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DC Area Farmer's Markets -- 2007


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Almost to beautiful to be real, monavano. Is that Toigo corn? I've been jonesing for some the whole time we've been in San Diego. We get back tomorrow night and Thursday I'll be heading straight for the Penn Qtr market.

(And I have that same platter. :smile: )

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Almost to beautiful to be real, monavano.  Is that Toigo corn?  I've been jonesing for some the whole time we've been in San Diego.  We get back tomorrow night and Thursday I'll be heading straight for the Penn Qtr market. 

(And I have that same platter.  :smile: )

It is Toigo corn. It's yellow corn that is sublime. It was labeled as "miri", but I believe it is probably "mirai"(pronounced me-RYE) corn. It's a sweet corn, but actually tastes like corn, not just a burst of sugar in your mouth. It was .75 and ear, but worth every penny. I'm sticking with it until the season's done!

Have a safe journey home!

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Mount Vernon again this morning. Interesting items included celery and rainbow chard from the "ecoganic" stand. Also seen were very nice looking zucchini blossoms at $3.25 a pint and the last of the blueberries for the season (at least according to the sign). The first winter squashes, acorn and butternut, showed up as well. I bought a big bag of fresh lima beans that I will shell later. I hated shelling them when I was a kid, but the utter loathing for the tons of beans that we had to pick, shell, wash, blanch, and freeze has somehow turned into nostalgia. I may put the beans with the chard and dress it with herbs and feta.

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Mount Vernon again this morning.  Interesting items included celery and rainbow chard from the "ecoganic" stand.  Also seen were very nice looking zucchini blossoms at $3.25 a pint and the last of the blueberries for the season (at least according to the sign).  The first winter squashes, acorn and butternut, showed up as well.  I bought a big bag of fresh lima beans that I will shell later.  I hated shelling them when I was a kid, but the utter loathing for the tons of beans that we had to pick, shell, wash, blanch, and freeze has somehow turned into nostalgia.  I may put the beans with the chard and dress it with herbs and feta.

I've started seeing phrases like "ecoganic" pop up at the markets around town. A quick chat with one of the farmers confirmed my suspicion: the paperwork and regulations required to claim the official "organic" label are so burdensome for small operations that they they grow organically but don't get certified and can't use the "O-word."

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Mount Vernon again this morning.  Interesting items included celery and rainbow chard from the "ecoganic" stand.  Also seen were very nice looking zucchini blossoms at $3.25 a pint and the last of the blueberries for the season (at least according to the sign).  The first winter squashes, acorn and butternut, showed up as well.  I bought a big bag of fresh lima beans that I will shell later.  I hated shelling them when I was a kid, but the utter loathing for the tons of beans that we had to pick, shell, wash, blanch, and freeze has somehow turned into nostalgia.  I may put the beans with the chard and dress it with herbs and feta.

I've started seeing phrases like "ecoganic" pop up at the markets around town. A quick chat with one of the farmers confirmed my suspicion: the paperwork and regulations required to claim the official "organic" label are so burdensome small operations that they they grow organically but don't get certified and can't use the "O-word."

I got the feeling there's a lot of red tape too. I've seen vendors with signs saying that they grow organically, but are not certified.

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Probably the greatest bargain at the Dupont Market is the steamed crabs being sold for a buck a pop by the Crab Guy (Busters?) on the north (Q Street) side of the parking lot. They're small, but still, a buck a pop? That's like 1970s prices.

Probably the worst bargain is the damn haricot verts for sale at $6 a half pound by those West Virginians, also on the Q Street side, but on the street. Of course, these are the same folks who shamelessly charge four bucks for an insubstantial bundle of weeds -- excuse me, ramps -- every spring, so I guys they're uses to taking advantage of us city folk. And, of course, I can't keep myself from buying the damn things, they're that beautiful (I've been passing on the ramps, though).

Somewhere in West Virginia, a farmer's going to be drinking the good bourbon tonight, and thanking the Good Lord that he learned enough French to spell "haricot."

