All the Best of All Things Local

Archive: Aug 2007

Citiparks Farmers’ Markets

  1. Citiparks Farmers’ Markets

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    Try our Farmers’ Market Dinner Party.

    We took a trip to a small but ample farmers’ market in downtown Pittsburgh to see if we could get everything we needed for a dinner party in the evening. The market on the veranda of the City-County Building, hidden by scaffolding, held a bounty of treasures from farms and local producers. For our dinner party we got a variety of farm-fresh veggies and fruit from Dillner Family Farm in Gibsonia, beautiful cookies from Joyce’s Homemade Cookies in McCKees Rocks, rice and spice mixes from Evelyn’s Incredible Edibles in Canonsburg, and fresh herbs and cut flowers from Pisarcik Greenhouses in Valenica.

    With just olive oil, a box of pasta, and salt and pepper from our pantry, we were more than successful in finding what we needed for a fabulous dinner party for 6 right at that little farmers’ market.

    We also picked up a few other items. We couldn’t resist Mrs. Jones’ potato salad (we ate this for lunch) and her Multi-Purpose Sauce (for pasta, pizza or barbecue, we’ll decide later!). Fudge and other goodies tempted, but we were loaded down with our dinner party treats…we’ll have to come back another time!

    To find other farmers’ markets in your area, visit

    Links and Contacts:
    Dillner Family Farm

    Evelyn’s Incredible Edibles

    Joyce’s Homemade Cookies
    647 Broadway Avenue
    McKees Rocks, PA 15136

    Pisarcik Greenhouse & Cut Flowers
    Elaine Pisarcik
    365 Browns Hill Road
    Valencia, PA

  2. Field Trip — Telluride Festival of the Arts (including culinary arts!)

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    Summer 2009 — Telluride, Colorado

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    For me (and my family) out of town excursions are always enhanced by food.  But this year our end-of-summer Local Goodness adventure was actually planned around food.  We decided we should take our 8-year old son along with us to the mountains.  Making choices where to travel in this magnificent state can be difficult, with so much to do, see and experience.  The first half of our trip, however, was made easy because the Telluride Festival of the Arts (including culinary arts!) was the impetus for this trip.  Although both my husband and I had traveled to Colorado many times, I had never been to Telluride or the surrounding area.  What a beautiful place to experience in the summertime!  But as I said, the food was what brought us here…and it was incredible!  The art and food festival was a wonderfully contained event in Mountain Village, a gondola ride up from Telluride.  We watched cooking demonstrations by local chefs, met local artists (and Sophie the dog), and capped the experience with the main event  — an incredible evening eating and drinking our way around Mountain Village, indulging on sumptuous treats from area restaurants.  In Telluride and throughout our entire trip we visited local farmers’ markets, farm stands and enjoyed a bounty of treats — grass fed beef, artisan cheeses from grass fed Jersey cows, loads of organic goodies, fresh roasted peppers, red and green okra, and Poona (a native American cucumber). We cooked trout stream-side, ate Navajo tacos in Mesa Verde, drank micro-brewed beer at the highest brew pub in the United States, and noshed on local cheeses and jerky in Rocky Mountain National Park. Our decision to go to the mountains…in search of food…was rewarded greatly.  If possible, we’ll plan to go back for the Telluride Festival of the Arts very soon and once again, eat our way around the state.

  3. McConnell’s Farm, Aliquippa, PA

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    Featured Recipes:

    Grilled Fresh Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream

    Fresh Peach Bellini

    1963 Fresh Peach Cobbler

    Nine generations of the McConnell family have worked this farm since 1787 when it was awarded to Captain John B. McConnell as payment for his services in the Revolutionary War. He received 1000 acres for forming and commanding a militia outside Philadelphia. Today, brothers Cal McConnell, Naval Academy grad and retired military, and Ed McConnell, Harvard grad and high school teacher, farm the remaining 200 acres and grow the best peaches I have ever eaten.

    No wonder. They begin pruning their peach trees in January and continue tending the trees and thinning the fruit until it is time to pick. Their hard work results in softball size peaches whose juices run to your elbows after the first bite.

    Cal’s daughter Amy, her husband David and their six month old daughter are the newest generations to work on the farm. In fact, they believe McConnells’ Farm is the oldest farm west of the Alleghenies to be farmed continuously by the same family.

    Their peaches can be found at a variety of farmers’ markets around Pittsburgh from late July to mid September. But if you have time, be sure to stop at the farm and visit with Cal’s mother, Anna, who just celebrated her 90th birthday and has been working on the farm for 73 years. What ever you do, try their peaches…they are like nothing you’ve ever tasted!

    Learn more at their new website —

    Hours: Mon. to Fri. 10Am – 7PM, Sat 10AM – 6PM, and Sun 10AM – 4PM.

    McConnell’s Farm
    294 New Bethlehem Church Road
    Aliquippa, PA 15001

    Contact: Amy McConnell Schaarsmith
    phone: 412-608-3618