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Asta is in for 5th Annual Urban Barn Dance
Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   

On October 6th, the 5th Annual Urban Barn Dance is taking place at Community Rowing, Inc. Presented by Mass Farmers Markets - a non-profit organization that partners with farmers, consumers, and communities to foster, enhance, and sustain local farmers' markets - this popular event features live [bluegrass] music, a silent auction, and food that reflects the fall season. The best news? This year's featured chef is Alex Crabb from Asta, which was also just voted Best New Restaurant by Boston Magazine

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Dewey Square Farmers' Market
Farmers and Markets
Written by Melissa Wallace   

On a busy Thursday afternoon, I walked around Dewey Square to visit the farmers' market. It was a gloomy Thursday, but the streets were busy with people, most likely on their lunch break looking for some good food.

 Bon Me was parked at the market and had a long line of people waiting for their lunch. Although it was a bit chilly, the tables were packed with people eating their lunches in the square.  

This market has a little bit of everything including fresh produce, meat, fish, bread, and other baked goods. Some of the many vendors include Pleasant Valley GardensKimball Fruit FarmFreitas FarmLilac Hedge FarmRed’s Best SeafoodWhen Pigs Fly BreadSwissbakers, and Q’s Nuts.     

As I walked around the market to check out the many vendors, the plethora of tomatoes at Kimball Fruit Farm caught my eye. I love the pints of small tomatoes, so I picked up two of those along with garlic and spring onions. I thought it would be nice to make a colorful bruschetta for an appetizer that evening. Since I decided to make bruschetta, I needed a fresh baguette, which I found at When Pigs Fly Bread.

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Locally Sourced Gelato
Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   

This time of year, nothing beats a spoonful (or, bowlful) of cold and creamy gelato. But here in New England, it can be hard to find a gelato that’s made with ingredients produced locally. Thankfully, Pazzo Gelato Café, which has recently opened in North Andover, is changing that – just in time for summer.

Pazzo offers up to 20 gelato flavors each day. The flavors change regularly, but expect innovative creations such as Pistachio, Peanut Brittle, and Pineapple Mango Sorbetto.  

To help fulfill our gelato cravings, we had a chat with Pazzo’s owner, Jim Demotses, to get the lowdown on his product, and why he feels it’s important to work with local farmers. 

Why did you choose North Andover for Pazzo's location? 

My wife and I live in North Andover and so it was very appealing to be part of the community in a new way as a business owner. I also saw an opportunity to fill a niche with quality-driven, hand-crafted, artisan frozen dessert options in a warm, inviting atmosphere. 

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Cavendish Game Birds Farm to Post Dinner at Post 390
Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Lara Zelman   

The sleek exterior of Post 390 at the corner of Clarendon and Stuart Street opens up into a warm, inviting space offering equally warm and inviting cuisine. Post 390 is an urban tavern featuring seasonally inspired dishes from Chef Eric Brennan. Post 390 is part of the Himmel Hospitality Group (which also includes Grill 23 and Harvest). Himmel Hospitality Group emphasizes the highest quality food and service. This starts with their focus on quality ingredients and suppliers and extends through the staff in the restaurants. 

The food and drink at Post 390 reflects this focus. Menus change often to reflect the seasons and availability. Post 390 offers Farm to Post, a special series to highlight local producers and farmers. Farm to Post is a menu highlighting the product of a local farm or producer. The Farm to Post menu allows a larger restaurant like Post 390 to support the local food industry at a manageable scale. Featured producers over the series have included Kimball Fruit Farm (Massachusetts and New Hampshire), Ward’s Berry Farm (Massachusetts), and 5 Spoke Creamery (New York). I had the opportunity to attend the kickoff dinner for the latest Farm to Post menu featuring Cavendish Game Birds of Springfield, Vermont. The menu features inventive dishes from Chef Brennan utilizing quail from Cavendish Game Birds. 

Post 390 quailCavendish Game Birds is a family operation run by Bill and Rick Thompson. Since the early 1990s the brothers have been growing their business supplying high quality game birds and eggs across the United States. From their location in Springfield, Vermont the brothers manage all aspects of the process from breeding through processing. It is a surprisingly quick six weeks from hatchery to table. The Thompson brothers have spent many years breeding the Coturnix quail and the high standards and dedication of the Thompson brothers are reflected in the premium product they produce. Their facility includes a state of the art hatchery that produces 6,000 to 8,000 quail each week. Cavendish Game Birds’ quail is a light meat with a slightly sweet flavor. Streaks of fat under the skin keep the birds moist during cooking. 

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Farmers' Market on Wheels
Farmers and Markets
Written by Michelle Lahey   

Snappy asparagus, juicy tomatoes, plump, sweet cherries – it’s easy to enjoy the taste of fresh, seasonal produce. Unfortunately, despite the abundance of it we have here in Boston, there are still some neighborhoods that don’t have access to any of it. Thankfully, a group of locals are hoping to change that – with a farmers’-market-meets-food-truck.

Daniel Clarke and Josh Trautwein – both Northeastern grads - recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their invention, Fresh Truck (you can learn about the rest of the Fresh Truck team here). Their goal was to raise $30,000 in order to bring healthy food to the communities that need it most, in bus form. Not surprisingly, Clarke and Trautwein reached their goal, and plan to deliver their first busload of goods in April or May.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to eat healthy and be well,” Clarke said.

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