pepper, lemon, less than 2% pectin for gelling and ascorbic acid for color retention (ingredients read directly from the jar). This was a must have! Along with the jam, I also purchased a chipotle sauce, two pints of their shishito chile peppers and their moruga scorpion cheddar cheese. This cheddar cheese was a very spicy and flavorful cheese. I was also able to sample this cheese, and definitely needed to purchase this as well. If you’re a pepper lover, please check out Chile Spot. They also have a website where products can also be purchased at www.chilespot.com, this is a great local vendor with awesome products!
Another awesome vendor that I was able to use a voucher for was Vera Pasta. It's owed by Italian Chef Joe D’Andrea. Vera Pasta is an artisan authentic homemade pasta. It has outstanding quality and freshness. They have everything from rigatoni, penne, spinach penne, spicy garlic fusilli and a tomato basil radiatori. I used my voucher for the tomato basil radiatori pasta. I can honestly say, that this was the BEST pasta I’ve ever tasted. It was incredibly fresh, the texture was perfect and the flavor was incredible. If you’re a pasta lover like myself, I highly recommend visiting Vera Pasta at the West Chester Growers Farmers Market. And they also have their own website www.verapasta.com
I had a voucher to receive fresh rosemary and lemon thyme from Applied Climatology LLC. It was my first time ever having herbs this fresh. Applied Climatology has everything from herbs, trees and such gorgeous perennials. The gentleman who I received my herbs from was extremely helpful. He was very informative and answered any questions on how to care for my new herbs. I really enjoyed my experience at this vendor.
Lastly, I ended my visit at Shaeffer Flowers. I had a voucher for this vender so I chose this beautiful bouquet to come home with me. They had some of the prettiest flowers I’ve seen. If you’re ever in West Chester PA and you’re looking for flowers, stop by Shaeffer Flowers and grab some of their beautiful flowers.
Thank you so much West Chester Growers Market for throwing such a wonderful event. I was very grateful for the goodies that I was sent home with, and I’m happy to have met all the hard working farmers and locals that provide such great products and produce throughout the surrounding areas. For more information about West Chester Growers Farmers Market, please go to www.westchestergrowersmarket.com