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Since the last substantial thread on local markets refers to 2005 and is five pages long, I thought I would start a new thread for the new growing season through the last days of harvest and then some.

This is to announce what's ahead now that all of the FRESHFARM Markets are opening again....and looking for shoppers and volunteers.

Visit the Web site for locations, hours of operation and further details. You may wish to sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive updates on the produce & farms you'll find as the grass is riz and duckies giz us eggs and so forth.

The following is a list of the chefs conducting demonstrations at each inaugural affair next week. (Look at the Web site for the times of the demonstrations.)

Dupont (Full season) ~ April 2 thru December 31 (9 am to 1 pm)

Ris Lacoste is our opening day chef.

Faithful customer& advocate of the market. Formerly of 1789.

Should be popular, so get there before 11 when she begins to cook & dish things out.

Penn Quarter ~ April 6 thru November 16 (3 to 7 pm)

Cesare Lanfranconi of Ristorante Tosca is opening day chef.

Foggy Bottom ~ April 19 thru November 15 (3 to 7 pm)

Jamie Stachowski of Restaurant Kolumbia is opening day chef.

St. Michaels, MD ~ April 22 thru October 28 (8:30 am to 12 noon)

David Stein of St. Michaels Bistro is opening day chef.

H Street, NE ~ May 6 thru October 28 (9 am to 12 noon)

Stephane Lezla of Montmartre is opening day chef.

Silver Spring, MD ~ May 6 thru October 28 (9 am to 1 pm)

Janis McLean of redDog is opening day chef.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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N.B. The Dupont Circle market will be held this upcoming weekend even though it's Easter Sunday.

New arrivals include aSPAraGuS and WatERcreSs

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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One of the great things about the Dupont Market is the minor celeb-spotting you can do. This morning I spotted the cheese lady from the Glover Park Whole Foods, a woman who seems determined to single-handedly overcome WF's reputation for mishandling fermented curd, and the Washingtonian's former, once all-powerful restaurant critic. You spot chefs and foodies and other eG-ers; it's a fun spot.

There's still not a lot to fawn over, though we're having a warm spring, thank goodness. Asperagus is out and someone was selling morels. We spotted the first strawberries of the season -- a little green but tasting of the honey and spring rains, an apt metaphore for Easter morning when we celebrate rebirth and trancendence.

And I've become addicted to the pastries at Bonapart, asking for millefeuils and croissants in bad French from the scraggly patissiere, and eating them greedily the moment I get home.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Your cheesemonger and my cheesemonger should duke it out metaphorically speaking, since I think Kevin at Tenleytown is one of the best true food professionals working for local WF stores that I've ever spoken to at any length.

Let me add that I got to the market late, looking for only two things. The watercress reported on the FRESHFARM web site turned out to be a tiny handful, maybe an ounce or two, of the hydroponic type that doesn't ring my Easter bells especially at $3 a bag. There is talk elsewhere of the morels going for $14 a box, or about $2.45 each. Someone splurged and should be reporting on them soon.

This was my first trip back to the market since Thanksgiving. I had gotten used to picking up whatever ReadyPak salad mix was on sale at the supermarket that week. They were fine.

The bags of mesclun sold by Heinz Thomat of Next Step Produce reminded me how different perfectly fresh organic baby greens can be.

One eGullet member has mentioned how tired this once trendy mix has gotten in restaurants. I know what she meant. However, these things that we in the US label as trends really are incredibly late arrivals of what has long been available in Western Europe. What has become tired in this country is the concept of the food trend. We should have more and more varieties of these wonderful small tender purple and green leaves, bundled individually for patrons to pick and choose.

In the meantime, Heinz's mesclun was wonderful in a simply vinaigrette with snipped chives and slivers of one of the last of the Cara Cara oranges on the third shelf...another sign of the transition from one season to another as us pagans would say.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Heinz's chard and kale are also wonderful.

snip 

The bags of mesclun sold by Heinz Thomat of Next Step Produce reminded me how different perfectly fresh organic baby greens can be. 

snip

In the meantime, Heinz's mesclun was wonderful in a simply vinaigrette with snipped chives and slivers of one of the last of the Cara Cara oranges on the third shelf...another sign of the transition from one season to another as us pagans would say.

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R&B Coffee at 1359 H Street, NE is hosting a FRESHFARM Market Coffee Hour this coming Saturday, April 22 from 9 am to 11 am.

Enjoy a cup of coffee, sample some FRESHFARM Market cheeses and find out how you can help spread the word about our H Street FRESHFARM Market opening for its third season on May 6th in the parking lot at 625 H Street, NE across from the H Street Self-Storage. Pick up some postcards to distribute to your neighbors and friends.

Source: The Market Master, Donne Malloy-Murray & Bernie Prince, Co-Director, FFM

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market reopens tomorrow Saturday May 6th at 9 am. Lamont Park on Mount Pleasant Streets at 17th and Lamont (opposite Heller's Bakery).

