Great Farmer's Markets and Stands
- SisterT May 2, 2002 05:46 PM
OK Chowhounders, I don't know if this truly qualifies on this board but....
I love to shop at farmer's markets and vegetable stands. Some are of course better than others, whether we're talking familiar or exotic food. I thought about joining a CSA in the area but the amount of produce you get my fiance and I would never eat fast enough (yes, I could give it to family and friends).
Please tell me your favorite places to shop in the Maryland, DC, and Northern VA area (and why would be most helpful).
I snuck away from work to checkout the one in Columbia but it was teeny tiny (3 vendors) and almost entirely flowers. Did I go on the wrong day? I've been to Larriland Farms off of Route 70 for blueberry picking and pumpkins but that's it so far. I found the street market in Takoma Park wonderous and can't wait for it to start up again.
Where do you go for great produce, fresh bread, jams and jellies, whatever?
re: Bob W.
Hi-I too am a farmers market addict. Soon the Washington Post will publish their list of area markets. I live in West Virginia and the Shepherdstown Market on Sundays is nice. S'town is also a gr8 place to walk around in. Have brunch at the Yellow Brick Bank while your there.. There is an excellent market in DC at the Eastern Farmers Market.The Capitol City Market is a wholesale market that also does some retail.They r at NY Ave, Fla. Ave. and 6th St. In Frederick Md. there is a market on Saturdays in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn.Hagerstown has farmers markets on Wed. evening and Saturday morn. They r small but if u r in the area they r worth it.
If by some miracle u find yourself in Lancaster Pa. on a Saturday, the indoor market is most excellent downtown. They r open year round. Also there is the one in Bird in Hand. If you drive around in that beautiful country, you can find many Amish farms that sell meat, cheese, eggs, butter(the butter is da bomb for baking, higher butterfat then anything u can find at area markets)flowers, quilts and crafts.The most incredible is the Green Dragon in Ephrata-open only on Fridays. They have a ticky tacky flea-good for cheap socks and t's-but the food selections r awesome. On Tuesdays-a wierd day for a farmers market-is the roots market in Manheim, Pa. WWW. rootsmarket.com.
Be sure to look in the Post food section for the next couple weeks as soon they will publish a comprehensive list of markets.
There r also several just plain stands in Montgomery County. Butlers Orchard, one outside of Mt. Airy that has hill in the name (cant remember the rest) also if your in Mt. Airy , Wagners Meat Market is a must stop. Oh and lest I forget, there are 2 Amish Markets one in Burtonsville and one in Germantown. I prefer Burtonsville, but both have gr8 meat and produce stands. There is also a wonderous market area in Annapolis with-be still my heart-both an Amish market and a Whole Foods. I want to be buried under that parking lot!!
Take heart, with the advent of the summer growing season any drive in the country will yield a number of fruit stands, farm stands and edible goodies.
Oh I forgot, in Rappahanock County Va. a drive down Rt.522 and 211 will yield about a zillion different places for everything from shitake mushrooms to wine to a really gr8 cheeseburger at a place that looks like the most incredible dive Lombardys Restaurant.The Post offered a map and a guide on 5-17-2000. Mayb u could access their archives.
So I hope this helps. We should all support the small farmers and specialty growers.
The list of area farmer's markets was in yesterday's Washington Post(May 1st). Go to www.washingtonpost.com and then to the Food Section. My favorite is the Vienna market at a park on Courthouse Road. It's small but I can always find great tomatoes, plus they sell flowers and herbs, cakes, breads, etc. They even have a "booth" with garden experts who provide advice. I wish this market were open on Saturdays; it's only open from 8:30 to 12:30 on Wednesdays, May 8th through the end of October. There's a market open on Saturdays in Fairfax near the intersection of Rt. 123 and Main Street. have only been there once so I'm not all that familiar with what they sell.
We go to the Saturday market in Fairfax since it's the closest Saturday market to us.
It's not big but we can always count on getting good 'lopes, different kinds of watermelons, tomatoes, squash, beans, peaches (until Moutoux Orchard opens!), and berries.
It's also the market where we discovered the incredible Rainier cherries, which we now pick at Cherries on Top in Flint Hill each year.
re: Bob W.
I have also become a regular at the Falls Church market, and still have some sour cherries in my freezer that I bought there last year. They do have a nice selection, though my one complaint is that the orientation of the market is such that if you are there at the wrong time of the morning on a bright day you are blinded by the sun as you walk up the aisle. (On such days I rush up to the top of the market and do my shopping on the way back down to the parking).
from columbia, i don't know if your preference is to drive to dc or baltimore. b'more city has two GREAT markets:
saturdays in waverly, at 33rd & barclay (not far from hopkins homewood campus and the -- sniff -- former site of memorial stadium) from 7 am - 1pm (but most places sell out and start packing up around noon). fabulous veggies and produce, many home-grown, some organic stands. fresh flowers, several bakeries represented, plus stands for yummy snacks (the smoked fish and quiche lady is my fave!). absolutely packed with folks, kids, dogs, people handing out political flyers, buskers, bikers. it's one of my favorite things about baltimore! open year round, but of course fewer merchants & smaller selection -- think root vegetables! -- in the off months.
sundays -- same hours -- under the JFX at holliday and saratoga streets, downtown. it's a kinda surreal place for a farmer's market, under a highway overpass, but nice 'n' shady in the summer. this one is even larger than the waverly saturday market, with many of the same vendors represented and then others who go to other markets on saturday come here on sunday. highly recommended. this one only open in the warmer months, alas.
if you need directions to either, email me!
Dupont Circle. Sunday morning 9-1. Several cheesemakers. Sunnyside Organics from Little Washington, VA. Polyface free-range meats (absolutely awesome pork). Lots of organic farmers. Small, compared to markets on the West Coast, but getting better every year.
The Dupont Market on Sunday's is hosted by the American Farmland Trust, and has very strict rules on what is sold at the market. Only items having been grown by the vendors may be sold there. The venders come from MD, VA, W.VA, and PA.
The market is great bustle of activity, and a joy to walk through. The selection and quality is not surpassed at many other markets in this country, especially in the mid-summer and early fall. The only thing lacking from your list of requested items are breads, but with both Firehook and Marvelous Market each about a half block away, you can always stop there for some of the best breads in the city. There is also a guest Chef at the market on most market days, preparing items from local restaurants, with many ingredients from the market. This market is a joy to go to.