By Michelle Pittman and Michael Buck
It’s hard to believe that the now-thriving Easton Farmers’ Market was in danger of seeing an end to a 250-year old tradition just a few years ago.
But thanks to a small group of local, dedicated vendors, including Lorraine and Isidore (Bill) Mineo of LC’s Farm Alastar, the market carries on. LC’s Farm is one of the must-stop stands at the market, especially now, as beautiful heirloom tomatoes start to hit the peak of their season.
The Mineos specialize in Mediterranean fruits and vegetables, including all sorts of chards, kales, zucchinis, eggplants, beans, tomatoes, peppers and herbs that you won’t find in any grocery store. That’s because most of what the Mineos have to offer is of the heirloom variety, which just isn’t grown on a large scale. If you’ve ever needed a good reason to eat locally, this is it.
Not only do the Mineos offer an incredible variety of produce, but they are happy to tell you the best way to prepare it. We got lots of tips on how to make the Italian zucchini we purchased (cut in large chunks and pan-fried with olive oil and garlic) and a bunch of French beans (steamed and finished with a little olive oil). We learned a ton about different varieties of mint and the best strain of cilantro to plant in our own garden (Delphina). Bill’s family used to own an import store on South Side, and many people still remember their famous olive spread. That might be the one recipe that’s off limits.
With farms throughout the area, including in Stoudt Valley, Williams Township, the Mineos grow their produce utilizing non-certified organic, biodynamic practices. Before farming, Lorraine was a biologist and professor at Lafayette for 36 years and Bill worked as chemist, so they more than know what they’re talking about—they’re real-deal experts.
Their heirloom tomatoes would be excellent in this week’s Feaston dish—a perfect light supper or brunch for the summer. Be sure to check it out.
LC’s Farm Alastar, 610/838-7872; Easton Farmers’ Market on Saturdays; Saucon Valley Farmers Market on Sundays; and through the Lehigh Valley Food Co-op.