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Late Spring (May 21 - Jun 20)


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Herbs have finally started to arrive. I picked up some basil, oregano and flat leaf parsley. I feel herbed yogurt cheese in my future.

I was at Dupont right when the opening bell rang in hopes of getting a couple of flat irons from Sunnyside for the weekend but they didn't have any mad.gif They did have the first baby carrotts of the season, still attached to the greens. I also picked up the first peas of the season. Strawberries were everywhere but selling fast. Is it me or do the strawberries and asparagus seem more expensive at Dupont than Arlington?

My splurge of the week was a blue goat cheese from Firefly Farms. I broke in their new portable credit card machine smile.gif I think the cheese is going to go with the baby spinach from New Morning.

The fish couple did have eel for around $3.00. I don't know how to choose a fresh eel but they looked pretty good.

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Strawberries were everywhere but selling fast.
I was there near the beginning too, and the strawberries did seem to be flying. Haven't been to Arlington market yet this year so I can't comment on the prices. I do think that $4 for 8 spears of asparagus is mighty freakin' steep, though.

I had problems today with the fragile stuff. Seemed one of the eggs we got from Cibola had a slight crack, which got larger by the time we got to the car. They kindly swapped that dozen out for us. But what really killed me was the half gallon of chocolate milk. That glass must have had a slight crack too. Got home, placed it (gently) on the floor, and that crack got larger, shattering the bottle with the chocolate milk forming a huge pond on the kitchen floor.

If it wasn't for shards of broken glass, I was quite tempted to get down on all fours and start lapping it up, like the woman in that old Quizno's commercial that sees the empty wrapper in the trash.

Well, maybe not. But I was close to crying over the spilt milk. And secretly wishing that it was the half gallon of whole white milk that broke instead. :lol:

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Herbs have finally started to arrive.  I picked up some basil, oregano and flat leaf parsley.  I feel herbed yogurt cheese in my future.

I was at Dupont right when the opening bell rang in hopes of getting a couple of flat irons from Sunnyside for the weekend but they didn't have any :lol: They did have the first baby carrotts of the season, still attached to the greens.  I also picked up the first peas of the season.  Strawberries were everywhere but selling fast.  Is it me or do the strawberries and asparagus seem more expensive at Dupont than Arlington?

My splurge of the week was a blue goat cheese from Firefly Farms.  I broke in their new portable credit card machine ;) I think the cheese is going to go with the baby spinach from New Morning.

The fish couple did have eel for around $3.00.  I don't know how to choose a fresh eel but they looked pretty good.

Prices for the strawberries were different between vendors at DuPont. I do think that Arlington is a bit cheaper though.

I got some peas last week (Arlington) and look forward to much more of them. I guess I got to DuPont late yesterday as there were no peas to be found.

Unfortunately for me the eels (they only had 5) were promised to others when I got there. They are pretty easy to pick out as they are live, so look for one with good activity. :P In talking with the woman she said that they are caught in their crab traps. They go in after the soft shell crabs and according to the gentleman working their go after the 'inflated' crabs and eat the meat leaving the newly formed shell.

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I noticed that the herbs, strawberries and aspargus seems more expensive at Dupont than at Arlington. The strawberries were definitely a better value at Arlington at the herbs ran about $0.50-$1.00 more at Dupont (not to mention there is a wider variety at Arlington).

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This morning, New Morning Farm at the Sheridan School had several kinds of cherries, all labeled "sweet". Among them, a medium-dark cherry turned out to be among the tartest sweet cherries I've ever encountered, and among the best cherries of any kind I've eaten in ages. I couldn't help myself, I bought three quarts. I've got a multi-meal house party coming up in two weeks, and was thinking one of the meals could use a really good cherry pie. These cherries are tart enough to be good pie cherries. Now, how to get today's cherries into a pie two weeks hence...pit them now and freeze them? Keep them whole in the fridge and hope they last two weeks? Eat all of these fresh and hope they have more next week? I should have asked this morning if they'd have more of the same cherries next week, but I didn't think about it till I got home. What to do, what to do....

Eat them now and then stop by their stand at Dupont tomorrow or on Tuesday. Tomorrow ask for Moie, she's one of the owners and will know if they will be available next week. Or check them out at New Morning Farm and give Jim a call. My guess though, having worked for them for a couple of summers, is that there will still be plenty next week.

