New Vendors This Week
Valley View Bakery will be joining us permanently, and they want to know what you want them to bring. So speak up and let them know what kinds of breads and pastries you would like to see in the market.
I have encouraged them to bring their baguettes and whole-grain hot dog and hamburger buns. I am so tired of the grocery store examples of both. They do lovely “decorated” focaccia loaves, but I have also suggested that we might like to buy the plain square loaves and adorn them with market produce and cheese ourselves. Feel free to let them know what you want; they really do aim to please.
Vendors Absent This Week
We will miss Tanya of Soul Cakes by Tanya this week as she will be out of town. I’m gonna miss the coconut cake, too!
On the Way In and Out
We have tomatoes for all occasions this week — regular beefsteak varieties, heirlooms and cherry tomatoes that are all great-tasting and at reasonable prices. Please stop by the Smart Markets tent for some great summer recipes.
Jose Montoya will also have shelled cranberry beans — fresh, no soaking required. We will have a couple of new bean recipes, too. We probably have more corn varieties in one market than anywhere else — bicolor and sweet white corn at Montoya’s and Alma’s, and Pete Lund is bringing it from Southern Maryland.
This is one of my favorite quick and easy and cool tomato recipes of the summer. The tomatoes, green beans, peppers, eggplant and summer squashes will be around for a while — maybe even through September, but enjoy them while you can.
Tony Fetters is bringing more peaches and nectarines every week, but this may be the last week for apricots, so you might want to try some fresh apricots if you never have before. There will also be berries throughout the market — the blackberries and blueberries are at their peak. There may be some end-of-season raspberries, too, though we may see a late-blooming variety later on in the summer.
And make sure to ask about the ice cream flavor of the month at Windmill Meadows Farm — it’s usually seasonal and always scrumptious.
Special Events This Week
I know Uncle Fred is with us every week, and we are glad he is, but I thought I would put him in the “special event” category because every market is a special event when he is on site. Last week he was trying to sell hot air on a 105-degree day, and believe me, at his tent there is always plenty of that — even in the winter. Some of you may remember his roadside BBQ stand out on the narrower Old Keene Mill Road, where he drew huge crowds on the weekends. There’s a reason for that, and now you can either rekindle those memories or try his great smoked meats for the first time. We are glad to have him back where he belongs.
This Week at the Market
l want to introduce you to your new market manager, Ms. Dorothea (Dee) Lucier. She and I will begin a biweekly rotation so that I can go back to my other Saturday market. Please be nice and don’t scare her away. I have not yet figured out how to manage two markets at the same time. She may ask you to sign up for the weekly newsletter; it is the best way to be reminded each week to come to the market, and I know that is the hardest part of getting to a market that is only open once a week. You can also sign up for our newsletter at our website.
This is the week for Fabbioli Cellars and those fabulous Whim Pops to be with us. They both come every other week so that they can participate in our other Saturday market. If you must have wine and popsicles more often, you are always welcome to visit both markets on Saturdays. Our other one is in Oakton.
From the Market Master
Hats off to our vendors and our shoppers for helping us through the worst weather week in my ten years of managing farmers’ markets. Even when we understand the ravages of several hours in 100-degree temperatures, we feel that we need to keep our markets open for the farmers. They work in the heat whether the markets are open or not. They need to be able to sell what they are picking when they pick it, or it returns as waste or compost back to the fields that produced it. We also need to be there for our regular shoppers who, with or without power, turned out last week and bought what they could eat quickly or safely store at home.
I an particularly grateful for those vendors other than the farmers who came out to support their farming friends and to be there for the shoppers. They knew full well that they were not going to make nearly the money they normally do and also knew that they were going to be pretty miserable in unsheltered parking lots with only Mother Nature’s breeze (and as much water as they could drink) to provide relief. I also want to thank our market managers for service beyond the call of duty and for their wise and cautious management, shutting down markets early when necessary to get our vendors home in good time and good health and ready to return the next day.
It looks as if we will enjoy much more normal summer weather at our markets for the next couple of weeks, and we do have some special events and demos planned, so check our website’s event calendar for Annie’s next visits, music at the market, or a demo by our latest in-house expert, Patricia Repko. Patty will be “touring” our markets over the next couple of months to talk about preventive health care based on diet and exercise.
The cheapest health-care plan incorporates how you eat and how you live. If all you are doing is comparing prices every now and then, it may appear to be more expensive to shop at a farmers’ market. But if buying fresh and local is taken as a seasonal challenge, you will naturally take in more nutrients that can actually prevent disease and discomfort at a lower year-round cost than grocery-store shopping can provide.
We also hope to have a few other demonstrations (such as an olive oil tasting) for you throughout all of our markets. You can stay updated by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking our website, and subscribing to our newsletter through our website.
Thank your farmer when you see him or her next. They did not come out last week just to sell but to keep their commitment to you. On the weekend of June 30, we were open when no one else was, and they did it without air conditioning. It was amazing to show up at the Springfield market on the 30th, not having been able to contact any of the vendors, and see all but two come rolling in from a three-state area. The only two who did not make it were home bakers from Springfield who had lost power just as they were planning to bake for you on Friday night. That’s the one downside to offering the freshest of everything — no power the night before means no product for the market.
And P.S. — the latest version of the Farm Bill that has passed the House of Representatives contains helpful measures for local food and local farms. Read our blog post for the details.
See you at the market!