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Probably the greatest bargain at the Dupont Market is the steamed crabs being sold for a buck a pop by the Crab Guy (Busters?) on the north (Q Street) side of the parking lot.  They're small, but still, a buck a pop?  That's like 1970s prices.

Probably the worst bargain is the damn haricot verts for sale at $6 a half pound by those West Virginians, also on the Q Street side, but on the street.  Of course, these are the same folks who shamelessly charge four bucks for an insubstantial bundle of weeds -- excuse me, ramps -- every spring, so I guys they're uses to taking advantage of us city folk.  And, of course, I can't keep myself from buying the damn things, they're that beautiful (I've been passing on the ramps, though). 

Somewhere in West Virginia, a farmer's going to be drinking the good bourbon tonight, and thanking the Good Lord that he learned enough French to spell "haricot."

Ha! But they do have good peaches. I passed over thier corn last week fortunately, and wound up getting this unbelievable Mirai corn from Toigo. It wasn't cheap, but it was wonderful.

Did you happen to see if Toigo was still selling corn? I was as Eastern Market yesterday, so am pretty much marketed out for the weekend.

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Probably the greatest bargain at the Dupont Market is the steamed crabs being sold for a buck a pop by the Crab Guy (Busters?) on the north (Q Street) side of the parking lot.  They're small, but still, a buck a pop?  That's like 1970s prices.
I brought six of the little guys home for Scott. They're small, but very sweet and such a bargain.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Probably the greatest bargain at the Dupont Market is the steamed crabs being sold for a buck a pop by the Crab Guy (Busters?) on the north (Q Street) side of the parking lot.  They're small, but still, a buck a pop?  That's like 1970s prices.

Probably the worst bargain is the damn haricot verts for sale at $6 a half pound by those West Virginians, also on the Q Street side, but on the street.  Of course, these are the same folks who shamelessly charge four bucks for an insubstantial bundle of weeds -- excuse me, ramps -- every spring, so I guys they're uses to taking advantage of us city folk.  And, of course, I can't keep myself from buying the damn things, they're that beautiful (I've been passing on the ramps, though). 

Somewhere in West Virginia, a farmer's going to be drinking the good bourbon tonight, and thanking the Good Lord that he learned enough French to spell "haricot."

Ha! But they do have good peaches. I passed over thier corn last week fortunately, and wound up getting this unbelievable Mirai corn from Toigo. It wasn't cheap, but it was wonderful.

Did you happen to see if Toigo was still selling corn? I was as Eastern Market yesterday, so am pretty much marketed out for the weekend.

Not to brag or anything, but if you'd come to the crab cake t, you could have partied with the man himself -- and the inimitable Vas -- and wandered out with a dozen ears or so :laugh: . As it is, I'm giving it away at my office today (after having made corn relish and set aside sufficient earage for my own personal use).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Probably the greatest bargain at the Dupont Market is the steamed crabs being sold for a buck a pop by the Crab Guy (Busters?) on the north (Q Street) side of the parking lot.  They're small, but still, a buck a pop?  That's like 1970s prices.

Probably the worst bargain is the damn haricot verts for sale at $6 a half pound by those West Virginians, also on the Q Street side, but on the street.  Of course, these are the same folks who shamelessly charge four bucks for an insubstantial bundle of weeds -- excuse me, ramps -- every spring, so I guys they're uses to taking advantage of us city folk.  And, of course, I can't keep myself from buying the damn things, they're that beautiful (I've been passing on the ramps, though). 

Somewhere in West Virginia, a farmer's going to be drinking the good bourbon tonight, and thanking the Good Lord that he learned enough French to spell "haricot."

Ha! But they do have good peaches. I passed over thier corn last week fortunately, and wound up getting this unbelievable Mirai corn from Toigo. It wasn't cheap, but it was wonderful.

Did you happen to see if Toigo was still selling corn? I was as Eastern Market yesterday, so am pretty much marketed out for the weekend.