There will be asparagus and early strawberries (these will sell out fast), green garlic, beets, carrots, spinach, cooking greens, salad mixes, apples, pies, honey, apple butter, Breadline breads and new breakfast pastries, Cibola's pastured meats and eggs, popcorn, apple butter, Fredi's fruit pies, lettuce container gardens ready to cut and use, salsa gardens, container tomatoes gardens, lavender, 6 kinds of rosemary, cilantro, chervil, lovage, epazotedishes), Mexican oregano.. and lots of vegetable and flowering plants and herbs.

Robin

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Ever tried Wild Black Locust Flowers?

I thought you would like to know what's new and interesting at the market this week.

Edible Wild Black Locust Flowers for salads. (Zach said it is a bit like pea blossoms.) Italian Forono cylindrical beets, , Mokum Carrots, Pink Beauty and Easter Egg radishes, leeks, arugula- and- cress mix at Tree and Leaf, the first Honeyoe Strawberries at Reid, very thick cut pork chops for grilling at Cibola, Herbal teas, organic doggy biscuits and homemade raspberry syrup from Audia (pretend you are in Italy and add it to sparkling water --instant Italian soda. Or use it to glaze a grilled salmon.

plus Breadline breads and breakfast pastries, Fredi's fruit pies, Wheatland's spinach, etc....

Saturday May 13th

9-1

Lamont Park

Mount Pleasant Street at 17th and Lamont

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  • 2 weeks later...

By special request from Truck Patch Farms at Mt. Pleasant: Pig's Head!

Not altogether sure what we're going to do with it, but are intrigued by the recipe that includes the instruction "poach brains for later use."

Truck Patch also has extraoridary straberries, btw.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Thanks for info.

Strawberries gone by now? Still there at noon? How much?

As for the pig's head, when confronted with the eyes, keep in mind the Tempura Cook-Off.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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  • 2 weeks later...

Truck Patch Farms at the Mt. Pleasant Market continues to turn out the most astoundingly delicious strawberries on earth -- people pop one in their mouth and do a kind of double-take thing, and then begin babbling accolades. I am a serial sampler and am convinced that no other vendor in DC has berries this good.

Big news of the week, though, was the appearance of cherries, slightly sour Raniers, in Mt. Pleasant (can't remember the name of the farm), which we turned into an inauthentic clafouti; and the annual Dupont Circle in-migration of Heinz's fabulous favas, which are perhaps destined to be married gnocci's, cream and some smokey bacon.

Anybody seen any peas (and not those vile shoots?).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Truck Patch Farms at the Mt. Pleasant Market continues to turn out the most astoundingly delicious strawberries on earth -- people pop one in their mouth and do a kind of double-take thing, and then begin babbling accolades. I am a serial sampler and am convinced that no other vendor in DC has berries this good.

Big news of the week, though, was the appearance of cherries, slightly sour Raniers, in Mt. Pleasant (can't remember the name of the farm), which we turned into an inauthentic clafouti; and the annual Dupont Circle in-migration of Heinz's fabulous favas, which are perhaps destined to be married gnocci's, cream and some smokey bacon.

At Mt. Pleasant this past weekend....Quaker Valley is the farm with the cheries, Charles. Reid had marvelous sugar snap peas this week filled with tiny peas.

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  • 3 weeks later...

JULY 2: 10th Anniversary of the FRESHFARM Market at Dupont Circle

A special bell ringing will open the market on a day when you'll find the ten founding farmers decked in blue ribbons, and if you've lucky, Thomas Jefferson will share a copy of his shopping list with you as he did with shoppers at the inaugural event in 1997.

Butcher's paper will stretch around the fences so you may record fond memories and share good wishes for the future. There will be a chef demo by Arpad Lengyel of Teaism whose business also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

And yes, there will be cake.

* * *

Today's torrent of rain brought a very small crowd to the earliest hours of the market at Dupont Circle, though people started to arrive after 10:30 or 11:00 once the rain stopped altogether. Bernie Prince, one of the co-founders of FRESHFARM Markets, was back from delivering her key note address in New Zealand, still sleepy, still grinning and wishing she and her daughter had stayed longer.

New Morning is selling golden beets now and its first type of green bean: Florence. Those amazing jade beans do not arrive until later.

The much anticipated sorrel is still not available at the stand of the "Greens Lady;" she's not crazy about the effect of early heat. We'll see. The herbs, as always, were beautiful as were the bulbous green onions that I picked up.

Heinz is also selling gorgeous globes of Walla Walla onions and beautiful cucumbers, greens and heads of delicate lettuce. This was probably his last week of fava beans.

Eli's had MOUNDS of nectarines. Some of us were a little skeptical, but a kid walking by, juice dripping down his arm said they were really, realy good.

There are cherries, berries of all kinds, even some stubborn strawberries (Sunnyside actually had asparagus still, for that matter). Baby asparagus, purple and bright yellow-orange cauliflower, soft-shell crabs..... After the rows of green, green, and green in early spring, the range of colors grows with each new week of summer.

