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May 3, 2009 05:59 AM

JFX Farmer's Market 2009

After months of sleeping in on Sunday, Courtney and I arose at 6:15 to make it to opening day of the JFX Farmer's Market. It was great to see most of the vendors we remember from last year, as well as a few new ones.

Our first stop was, as usual, Zeke's for cups of delicious El Salvadoran coffee, as well as a pound to get us through the week at home. Migue is still operating his donut stand next door.

Egg Man is still in his usual spot, as is Reid's Orchard, Uptown Bakery, Martin's Farms, Neopol Smokery, and hot sauce guy. The Pea Man was there selling asparagus, although he said that peas would be available in about two weeks. In fact, asparagus, lettuce and leeks were about the only fresh veggies on hand. No fruits yet except for some apples at Reid's.

We got some fairly large morels from the mushroom stand. They're going for a pretty decent $15 for an 8 oz. container this week, although their price varies week to week.

We bought from two new vendors this week. There's a guy selling fresh salsa in the front on the Gay Street end. He was handing out samples. We tried a tomato and habanero salsa that was quite good but not really spicy enough for us. But the garlic, black bean and roasted corn salsa is delicious, and we brought some of that home. Highly recommended.

Firefly, an artisan goat cheese vendor from Garret County is right inside the main entrance. They were handing out samples. We tried several, including a delicious blue goat. We brought home some fresh goat for Courtney to use in her mac and cheese with goat, shallots and bacon. Both of these vendors will likely see business from us for the rest of the year.

We also got ribs, bacon and ground pork from Truck Patch Farm.

It's great to have the "real" farmer's market back open. Lots of herbs to plant and hanging plants right now, but it's still early in the season. I imagine strawberries will be showing up in the next couple of weeks.

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  1. SALSA! That is an exciting addition. Thanks for the post!

    8 Replies
    1. re: ronandaim

      We got an 8 oz. container of the black bean and corn salsa; it was either that or the 32 oz. since the 16 oz. containers hadn't come in yet. At the time, Jon warned me that he planned to finish it by the end of the day, and I'd know to get the 32 oz. one next week. I should have listened - we went through it in about 20 minutes, and it was delicious.

      The Muffin Man (Cat's Paw farm) is also back this year, so I got my fix of the world's best gingersnaps. Hoping he'll have black bottoms next week. Even without much in the way of produce yet, the market was well worth the trip.

      1. re: Make Me Dinner

        Yeah, I sucked it down. It's really, really good. I'm already wanting more. We'll definitely go for the 32 oz next time.

        1. re: Make Me Dinner

          Sadly, the salsa guy was sold out of the black bean and corn this week -- he said people were just snapping it up yesterday (forgot to ask him where he was selling it on Saturday). We did get some tomato salsa which tasted a bit spicier than what he had last week.

          Next to him was a farm that I think is new. They were selling strawberries. Pea Man had some strawberries as well.

          1. re: JonParker

            They ran out of the mango habanero salsa pretty quick, too. What's up with all the super thick asparagus?

            1. re: bmorecupcake

              I noticed that too. I haven't bought any. It looks like they had to harvest it with a chainsaw.

              1. re: JonParker

                I bought a bundle that was half thin, half thick. The thin ones are great and I used them raw in a salad. The thick ones, to get them to cook evenly, I had to peel first.

            2. re: JonParker

              We got some of the spicy tomato salsa. I like the heat!
              Clearly, it has got no preservatives in it- does anyone know how long I can expect it to last if well refrigerated?
              I thought most of the strawberries we saw looked pathetic- small and unripe. Where did you see the good ones?

              1. re: maddogg280

                I got some from the new stand next to the salsa guys. I also got some from Pea Man. The ones from the former are pretty decent. I haven't tried the Pea Man ones yet. Mine aren't small or unripe, but it's possible if you got there later they might have been down to poorer specimens.

                I got some of the tomato salsa -- tried a sample and it was definitely hotter than last week. Dammit, I want the black bean though.

        2. The firefly blue goat is wonderful.

          I was there also, looking esp for ramps; did not see any. Does anyone know where ramps can be found in the Bmore area?

          4 Replies
          1. re: tartuffe

            Ramps aren't a Baltimore thing. I don't believe I've ever seem them for sale around here.

            You need to head farther west to get them in Maryland.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              I saw some at the JFX market last year, but it was really early in the season. Since they weren't there today I'm guessing they won't be showing up this year.

              But hey, they have morels.

              1. re: JonParker

                Ramps were actually available two weeks ago from the woman who sells mushrooms at the Waverly market on Saturdays. Not sure if she still has them or not.

            2. re: tartuffe

              There was an empty display of ramps at Whole Foods two and a half weeks ago... so I assume they're there sometimes. Also looking @ JFX market without luck. Anyone know the most Baltimore-proximal location to find ramps in the wild?

            3. Jon, which entrance do you mean when you say "the main entrance"?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Hal Laurent

                The main parking lot entrance directly across from Sonar on Saratoga street.

              2. Firefly had a wonderful spreadable ginger, almond, honey cheese. It was wonderful on top of the raisin walnut bread from the bakery closest to Reid's.

                1. I noticed the big crowd around Firefly- and now I know why!
                  Perhaps you didn't visit, but we went to Salt River Lobster caddy-corner from Firefly and purchased a huge, lovely salmon. It made a fantastic dinner last night alongside some roasted asparagus. Salt River is promoting a lobster sale on 5/17 at $8.99 per pound, with pre-order required by 5/13. Find more detail:
                  I was also glad to see the omlette man had not raised his prices. He has his two granddaughters working the stand this year as well, a fact he was very happy about!
                  Here's to the hope for better weather for next weekend's market!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: maddogg280

                    We did not get anything from Salt River this week, but last year we bought from them a few times. The smoked bluefish is great, and I got some good oysters there. If I recall correctly they didn't show up at the market until fairly late last year.

                    That lobster sale sounds like a good deal.

                    1. re: maddogg280

                      Just bought some 2lb Lobsters from him last week. Freshest I've had since I moved from Cape Cod/ ANd the smoke blue is deelish.