I stopped by Arlington and Del Ray today. My first question is Tiogo everywhere? Not a complaint, just an observation. As I type I am enjoying one of Mark's English cucmbers sprinkled with truffle salt. Second, did anyone actually wait in that line at Arlington for blueberries and raspberries and were they worth the price? I think a pint of raspberries were going for over $4 a pint. Besides ShoeBox Oven, my new favorite stand is the woman at Del Ray selling organic baby food. Baby Boom anyone?

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I stopped by Arlington and Del Ray today.
Sorry we missed you at Del Ray - and was sorry we also missed cherries, English peas, and the empanada lady (if she was there). Maybe if got moving a little earlier, we'd not only get the good stuff but get to see more people we know.
My first question is Tiogo everywhere? Not a complaint, just an observation.
YES! I see Toigo at the Annandale/Columbia Market on Thursdays, USDA on Fridays, obviously they're present at two markets (at least) on Saturday. They must have a huge operation. I can't wait for their heirloom tomatoes to come in - but the cluster tomatoes were good. [see dinner thread]
Besides ShoeBox Oven, my new favorite stand is the woman at Del Ray selling organic baby food. Baby Boom anyone?
That's so early 90s :unsure: I did a case study in Business school on one of the first organic baby food brands (Earth's Best?). Seriously - it looks like a nice product and they certainly are selling it in the right neighborhood - Del Ray is Baby Central!
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The Ballston Farmer's Market (Fridays 11am-3pm) is in its 2nd year, and while it was exceptionally weak last year, it is good this year. They ahve cooking demos at 1:30, and the last 2 weeks was Willow's demonstration, although last week's was a bit weak. They don't have that much in the way of produce, but one of their bread vendors (baguette republic) is good, although they are also at Clarendon Market. There is a stand with argentione and mexican chorizo, and chimichurri. There is a guy who sells great coffee from his plantation in Honduras. There is a great goat cheese vendor who has soft and hard cheeses. Oh, and a guy with sauces, rubs, spices, chutneys, etc...

The Clarendon market (wednesdays 3pm-7pm) is also good, and has more veggies and fruit. The hard times chili dog stand is there mon-friday 11am-6pm...so you can get a chilidog while you are there.The

Courthouse market (sat 8am-noon) is great as always. I usally combine it with a trip to Earl's Sandwich Shop. He makes several of his own coldcuts.

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I was down in Penn Quarter during the Farmer's Market and was impressed by the looks of things folk at The Ovens at Quail Creek Farm are selling even if I didn't need any at the moment. Heather once mentioned buying their bread. Is it good?

N.B.:

1) The morels were going for $12 a box, looking much better than back during the storm in April (?) when they were $10 at Dupont Circle. Trumpets/King Oysters for $8.

The Mushroom Lady told me she sells them for $15 usually at Dupont Circle, slashing the price $2 to $3 on several of the fungi she sells at Penn Quarter since there just aren't the same crowds as there are on Sunday mornings. I thought this might be useful information for "bargain" hunters.

2) Sand Hill Farm sells quail eggs.

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I was down in Penn Quarter during the Farmer's Market and was impressed by the looks of things folk at The Ovens at Quail Creek Farm are selling even if I didn't need any at the moment. Heather once mentioned buying their bread. Is it good?
Their 12 kilo pugliese is excellent.

Country Pleasures makes wonderful sour cherry jam, and until last year when they stopped selling them, had the best eggs at the Dupont market. Here's hoping they have the fraises du bois tomorrow.

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Hi everyone,

I've been driving out to the strawberry patches lately, but haven't made it down to the markets yet this season. So as this will be my first trip of the summer- should I take the metro in to dupont or can I get most items in takoma park? I am suburbanite, so the drive is easier- but I am happy to make the trip in for better selection and products.

I will probably still go pick strawberries myself because I will get a lot, but I am looking for spring peas, fresh eggs, whole grain bread, local cheese, greens, and anything that is newly in season!!

Rockwellians, where should I go?

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Hi everyone,

I've been driving out to the strawberry patches lately, but haven't made it down to the markets yet this season. So as this will be my first trip of the summer- should I take the metro in to dupont or can I get most items in takoma park? I am suburbanite, so the drive is easier- but I am happy to make the trip in for better selection and products.

