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Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market - 20th St. & Massachusetts Avenue NW

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Hours just for tomorrow, July 15, 2012:

8:30 am to 12:30 pm

While closing half an hour early this one day, the parking lot will be transformed for the big bash scheduled for 4 - 7 pm. The following week, the market will close at 1 pm as usual.

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Tomato prices have climbed this summer as the season has progressed, and they cost the most now when they seem to be most abundant. Heirloom tomatoes at the market yesterday were going for as high as $4.60 a pound. It pays to shop around. By comparison, at the Penn Center Farmers market last Thursday, the same varieties of tomatoes were going for $3.50 generally, with maybe a couple of stands (Toigo) rising into the $3.50-$4.00 range. Toigo's pears in both locations were a bruising $3.75. Earlier this summer, the Clarendon Whole Foods was selling Toigo peaches for about half of what they were charging at their stands. (This did not seem to be an especially good year for peaches.) If you are just making tomato sauce, it's best to look for seconds, which are bargain priced at well below $2 a pound at Dupont by a few farmers. Toigo has had seconds at Penn Center.

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Tomato prices have climbed this summer as the season has progressed, and they cost the most now when they seem to be most abundant.

Most abundant? September draws to a close and this is a growing season that started early. It's ending early, too. One of the farmers at Penn Quarter who grows organic tomatoes exclusively in fields no longer has large heirloom tomatoes, only the small cherry varieties. There are others who will have ripe, field tomatoes only for one more week, some two. For farmers in Southern Pennsylvania whose season starts almost a month after those in parts of Virginia, say, it behooves them to reap benefits of a lingering, premium crop. After all, the early birds charged what the market would bear when there weren't many local, heirloom field tomatoes around yet.

As for pears, remember last year? Nary a pair of pears to be had in farmers markets. From what I understand, pears are one of the hardest fruits for orchard growers in these here parts. Fire blight, for one. Asian apple pears are a different story, and one of the easiest tree fruits to grow organically.

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If you are just making tomato sauce, it's best to look for seconds, which are bargain priced at well below $2 a pound at Dupont by a few farmers. Toigo has had seconds at Penn Center.

The price of tomato seconds goes from 99 cents a pound to $2.80 at the three stands that sell seconds at Dupont. By being an early bird, I've been able to get seconds in such good shape that they can be used for anything and many last for a week at room temp (ironically, the best ones seem to be at the cheapest price). I don't think I have paid for any #1 quality tomatoes at all this summer.

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PS. I completely forgot about the consequences of this year's weather. Hottest July on record and all that. Drought. Tomatoes love intense heat. Tomato flowers, not so much. Wither. No fruit. Many farmers depend on tomato season to make it for the year and many lost so much of their most important crop because of the destructive heat. Factors such as these might explain climbing prices, though I never noticed any patterns.

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Wanted to give a shout out to a new vendor at this market. Number One Sons (on the southern half of 20th St., on the west side) is selling a variety of pickles and fermented veggies, including dills, sauerkraut, and the like. I picked up a "rosetido"--their take on curtido, made with radishes and cabbage. Taco night is a staple in our house, but suffers greatly in the winter months from a lack of fresh tomatoes for salsa. This is just the ticket! Hightly recommended.

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A bunch of cameras this morning at the Dupont Market. Also, the rumour is that the when they switch to spring hours the market is going to stay open until 2pm.

In any case, I've stocked up on my duck eggs, hamburger meat, greens, cured meats, and pickles, so i don't think i'm going to starve during this coming storm.

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Anyone know the name of the empanada vendor last weekend at the market? Lots of interesting varieties - including a pretty good tilapia corn salsa one.

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Chris' Marketplace sells empanadas at the market -- don't know if this is the place you have in mind.  I've never tried their empanadas, but they have excellent crab cakes, gazpacho and a soup called Fresco.  

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Chris' Marketplace sells empanadas at the market -- don't know if this is the place you have in mind.  I've never tried their empanadas, but they have excellent crab cakes, gazpacho and a soup called Fresco.  

Yep that is the place. I don't usually go to Dupont so I didn't realize this guy has been around for a long time and his speciality is seafood - which makes sense, I'd never seen so many seafood empanada before.  Worth a try for something different and a pretty good price at $3 for a light snack.

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I can't remember the name of the vendor, but yesterday there was this woman selling produce who scolded me for touching her tomatoes. I'm a skilled tomato-toucher having handled more tomatoes than Chef Boyardee. What gives lady?

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1 hour ago, Al Dente said:

I can't remember the name of the vendor

The Tomato Nazi - "No tomatoes for you!"

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a vendor at the penn quarter market (sorry, forgot which one) had plants of the mexican sour gherkin yesterday and i bought 2. I think they are the same vendor which had pineapple tomatillo plants last week, whcih i also bought some of. I've seen the gherkin in seed catalogs for years and am excited about finally tasting some (hopefully). 

 

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Weird experience with Cibola Farms, where we're regulars - we bought a couple of pounds of bison ground chuck, and it was full of big chunks of gristle and even a couple of bone chips.  I picked it over before making patties and the burgers were still nearly inedible.

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Hey.  Not much action here, I see, but please note that Next Step Produce has announced plans to quit the farmers-market scene after November 20th.  So if you are a plan, please drop by to wish the farm well, grab this year's crop of newly dried beans, freshly milled flour and so forth.

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On 11/10/2016 at 0:33 PM, Anna Blume said:

Hey.  Not much action here, I see, but please note that Next Step Produce has announced plans to quit the farmers-market scene after November 20th.  So if you are a plan, please drop by to wish the farm well, grab this year's crop of newly dried beans, freshly milled flour and so forth.

I should clarify this means that the farm bowed out early during the 2016 season and will not be participating in the shorter winter market of January through March as it typically does, alternating with Tree & Leaf as an organic grower, every other week during the leaner, cold months.  [Please note that while Tree & Leaf is not certified as organic, Zach Lester is an organic grower.]

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I saw someone selling mushrooms there Sunday.  Also, the mushroom lady was also at the Mt. P farmer's market Saturday.

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Bev's (EcoFriendly) $12 breakfast there is a steal, if you don't factor in the medical consequences.  An egg fried in pig fat.  Biscuit and gravy.  Heirloom grits.  Shredded pork.  And a slice of bacon.  I can't remember everything on it.  It was seasoned aggressively and absolutely delicious.  A southern breakfast for sure.

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