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Busboy

DC Area Farmers Markets

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Too me this is the most painful time of the year...you pull yourself out of bed early one Sunday and you're greeted by the brightest shades of green you've seen for six months and Spring Is Here! and then you get up the next week to see what's new and they've got....greens. And the week after. And the week after as we wait for the strawberries and the cherries and the peas and the peaches. April is the cruelest month because it's such a tease. I don't care about lilacs breeding out of the dead land, I need fresh favas from Heinz.

Some take comfort in the ramps at the Dupont Market...and last week there were wild morels, expensive and short-lived but hand-gathered in West By God Virginia, by genuine Mountaineers, another peasant food turned pricey by urban demand (don't get me started on the ramps).

But it's finally May and this week, at least, my local opens up, the Mt. Pleasant market -- not as extensive as Dupont but enough to get us through Saturday night. Rumors are that the first strawberries have been spotted at other markets, and Reid Orchards is sure to have the first cherries of the season, whenever they arrive. And my buddy Brian at Truck Patch still deals some of the best pork in town. Looks like Spring is finally here to stay.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Too me this is the most painful time of the year...you pull yourself out of bed early one Sunday and you're greeted by the brightest shades of green you've seen for six months and Spring Is Here! and then you get up the next week to see what's new and they've got....greens.  And the week after.  And the week after as we wait for the strawberries and the cherries and the peas and the peaches.  April is the cruelest month because it's such a tease. I don't care about lilacs breeding out of the dead land, I need fresh favas from Heinz. 

Some take comfort in the ramps at the Dupont Market...and last week there were wild morels, expensive and short-lived but hand-gathered in West By God Virginia, by genuine Mountaineers, another peasant food turned pricey by urban demand (don't get me started on the ramps).

But it's finally May and this week, at least, my local opens up, the Mt. Pleasant market -- not as extensive as Dupont but enough to get us through Saturday night.  Rumors are that the first strawberries have been spotted at other markets, and Reid Orchards is sure to have the first cherries of the season, whenever they arrive.  And my buddy Brian at Truck Patch still deals some of the best pork in town.  Looks like Spring is finally here to stay.

14& U reopened yesterday May 10th at 9 am with your buddy Truck Patch's superb pork. We had plump, sweet strawberries, purple and green asparagus, lots of salad and cooking greens: romaine, mesclun, mixed lettuces, arugula, spinach, Mizuna, chard, collards, turnips, three kinds of kale, spring onions, green garlic, walnuts to grind with that green garlic for pesto, mint and other herbs, apples, cider, canned peaches and for the gardeners: tomato, vegetable, herb and flower starts. Except for Truck Patch and Breadline, none of the other producers duplicate Mount Pleasant -- and none overlap with Dupont. So, Charles, a good reason to visit BOTH Mount Pleasant and U Street on a Saturday morning to plan your Sat night dinners.

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So, my question is this - if I were to venture to a Farmer's Market on Saturday - when I'll drive from Manassas on Sundays to go to Dupont - where should I consider going to get the best selection - Mt. Pleasant, U Street - where - Alexandria's a bust, haven't really consider even staying in Manassas - what's the scoop??


Live and learn. Die and get food. That's the Southern way.

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So, my question is this - if I were to venture to a Farmer's Market on Saturday - when I'll drive from Manassas on Sundays to go to Dupont - where should I consider going to get the best selection - Mt. Pleasant, U Street - where - Alexandria's a bust, haven't really consider even staying in Manassas - what's the scoop??

Well, it depends on what you're looking for.

If you haven't been to Alexandria recently, it may surprise you. You will find some of the same vendors at the Alex. markets as in Dupont; Smith Meadows, Bonaparte (sans long lines), Spring Valley Farm, along with a terrific selection of baked goods. The Alexandria market (Market Square) runs at the same time (well, a bit earlier) on Saturdays as the Del Ray Market. That makes Alexandria a great place for markets on Sat., since they are only a matter of a couple miles apart. And, the bonus in Del Ray is that you are steps away from Cheesetique and Let's Meat on the Avenue-both open with the market. ACKC Alexandria is just up Mt. Vernon Ave., and while they were open very early on their first Sat., I'm not sure if they wil continue to open extra early to catch the farmers market crowd.

There's also a market in Burke on Sat.


Edited by monavano (log)

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So, my question is this - if I were to venture to a Farmer's Market on Saturday - when I'll drive from Manassas on Sundays to go to Dupont - where should I consider going to get the best selection - Mt. Pleasant, U Street - where - Alexandria's a bust, haven't really consider even staying in Manassas - what's the scoop??

I wanted to post this for all to see, including Tela.

Perhaps you should check out the Burke market on Sat. From what I hear, it's pretty nice with a good selection of vendors and if for only one reason-Susie's Cookies!

I just sampled and bought some of her cookies at the Kingstowne market today. Cookies and cookie bars are amazing, like she should enter one of those Food Network contests or something. Try the Oatmeal Carmelita. :wub:

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Why go to Alexandria? English peas at Three Way Farm (Del Ray)!..and Amish sage sausage from LMOTA. It's on my griddle now :cool:

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Finally got my peas at the 14th and U market today!


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Cherries at Dupont last week, at Sunnyside Farms. Get there early, they went quick, people's heads snapping back Exorcist-like as they walked past by and caught unexpected scarlet gleam out of the corner of their eyes, pints snatched up as fast as they could be hauled out of the cartons.

