It might seem like a tease to talk about sweet corn in November, but that’s what SIW (Stepped in What) Farm does best. “We make sure it’s fresh,” says farmer H. G. Haskell III. “Every ear of corn we sell is fresh-picked that day—in fact, we’ll pick it two or three times a day if we need to.”
The 60-acre Chadds Ford vegetable farm also cultivates over 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. The leftovers make it into SIW’s canned tomato sauce. The key factor is ripeness. “When big companies make tomato sauce—picking them by the tractor trailer-load—the tomatoes can’t all be super ripe or they’ll get squished,” explains Haskell. “But we pick them ripe, and use smaller boxes. We also use local sweet onions. It’s a very simple recipe.”
SIW now makes hundreds of cases of sauce, a portion of which they donate to local food cupboards. They also sell raspberry butter, pumpkin butter and ketchup (which Haskell claims has a cult following). SIW Vegetables, 4317 S. Creek Rd., Chadds Ford, siw-vegetables.blogspot.com; available at SIW’s farmstand, Winterthur Farmers’ Market and the Fair Food Farmstand.
There’s local beer, and then there’s local beer. Philadelphia Brewing Company recently released their latest batch of Harvest From the Hood, a fresh-hopped brew employing locally-grown hops from PBC’s courtyard and nearby Greensgrow Farms. A seasonal specialty, the beer is brewed on the same day the hops are handpicked. With a rich amber color and excellent balance of crisp hop flavor and malty goodness, this is a tempting cold weather brew. Harvest From the Hood, Philadelphia Brewing Company, 7% ABV; available on tap at local bars and in 22 oz. bottles.