Not to brag or anything, but if you'd come to the crab cake t, you could have partied with the man himself -- and the inimitable Vas -- and wandered out with a dozen ears or so :laugh: . As it is, I'm giving it away at my office today (after having made corn relish and set aside sufficient earage for my own personal use).

You're right! But, my very kind neighbor brought me fresh Lancaster County corn yesterday. 8 ears! I already have my second batch of cheddar corn chowder in the freezer (that will be great in cold weather) and made succotash on Sat.

Corn relish sounds like a good idea for some of my ears....

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Probably the greatest bargain at the Dupont Market is the steamed crabs being sold for a buck a pop by the Crab Guy (Busters?) on the north (Q Street) side of the parking lot.  They're small, but still, a buck a pop?  That's like 1970s prices.

Probably the worst bargain is the damn haricot verts for sale at $6 a half pound by those West Virginians, also on the Q Street side, but on the street.  Of course, these are the same folks who shamelessly charge four bucks for an insubstantial bundle of weeds -- excuse me, ramps -- every spring, so I guys they're uses to taking advantage of us city folk.  And, of course, I can't keep myself from buying the damn things, they're that beautiful (I've been passing on the ramps, though). 

Somewhere in West Virginia, a farmer's going to be drinking the good bourbon tonight, and thanking the Good Lord that he learned enough French to spell "haricot."

Ha! But they do have good peaches. I passed over thier corn last week fortunately, and wound up getting this unbelievable Mirai corn from Toigo. It wasn't cheap, but it was wonderful.

Did you happen to see if Toigo was still selling corn? I was as Eastern Market yesterday, so am pretty much marketed out for the weekend.

Not to brag or anything, but if you'd come to the crab cake t, you could have partied with the man himself -- and the inimitable Vas -- and wandered out with a dozen ears or so :laugh: . As it is, I'm giving it away at my office today (after having made corn relish and set aside sufficient earage for my own personal use).

You were holding out on me Charles. I saw no corn anywhere on Sunday. Much less did I walk out with a dozen ears for my delightful children. :hmmm:

Edited by bavila (log)

Bridget Avila

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Del Ray market in Alexandria was hopping yesterday morning. What a gorgeous day. Here's the take from Sat. that we'll be working on all week. That big ol' green tomato is getting fried in a few minutes and will be topped with tomato sauce (a la Marcella Hazan) and fresh mozzarella.

The corn is more Mirai from Toigo. Get it before it's gone!

gallery_24065_1826_1107329.jpg

Edited by monavano (log)
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Apparently everyone is back from vacation because Dupont was crazy this morning. I scored tomatoes ("on sale" for $3 a pound :rolleyes:), more Mirai corn, wax and green beans destined for 3 bean salad, and box of beautiful little okra pods from Tree & Leaf. And a couple of ham hocks from Cedarbrook Farms, in the (probably vain) hope that the weather will break enough to make a pot of beans this week.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Random Notes:

Anybody else see the irony in the masses trawling the local farmers markets with their free Whole Foods bags slung over their shoulder?

Speaking of trawling, it's not uncommon to see the local chefs shopping at the markets, especially DuPont. I've bumped into Ris LaCost (between gigs, but late of 1789 and early of, we hope, a new place soon), Nora Pouillon (Restaurant Nora, Asia Nora), Carol Greenwood (Bucks, Comet; and -- despite her media rep -- very friendly) Tony Conte (Oval Room) and I'm sure others I didn't recognize. But lately there's been a new trend of chefs strolling through, camera-ready in their whites and hounds tooth with lithe arm candy, not chatting up the vendors or loading tomatoes but just...I don't know, doing a little PR? It's even more blatant at Penn Quarter, where the last couple chefs I saw wandering through paid not a whit of attention to the food itself. Are the chefs looking for a photo op? Are the markets requesting drop-bys just to further their cred?

I still don't know why Buster doesn't sell out his steamed crabs by 9:30 every week.

