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Early Summer (Jun 21 - Jul 20)


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I went market hopping this morning and came home with quite a bounty. Some of the highlights include the first cauliflowers of the season, two types of basil, the last of the asparagus, baby round carrotts and corn shoots.
I found the carrots thanks to Mrs. & Mr. B over at Mt. Pleasant.

The corn shoots, which I have never seen before, were from the herb lady and her husband at Arlington. She also has a wide variety of micro greens and herbs, plus the largest assortment of basil and mint I have found in the area. With the first bite the shoots are a bit bitter but then a wonderful corn sweetness takes over and lingers long after your last bite.
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It was a very small market last year and got smaller as the summer went on.  I was curious if it was back this year and drive by this morning.  No market.  Anyone know if it moved location?

According to this link the market is at 3219 O St. NW. Is that where it was last year?

Berries are here :lol:;):P

I have black raspberries, blueberries and a ton of strawberries awaiting me in my fridge. Hopefully the strawberries will make into a puree to freeze for the winter.

The other exciting find, which I didn't splurge on, where baby artichokes. They looked georgous, nice and tight. The same stand had purple cauliflower, as well as regular cauliflower. It's roasting time.

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I have a question though. Theres nothing like summer corn and I'm a fan in the sense that I could eat 3-4 ears at a time. Do any of the markets get really good fresh corn during the summer? Like silver queen and the like?

Thanks :lol:

A few stands had corn at Arlington yesterday. There should be some at Dupont next week.

Hope is on the horizon as they have some new butchering arrangement that should lead to more regular appearance of these cuts at the market starting in a few weeks.  She told me this change was in large part due to the many complaints they've been getting from regular market customers so we all need to keep complaining even as we buy other stuff!

Who says you can't get anything done in Washington? Our complaining worked. Half of the meat cooler was filled with flat irons. They also had a couple of uncut flat irons in the truck that were huge.

It was the last week for favas (chianti anyone?) but berries were everywhere. Tomatoes from the field and peaches are starting to pop up as well.

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A few stands had corn at Arlington yesterday.  There should be some at Dupont next week.
Eastern shore (Maryland) farm stands in Talbot and Dorchester counties are already flush with sweet white corn, yellow and zucchini squash and green beans. The consensus seems to be that cantaloupes will be at the stands next week and the earliest tomatoes the week after that.
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There were a couple of stands with really great peaches this past Sunday at Dupont.  Good prices to boot!

Nice and juicy, I made a mess at lunch today.

Despite it being early in the season I had two amazing ears of corn from New Morning for dinner last night. Sweet and full of flavor.

I picked up a bunch of baby carrotts with the greens on from Sunnyside and brought them into school today. Most of my kids have never seen carrott greens, let alone a real baby carrott (that didn't come out of a bag). We had a great time pretending to be Bugs Bunny, until it got annoying and we made them eat the carrotts :P Really good carrotts though.

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Cinda (Gourmet Greener? Gardeners Gourmet? Can never remember!) has some amazing, beautiful purple basil this morning at Eastern Market. Am debating, but will most likely use in conjunction with some nice eggplant and tomatoes I picked up. I love the summer bounty.

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Here is a link to the list of farmers's markets in the area as provided, updated, each year by The Washington Post.

Note that the Post provides links to web sites of individual markets.

If you're interested in FRESHFARM Market, for example, go to the web site and sign up for the weekly e-mailed update.

Bernie Prince, one of the founders, will send you a poem and a list of the farmers, chefs, special events and items that should make an appearance during the week ahead, especially welcome when new produce appears throughout the growing season.

Look upthread for the announcement of next Sunday's special 10th Anniversary celebration (July 2).

* * *

At the market today, stone fruit arrived in the form of nectarines.

Cauliflower was purple, golden, green and white. There were green beans, fava beans (last :unsure: ), golden and green zucchini, golden and red beets, softshell crabs, berries, cherries, onions, arugula, garlic chives, tarragon, tiny potatoes, baby artichokes, eggs, cheeses, bread, quiches and rain, rain, rain.

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Jamie Stachowski brought his duck galantine--made with dried blueberries--to the market for the chef demo.

Purple cauliflower--was told it might be the last week.

Gorgeous green beans from Eli's. Tomatoes. Mint. Basil. Parsley. White peaches.

The jade green beans were back at New Morning.

Blackberries and raspberries looked good and there was indeed corn.

* * *

Giant Paella will be served fairly early at the farmers market at Penn Quarter this upcoming Thursday, around 3 or 3:30 pm.