I will probably still go pick strawberries myself because I will get a lot, but I am looking for spring peas, fresh eggs, whole grain bread, local cheese, greens, and anything that is newly in season!!

Rockwellians, where should I go?

Dunno where you are in the suburbs but the strawberries have been STUNNING at the Courthouse metro market on saturday mornings.
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I will probably still go pick strawberries myself because I will get a lot, but I am looking for spring peas, fresh eggs, whole grain bread, local cheese, greens, and anything that is newly in season!!
If it's easier, do Takoma. It should have everything you list, but as Heather noted, get there as close to 10 as possible because the egg vendors can sell out quickly. When you stop by Keswick Creamery for cheese, do yourself a favor and check out their yogurt. I'm addicted.
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If it's easier, do Takoma. It should have everything you list, but as Heather noted, get there as close to 10 as possible because the egg vendors can sell out quickly. When you stop by Keswick Creamery for cheese, do yourself a favor and check out their yogurt. I'm addicted.

Thanks everyone!

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I just discovered this thread. I know the arrival of strawberries has been anxiously awaited. Anything else?

Rhubarb mentioned elsewhere, right?

Garlic Shoots to go w Mrs. B's green garlic.

Basically, you got all of your alliums. Lotsa lots leak leeks now, if not when Hillvalley expressed disappointment above. Bulbous green onions and spring onions in the same tricolors as ramps: white, purple and green.

Waitman would not call them legit, but there were a few snap peas at various markets last week. More to come in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned for "Late Spring".

There have been several kinds of radishes for quite some time. Those beautiful little white turnips. Beets, golden, bullet and regular. Chives. Russian kale. Tuscan kale. Chard. Tender spinach. Itsy bitsy "nuggets" (Zora's word) of yummy potatoes to roast in fat from your chicken, though butter or olive oil will do. Cardoons.

However, as Heather notes, this spring has been so cold and damp that much that ought to be around isn't. So an April-like Preponderance of Lettuces Prevails.

It's not just produce that is affected. Lambs aren't growing as quickly as they usually do; guess they're just not frolicking about in the sunshine building up an appetite for acres of grass...

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Since Spring Valley Farm (West Virginia) participates in a lot of markets around here, you may be interested in knowing that they predict broccoli for this upcoming weekend.

Also, their raised beds of strawberries should hold so many ripe berries that it might be worth your while to seek them out.

Snap peas should become more common and a lot more beets.

Sweet cherries are only a couple of weeks away. Sour cherries follow shortly thereafter as we move into summer.

As noted in the "Mid Spring" topic, though, be patient since the very cold spring has slowed the growing season and if the rain continues to plug Bladerunner II, many seeds and plants put early into the ground may never enjoy a frisky adolescence.

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Sweet cherries are only a couple of weeks away. Sour cherries follow shortly thereafter as we move into summer.
Better get the jars ready. Cherry season is my second favorite time of year, surpassed only by peach season. :lol: I'm also keeping a sharp lookout for the little fraises du bois that someone had last year. My, those were worth every cent.

Favas, anyone? :lol:

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Favas, anyone? :lol:
As reported elsewhere, now that fava beans are here, some of the farmers tell me that this week might have been the last for their asparagus.

On the other hand, I spied a favorite this past week: cousa! Arabic for "squash"--stubby, pale green skin, mottled like zucchini, but with a denser flesh. With less water content, it's great cubed in sautés and wonderful stuffed. Good for Mexican cooking in my humble opinion.

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Honey bunnies, it is late summer midst bouts of unseasonably cold weather with damaging freezes out on farms a week ago, and muggy, summery soars of mercury during the day even though we still are blessed by cooling air at night.

Asparagus abounds. Still. :lol:

But, baby, broccoli yesterday from West Virginia! Something new!

Didn't pick it up since I am like so into the precious, rare English pea, grown supremely in Viriginian soil.

Plus fairly new arrivals of escarole (VA & MD) are wonderful, too. Pretty crisp and firm, but delicious ugly and wilted in the pan.