Bought a pair of Polyface pork chops and a brace of poussins (boring sidenote: I first learned what a poussin was during this memorable exchange) (it's a young, unsexed (!) chicken) for $3.2 million or something like that. I'd rejected a pair of pork chops a couple of weeks ago as being too dear even for me, but they's since haunted my dreams. Pictures and a full report when I finally decide whether to cook them or to frame them.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Anybody else see the irony in the masses trawling the local farmers markets with their free Whole Foods bags slung over their shoulder?
I noticed that too. Those bags are $1 each at the Silver Spring Whole Foods.
Bought a pair of Polyface pork chops and a brace of poussins (boring sidenote: I first learned what a poussin was during this memorable exchange) (it's a young, unsexed (!) chicken) for $3.2 million or something like that.  I'd rejected a pair of pork chops a couple of weeks ago as being too dear even for me, but they's since haunted my dreams.  Pictures and a full report when I finally decide whether to cook them or to frame them.

I have four defrosting in my fridge right now. Total cost $18. :blink: But, they are damned good pork chops, and will be lovely with corn bread and sauteed chard tonight.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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The chef's strolling around..hmmm. Maybe to get a little note in the Dish column?? :cool:

I did pick up one of the WF bags at Dupont a while ago. They were giving them out for free and I thought "Eh, what the heck". I kept it in my car until I lost it. They don't hold near enough anyway, especially during corn season :wink:

No local markets for me this week. I'm vacationing in Cape May NJ and being a geek foodie, brought along a nice aged balsamico, garden basil and evoo (along with other staples) in anticipation of making a caprese salad with Jersey tomatoes. Delish and much better the field tomatoes I got last week at Del Ray.

I'm not sure there is even such a variety of tomato as "Jersey", it's just what we called them growing up.

Also from the roadside stand: white corn, nectarines and huge peeled pole beans.

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Anybody else see the irony in the masses trawling the local farmers markets with their free [sic] Whole Foods bags slung over their shoulder?
Used to think irony was at play. However, the folk who shop at outdoor markets favor WFM as their supermarket, anyway. I had a long conversation once with a 66-year old woman who looks like a former Olympic medalist more than a decade younger and usually shows up at the market in spandex shorts in the summer to better reveal the tautness of every muscle in half her limbs. Her justification for buying organic apples from New Zealand at Whole Foods in the fall is worthy of a new book by Deborah Tanner.

WFM may be exploting the situation as a marketing ploy, but in a city like D.C. promotional campaigns sometimes have a spark of sincere ideological principle behind them. FreshFarm Markets have long depended on corporate as well as individual patrons and partners. While the restitution of the supermarket chain's old backdoor policy has yet to happen thanks to the mediating role FFM plays in bringing farmers, shoppers and WFM together, there are more and more overt signs of mutual back-scratching these days.

You must have missed the times WFM filled in at Chef Demos. Given my opinion of most prepared foods at WFM and the growth of that product line at the expense of a wide variety of raw ingredients, I find this phenomenon even more deserving of commentary.*

As far as yesterday's market is concerned, the information tables were packed w Whole Food's literature since the company will donate a set percentage of the dollars spent at their store in Georgetown to the FreshFarm Market today (Sept. 10).

Speaking of trawling, it's not uncommon to see the local chefs shopping at the markets, especially DuPont.  I've bumped into Ris LaCost (between gigs, but late of 1789 and early of, we hope, a new place soon), Nora Pouillon (Restaurant Nora, Asia Nora), Carol Greenwood (Bucks, Comet; and -- despite her media rep -- very friendly) Tony Conte (Oval Room) and I'm sure others I didn't recognize.  But lately there's been a new trend of chefs strolling through, camera-ready in their whites and hounds tooth with lithe arm candy,  not chatting up the vendors or loading tomatoes but just...I don't know, doing a little PR?  It's even more blatant at Penn Quarter, where the last couple chefs I saw wandering through paid not a whit of attention to the food itself.  Are the chefs looking for a photo op?  Are the markets requesting drop-bys just to further their cred?
I want to know more about the eye candy. Nora's one of the founders of the market. Ris sometimes works for Toiga (and shops at Whole Foods); she used to show up at the market w her truck back in the days of 1789. Etc. As for pubic appearances and PR, that's basically why there are Chef at the Market demos. Kolumbia's Jamie S. signed up practically every month when I began volunteering at Dupont. Brought a stack of business cards and menus when he'd tear in after a grueling Saturday night and talk up his restaurant at the same time that he'd demonstrate how the public might use the fresh produce available at the market.

