The blistering heat forced tourist Ashley Kramer to follow the crowds through the Yard to the Harvard Farmers’ Market, where he might have quenched his thirst with a sample of lemonade. Instead, he found Culinary Cruisers, a bicycle-powered food cart selling kombucha, a funky probiotic drink.
“I’d never had kombucha until I came to the states,” said Kramer, who is from New Zealand by way of South Africa, “but when I return home, I think I’m going to start brewing my own.”
The taste of kombucha is somewhere between sparkling apple juice and wine; and while it’s fermented, it’s nonalcoholic.
“People really like it,” said the man behind the cart, Josh Danoff, who runs the enterprise alongside his sister. “I drink a lot of coffee — I love coffee — but now when I wake up, I drink this. It’s given me so much more energy.”
“I never expected to find a farmers’ market right in the middle of campus — it’s pretty cool,” said Kramer, who supped more than a few samples of the drink, slid on his silver aviators, and headed on his way.
The Harvard Farmers’ Market brings the season’s luscious bounty to Harvard every Tuesday outside the Science Center and every Friday in Allston.
There’s an array of produce from farms across Massachusetts — spicy arugula, fragrant tomatoes, fresh-plucked corn, and juicy strawberries. But one-stop shopping is possible too, with meat purveyors such as John Crow Farm and seafood from Cape Ann Fresh Catch, pasta from Nella Pasta, and cheese from Narragansett Creamery. Why not pick up some sweet and spicy Sassy Mo’ Lassy barbecue sauce from Burnin’ Love Sauces? Nothing says summer like wafting charcoal smoke and the scent of barbecue chicken filling the block.
JoAnn Marsh and her husband, a chef of more than two decades, dreamed up their sauce business from their home in Dorchester, Mass. “We make everything from scratch,” she said, and her barbecue and hot sauces, as well as salad dressings, are all low in sodium and gluten-free. No preservatives, no corn syrup.
Carrie Ayers, a financial and operations coordinator at Harvard Law School, visits the market often to supplement what she gets delivered from a local community supported agriculture program — this week it’s broccoli, corn, and a jar of pasta sauce.
“I like that I can come and get fresh food and that it’s local and sustainable and convenient,” she said. “There’s some places I go that I’d like to stay away from — like the Danish Pastry House — but there’s so much here to choose from.”
The Harvard Farmers’ Market runs through October. For more information and a list of vendors.