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Didn't pick it up since I am like so into the precious, rare English pea, grown supremely in Viriginian soil.

it almost doesn't seem right spending $8 at the farmers market for two small boxes of peas that when shelled yield about two modest servings. but when sauteed in a little butter and salt, a few drops of water, these are as good as any vegetable i have found this spring, sweet and not even a hint of the starchiness that makes you forswear them. peas shouldn't be a luxury, but these are, not in a small way. locally, this seems to be a better than average year.

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it almost doesn't seem right spending $8 at the farmers market for two small boxes of peas that when shelled yield about two modest servings.

$5 per quart at Mt P. A new Farmer whose name I haven't digested yet. Very nice guy in the spot that Truckpatch used to be in near Park Road. His lettuce was also very pretty.

The peas 4 quarts were tranformed into TK's (must have every spring) cold pea soup. In place of the parmesan crips I made small crouton's of rye bread from Atwater.

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Both Rock Hill Orchard and Homestead Farm are open for sour cherry PYO this weekend.

Anyone here have another favored sour cherry PYO location? While I like both of these places, I'm planning to pick and can about 30 lbs of cherries this year, so I'd like to seek out the best option in the area. Also, Homestead seems to be raising their prices from past years, I remember the cherries being under $2/lb two years ago, but it's $2.29/lb now.

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it really wouldn't have seemed right to spend $8 for four or five mid-sized cucumbers at last weekend's dupont market, so i didn't. it is hard to imagine they were that good, but i will never know.

however, i did run into some moderately pricey tender chervil ($3 the clump), which i happily have used so far in asparagus and pea risotto and salads. last weekend may have been the time to say goodbye to local asparagus until next year.

i know it was absolutely wrong to spend almost $10 for four or five smallish heirloom tomatoes from the fruit stand. i didn't have my thinking cap on; at $6 a pound they add up fast. and they weren't really that good -- too early to be at their best raw and too expensive to cook.

english peas, while still good, and still as expensive as in previous weeks (i just found out about the mt. pleasant pea purveyor), are growing bigger and harder by the day. there's just no time better than eating peas early in the cradle.

a week ago, at the mcpherson square market, where there are virtually no lines and you don't have to fight for your strawberries, i also spent $8 for two pints of small yellow squash. they are tender in these parts all summer long, so i am hoping the price goes down.

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Blueberry jam today and raspberry tomorrow. I am using the low/now sugar powdered pectin and I like the taste so far. I used a little less than half of the sugar that is needed with the regular pectin. The blueberry taste is vibrant without the super sugary sweetness of regular jam. Anyone else use it?

I haven't seen any local berries yet....where did you get yours?

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Has anyone found really good sweet cherries at one of the DC farmers' markets? I've found some pretty decent ones at WFM and Giant, but would like to get some at a farmer's market... Thanks.

Westmoreland Berry Farm at Arlington's Courthouse.

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The market at Bloomingdale had raspberries last week (didn't look this week) and cherries this week.

Also, I'm tired of asparagus.

yes, Reid had raspberries on Sunday. And there are rumors of blueberries for this Sunday along with the cherries and raspberries.

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Hill, thanks for the solidarity (see post of May 24).

Cherries from Quaker Valley are good, too.

Sand Hill Farm had a few raspberries last Thursday and expects many more this week.

The thing is there has been too much rain in some local agricultural areas--you know, springtime gobs of it when unfortunate summertime heat forced some foods to ripen prematurely. Therefore, quality ranges from excellent (intense heat) to meh (too much rain, not enough flavor).

Other signs Scandinavians and Russians are going to stay up all night and run around naked in the woods, erecting fertility gods out of gnarly branches and twigs in the very near future:

cauliflower purple, orange and white

tiny, thin green beans

no more spinach

fennel

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these days when i go to the multiplex i typically wouldn't know the name of the movie i am seeing if it wasn't up on the time board at the ticket window. and i am really bad at directing people to farmers market stands by name. all i know is that when i want to buy lamb at the dupont market, or lamb tagine, or chicken stock, i go to the lamb man. if i want crab cakes, i send my wife to the crab cake man. (she calls him chris, and usually always tells me if he is in a good or bad mood that day; irresolute food samplers, apparently, can get under his skin.)

anyway, next sunday i am going back to the stand where they had the early loveage that mysteriously disappeared just as everybody started looking for it and that is just down from blue ridge (the mozzarella cheese stand around the corner from the milk people), and i will be hoping that they still have the snap peas. i don't know why, probably because they are not even half as good at the grocery store, but i have been turning up my nose at these. so it was a small revelation how good they were, sauteed with butter, salt, a splash of water and a squeeze of lemon in a small, crowded pan (the one i usually use to toast $20-a-pound-plus! pinenuts or brown butter) for a few intense minutes. the result was perfectly sweet and tender peas preceded by the soft crunch of their pods and a first and only impression of their own, unique -- and fleeting -- mint flavor.

you do have to pull their strings off, but it is much easier than what you have to do to prepare english peas and do twice to fava beans.