Also at Dupont, a smaller but equally fierce battle for fava beans at Next Step. I personally elbowed an aging vegan out of the way -- if she wants her favas, she should eat more protein -- to get at the pile. The supply generally lasts less than three weeks, so have a peeling party this weekend with a few of your finest friends and serve them with something Greek as all hell, maybe a little lamb shank braised hours and days in a burly Xynomavro and black olives, and eggplant stewed with onion and tomato.

Speaking of lamb, I had a lesson is paying attention while buying at the Bloomingdale Market the other Sunday. Perhaps distracted by a group of middle-aged white boys practicing their interplanetary funksmanship (as G. Clinton once put it) with surprising aplomb (making them the coolest market musicians ever, by far) I not only bought two wildly expensive lamb loin roasts from New Asbury Farm, I failed to note that I was being charged boneless roast prices for bone-in roasts. Just to taunt me my wife weighed the meat left over after she boned the little bastards out and trimmed the fat cap. All agreed that it was excellent lamb -- and teenagers are nothing if not honest about this stuff -- but at $40/lb I'm not sure the cost/benefit works for me.

In fact, while bitching, let me mention I was sold some pork by another vendor not long ago with an expiration date many months passed. It's easy to tell if a strawberry is rotten, but y'all take care when buying meat, especially the frozen stuff, hear?

BTW, Brian over at truckpatch has had a couple of cuts he calls "pork steaks" and which I've also seen called "pork sirloin." This is an excellent cut for grilling or roasting, more marbled than your average pork chop and so chock full of that fine swine taste that even Jules might make an exception for it.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Hello there, my DelMarVa friends. I am delinquent in delivering an update for Annapolis area farmers' markets. I've been training for a triathlon early on Saturdays when I haven't been travelling, so my FM trips have been limited compared to my religious attendance last year.

But, while I might be grousing about missing out on $4/dozen eggs because I get to the market so late, I am quite happy to report on the growth of FMs in town over the last few years.

First, my favorite, the Anne Arundel County FM on Riva Rd. (Saturday and Tuesday mornings right now). The market extended its roof this year to protect the growing number of vendors who now populate the market. Beautiful breads are a welcome addition, and our organic vendors are growing their farms and their market selections.

New this year are the market at Westfield Shopping Center (Sunday afternoons). Not limited to products from inside county lines, this market had fun items like pickles, smoked fish, and gourmet salts. I went on opening day (late again!) and I had the kids, so I couldn't explore as much as I'd like, but I will definitely go back. Also new is a Fresh Farm outlet at the City Dock (Sunday mornings). I haven't been there yet, so I can't comment on offerings. But I will say that the market is a big plus for downtown residents, who otherwise would have to drive to get produce of anykind (damned debacle of the Market House -- why oh why did the city screw up the deal with Dean and Deluca?!).

For now, I am gorging myself on tomatoes and anxiously awaiting the arrival of crowder peas.


Bridget Avila

My Blog

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As a farmer's market junkie, while visiting Baltimore this 4th of July weekend, we went to the Waverly/32nd St. market in Charles Village, Baltimore.

It was super.

About 40-50 vendors (we think), really good layout. Lots of variety.

I've heard it is year round, and not just local stuff, but we enjoyed it.

I bought the most amazing shallots and Jersey shore tomatoes.

There was a bicycle powered blender for juices.

And then there was Pete's grill up the road for breakfast. A true breakfast counter.

Edited to add: And gooseberries! Different colors/varieties!


Edited by TarteTatin (log)

Philly Francophiles

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Some farmers' markets in DC that are open on Saturdays are at Chevy Chase, H Street NE, Adams Morgan (pretty small market), and Eastern Market. Silver Spring, MD (Silver Spring Metro) and Arlington, VA (Courthouse metro) are good markets that are close to DC and accessible via Metro.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17047-2004May11.html lists locations of DC area farmers' markets.

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Arlington is pretty close to the Courthouse Metro, a relative slog from downtown but probably the best Saturday market in the area. Two good bread stands (he monster-sixe Pugliese loaf from Quail Creek is pretty fantastic; you can get a half loaf if you're not feeding ten) and the legendary Eco-friendly meats, as well as local favorite Toigo orchards (you'll find both Eco-friendly and Toigo all over high-end menus here and even in NYC).

U Street andMt. Pleasant (Columbia Heights Metro) are both quick shots up the green line. At Mt. Pleasant look for Tree and Leaf for produce, Atwater for excellent sourdough and Truck Patch if you're in the mood for pork.


Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Thanks! I just got back from the Arlington Market. Left with the entire stock of lamb shoulder at Eco-Friendly, a big loaf from Quail Creek, some great looking Toigo mutsus, and arugula, rosemary, and parsley from other stands. The big splurge: fresh porcini and charterelles from -- iirc -- Mother Earth her own self.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The big splurge: fresh porcini and charterelles from -- iirc -- Mother Earth her own self.

Name is Feriel, most likely, unless she's doing the big Baltimore market and sent one of her assistants to a market founded by Nina Planck's mother. The former, known by many as The Mushroom Lady is quite a character: warm, fiercely political and a sucker for children. The chanterelles might have been foraged locally or possibly cultivated in Southern PA. No local porcini, though.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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So, how was dinner? Was it the monster loaf from Quail Creek? It has a truly unique taste, to me.

By the way, for whatever reason I decided the other day that The Basement Tapes is somehow the best album ever for a crisp autumn afternoon.


Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Dinner -- not quite a million-dollar bash -- was great. The lamb was spectacular, easily the best we've ever had: one guest from Iraq said it tasted like the lamb he had growing up. The bread wasn't the big loaf but a slightly smaller one; it was good but not awesome.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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