One of the perks of a rainy day is that Atwater (my favorite for big loaves of bread) doesn't sell out by 11 and Bonaparte still had thick wedges of quiche, rich with ham.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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And for the sake of residents new to this area, especially, here is a guide to farmers's markets compiled by The Washington Post.

This list addresses D.C. only, but should be a good start.

More relevant for those in the wider metropolitan area, including Northern Virginia: Organic Produce and Farmers markets.

Welcome!

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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N.B. At the anniversary farmer's market at Dupont Circle this Sunday (see post upthread), Atwater will be supplying the birthday cake, so it should be great!

The chef from Teaism will be demonstrating how to bake a cherry pie, so lucky shoppers may wish to contribute to Mayhaw Man's thread.

More stone fruits (peaches & apricots for loyalists; cf. related comments by Russ Parsons), plenty of berries, blue and rasp, squash of all kinds, fennel, artichoke babies...

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just learned that Quaker Valley at the Mount PLeasant Farmers Market on Saturday 9-1 will have Amish TRANSPARENT apples. I was intrigued and Fredi Schulteis, the owner, told me that they are the favorite Amish apple for making Applesauce because they make a very clear sauce. Early, tart cooking apples.

She planted a late crop of Chandler strawberries which are coming in smaller but sweeter, fyi, for those who missed the strawberry season.

Kathy Audia will have gooseberries for all of us who love the sound of gooseberry fool.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Anyone interested in Saturn peaches? Reid has them at the Mount Pleasant Farmers' market on Saturday, 9-1, Mount Pleasant Street between Lamont and Park

And here is what Russ Parson said in the LA Times:

"Saturn peaches: Whether you call them Saturn, Donut, bagel, saucer or peento, demand for these flat peaches is going over the moon. A rarity not so long ago (only about 50 tons were sold in 1996), sales more than doubled between 2000 and 2005 to a whopping 4,000 tons. Why? Partly because they look so cute, of course. Beyond that, they are very sweet, nearly candy-like with low acidity and white melting flesh. Saturn peaches are descended from an old Chinese variety called peento or pan-tao (it translates rather prosaically as "flat peach")"

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  • 1 month later...

I visited the misty Mt. Pleasant market this morning and was mesmerised by all the lovely tomatoes and peaches. The Shorter house is currently awash in W. Virgina peaches thanks to a generous neighbor, so I tore my eyes away and concentrated on the tomatoes. Various beautiful Wheatland Farm heirlooms took up residence in my basket, along with a bunch of sharply aromatic basil for caprese salad this weekend.

Also purchased: Granite melon, baby cantaloup, assorted mini eggplants and squashes, Cibola eggs, bacon, and pork sausage with tarragon. It's a nicely sized market, and the ability to stroll around without the jostling of Dupont is great...but a good herb vendor would have been most welcome.

After we strolled across the street to Don Jaime's and stuffed ourselves on huevos rancheros, fried plantains with crema, and cafe con leche.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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We are new to Takoma Park so I fought the parking crowds and checked out our local market this morning. I hadn't been to the Takoma Market in years - it's crowded, but not quite the mob scene that Dupont is. Some of my favorite vendors are there too: Toigo, Wheatland, Atwater, etc., plus some unfamiliar. The only thing left to find is a good nearby place to get a cup of coffee.

Today's purchases: Toigo corn and peaches, 2 pints sungold tomatoes, plump green beans, and a chicken empanada from Takoma Bakers.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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This is a little out of town, but yesterday we stopped in Edinburg, VA. We were trying to find the Shenandoah winery from directions on a billboard and ended up going through the town first. There is a produce stand on the main street just about a half-mile east of I81 (exit 289), and they are selling local produce including tomatoes, the last of the peaches, the first of the apples, plums, squashes, pumpkins, etc. etc. I picked up a half bushel of gorgeous heirloom pink, yellow, and orange tomatoes for canning and a half bushel of excellent local peaches. If you are on a road trip, these guys are well worth a stop.

-L

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The "No Dogs, Please" policy has been in effect at the Dupont Circle farmers market for several weeks. Responses have ranged from unsolicited gratitude to "I am never coming back here, again!" Personal insults are rare, but biting.

Do other markets in the area implement similar policies or make unenforced requests?

* * *

In Tapas by Jose Andres, Heinz of Next Step Produce appears in the two-page spread introducing the chapter on potatoes.

* * *

Standing before me in line was a small, slim man with salt & pepper hair, blue jeans, trendy rubber-soled vented sandals that tie, a chef's jacket buttoned all the way up and tall, stiff chef's hat. Two young women stood to the side and took photographs "for a pilot," they explained. Meanwhile, a few Dames d'Escoffiers were spotted in civvies, including Riz Lacoste selling peaches and corn to help out Toigo.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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The kids and I drove over to the Silver Spring farmer's market this morning. We were a little disappointed - very few vendors and only 4-5 that sell produce. It's great to have an alternative to the Sunday Takoma market, so that I don't have to neglect the kid's religious education in favor of peaches :wink: but I'll be sticking with Mt. Pleasant on Saturdays.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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