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Anna Blume wrote:

Cherries from Quaker Valley are good, too.

Anna, is Quaker Valley at the Dupont FM?

And thanks to everyone who posted about cherry sightings. Much appreciated.

Yes, they are on the street side of the market (vs. the parking lot).

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anyway, next sunday i am going back to the stand where they had the early loveage that mysteriously disappeared just as everybody started looking for it and that is just down from blue ridge (the mozzarella cheese stand around the corner from the milk people), and i will be hoping that they still have the snap peas.

That's The Farm at Sunnyside, formerly known as Sunnyside Organics, not to be confused with Sunnyside Farm ("the smoking farmers" as Anna Blume calls them)who are not organic, down at the Mass Ave end of the street.

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So, it's 2008 all over again? Well, not as much rain, but similar patterns in weather, timing of harvests and threat of stuff being washed away or wilted.

For the sake of all that grows,

Cross fingers and toes*

This past weekend, first sightings:

  • Fennel
  • Fava beans
  • Male squash blossoms
  • Cherries (hard to tell if sour or sweet)
  • Garlic scapes
  • Radicchio, several varieties

Still have a murder of strawberries, the first big showing from Southern Pennsylvania joining boxes from West VA, MD & VA. Asparagus abbondanza. Mountain View is selling little bouquets of field-grown basil. All herbs available. Tree & Leaf says its precious little wisps of Tuscan kale will be around two more weeks, tops, till sky-born leaves turn gold. Baby zucchini. Broccoli. Beets. Carrots. Snap peas. At some farms, the green garlic's really getting big, the stalks now too dense and hard to cook.

Anyone spot English peas in the shell yet? Garner's?

*whose nails, post pedicure, should be painted teal, Mr. B, like the head of a Mallard duck.

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Anyone spot English peas in the shell yet? Garner's?

I believe they're at the Friday farmer's market in McLean. I don't know the name of the vendor, but as you enter the tiny area with the booths, on the left you'll first encounter an ice-cream vendor. At the second booth, I overheard a conversation between a shopper and an employee about the peas for sale. I'm reasonably confident they were discussing both sugar snap and English peas.

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Hmmm...I think they may have come and gone, but will look for them at 14th St. this Sat. First visit this year!

I'd think (hope) that producers from Pennsylvania would still have them. I found some great looking seconds today at Rockville; bought enough to keep me in freezer jam through next April

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I'd think (hope) that producers from Pennsylvania would still have them.

That's what I was going to say, but not just PA. The fraises des bois just came to market from Fredericksburg. Still plenty all around due to late start this spring, though drought on Eastern Shore cut that supply short and current heat wave might zap some still growing.

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Strawberries made a formidable, fragrant presence in the city during the first weekend of June this year.

Peonies competed in terms of air space; one tweeter claims it was the last week for them. Heat spell wrecks havoc,

though they are a birth flower for April, so maybe it is officially late for the over-the-top blossoms anyway.

Fennel has been around for several weeks.

Fava beans arrived from Next Step Produce.

Not yet sure Mt. View has them. Blueberry Hill? Anyone know someone else who carries them?

Sugar snap peas around for several weeks at Spiral Path. New this weekend at Farm @ Sunnyside, though a certain pest is

having a field day, potentially reducing yield. Stay tuned. They are a favorite snack among school kids.

No sightings of English peas yet.

Green garlic seems a rarity. Same with scapes. Waiting for mature heads to appear.

Carrots disappeared for several weeks at all but one stand at markets I know. This weekend one other farm put them back

on sale.

There still are spring onions along with a more, big cured ones.

Very few spring chickens yet. Several farms say they will have them not until mid-June due to this year's long, cold spell.

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