*Somewhat related: When Jaleo's team decided to show shoppers just how easy it is to whip up gazpacho, that no cooking is involved, and how wonderful tomatoes are during the height of the growing season, the public snatched up copies of recipes and nodded vigorously when the merits of certain sherries and olive oils were discussed. As I was passing out samples, more than one shopper said, "So where can I buy this?" "I mean ready-made."

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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The chef's strolling around..hmmm. Maybe to get a little note in the Dish column?? :cool:

I did pick up one of the WF bags at Dupont a while ago. They were giving them out for free and I thought "Eh, what the heck". I kept it in my car until I lost it. They don't hold near enough anyway, especially during corn season :wink:

No local markets for me this week. I'm vacationing in Cape May NJ and being a geek foodie, brought along a nice aged balsamico, garden basil  and evoo (along with other staples) in anticipation of making a caprese salad with Jersey tomatoes. Delish and much better the field tomatoes I got last week at Del Ray.

I'm not sure there is even such a variety of tomato as "Jersey", it's just what we called them growing up.

Also from the roadside stand: white corn, nectarines and huge peeled pole beans.

It is The Garden State! Apparently tomatoes are something of a specialty -- there are huge canning operations not far up the coast from where you are now. Have fun!

I want to know more about the eye candy. Nora's one of the founders of the market. Ris sometimes works for Toiga (and shops at Whole Foods); she used to show up at the market w her truck back in the days of 1789. Etc. As for pubic appearances and PR, that's basically why there are Chef at the Market demos. Kolumbia's Jamie S. signed up practically every month when I began volunteering at Dupont.

Not talking about Ris et al or the chefs who show up to demo (I suspect all those I mentioned by name of actually shopping). Rather, it seems that it's become hip just to be seen walking through the market (perhaps with photog in tow?).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I want to know more about the eye candy. Nora's one of the founders of the market. Ris sometimes works for Toiga (and shops at Whole Foods); she used to show up at the market w her truck back in the days of 1789. Etc. As for pubic appearances and PR, that's basically why there are Chef at the Market demos. Kolumbia's Jamie S. signed up practically every month when I began volunteering at Dupont.

Not talking about Ris et al or the chefs who show up to demo (I suspect all those I mentioned by name of actually shopping). Rather, it seems that it's become hip just to be seen walking through the market (perhaps with photog in tow?).

It's hip to be seasonal, y'know. Is this going on at any of the VA markets, or just downtown? I've noticed it most at Penn Qtr.

Pontormo, that gazpacho story is sad, but IMO, not unexpected.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Polyface meats are totally worth the money. They deliver once a month or so to Naptown, and I am currently jonesing for their bacon and their turkeys (which all burnt up in a freak accident earlier this year).

I can't say I've seen chefs at the Annapolis FM (which by the way hosts ONLY goods from Anne Arundel County -- talk about really local). But I do see JJ Minetola (Metropolitan) at Whole Foods occasionally -- definitely shopping.

As for the bags, I am one of those carrying about a WF or TJ's reusable bag to try to reduce excess baggage. You may have read (click) about pending legislation in Annapolis to ban plastic bags in retail operations. And the WF here has gotten rid of (most of) them voluntarily. I think the bags you see at the FM are just part of the reduce-reuse-recycle zeitgeist.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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