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Your mention of The Kitchen Diaries made me dig out my copy. He suggests favas with bacon and I may do just that with my haul. Or possibly pasta with favas, ricotta, and mint, but only if I can get the good ricotta at the store. The price rankles, but we will have them only once this year, and I have done far stupider things with $20.

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Well, sounds like the local corn is ready to pick, at least at Spring Valley Farm which sells its wares at a number of local markets.

It also sounds as if at least two farms offer gooseberries for sale, including Country Pleasures and Blueberry Hill (H Street FFM).

At Dupont Circle this upcoming Sunday, Atwater's will be passing out birthday cake to celebrate the 11th growing season of FreshFarm vending.

However, I must confess this post is an excuse to bring to your attention the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra in their You Tubular Performance. Please root for them, won't you?

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If you only hit farmers' markets a few times a summer make sure one of your trips is soon. And go early because Everyone else is out there too. I hit three different markets this weekend and each had something the others did not. Part of the haul included:

Blueberries

Red and golden raspberries

Baby squash with the flowers attached ;):P:)

Cauliflower

Amazing hothouse tomatoes

Variety of herbs including lemon thyme from the 7th st. vegetable garden stand at Mt. Pleasant (It's a local garden that provides fresh veggies for the residents of the neighborhood.)

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Picked up some Turkish eggplants at the Mason District Park market on Columbia Pike this morning. They look like this. Very pretty - not sure what to do with them, but will probably try roasting or grilling.

Lots of nice cherry tomatoes around too, including Sweet 100s.

No Toigo(?) or Crackpot Gourmet, but I did buy a few of the savory Russian(?) pastries from the lady who is there from time to time. I can't wait to try them - phyllo rolls with yummy fillings like chickpeas, swiss chard, and broccoli. (they have lots more delicious ingredients - jalapenos, beets, raisins, etc. - depending on the type)

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All you squash blossom fans, today at Dupont Circle, Cesare Lanfranconi prepared a simple recipe from a new cookbook by Faith Willinger, a friend of Ann Yonkers, who was visiting from Florence and sporting the red cap of Federico da Montefeltro despite the weather. He simply stuffed them w drained ricotta and dipped them in beaten egg before sautéing them in very little olive oil until the cheese began oozing, then garnished them w shredded basil leaves. You should expect coverage in The Washington Post.

RJ Cooper stood in the background with baby daughter Eva strapped to chest until both were fairly melted themselves.

Sunnyside Organic neglected to put all its bags of zucchini flowers out at the beginning of the market, so there were still a few left half an hour before the market closed. Running around a quarter apiece (around 6 for $1.50), they're a damn good bargain for a seasonal luxury.

* * *

Toiga must have picked the first of its corn yesterday given Monavano's post above. They were selling the teeny tiny gumball-sized plums that New Morning brought to its Saturday market last week, calling them a one-time thing with a short season. Tree & Leaf had beautiful eggplants, their first, right across from the ones Heinz began to sell last week. Now Sunnyside (not organic, the other one) no longer is the one place to go for the little squat white ones I like as much as the skinny lavender ones that I may stew with lamb.

Now that more and more peaches have arrived, I spoke to one of the vendors for Twin Springs who said that the majority of their crop is fine. However, right before the freeze that freaked out everyone, apparently there was an even worse one in addition to a blight that caused the death of more than a hundred of their apple trees. No plums to speak of. No apricots this year either.

* * *

Finally, for those of you with small children, especially, I wanted to alert you to GREEN KIDS DAY that the Dames d'Escoffier are sponsoring at farmers markets throughout the region this upcoming weekend, Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd. For a change, I am offering further details from Arlington's Farmers Market.

The purpose is to indoctrinate youth through play. They'll be creating bugs out of zucchini and other produce and invited to participate in a scavenger hunt, so by the end of the day they should become less picky eaters and realize that vegetables are our friends. ;)

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New Morning had some yesterday, but it was grown by one of the farms in TOG. Jim said they would have their own next week. Isn't it early yet for corn?

I've been getting "Frosty" white corn at the Kingstowne market for a couple weeks now. It is surprisingly juicy, sweet and a decent size. I was just enjoying succotash made with it. :lol:

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Corn is here!

(I always want to add to the market posts a single line exuberantly declaring the latest sightings. "Blueberries!" I would say, or "Asparagus!" But that never seems quite informative enough. So let me take this opportunity to revive the summer thread.

Corn!

Peaches!

Nectarines!!!!

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Wow. Interesting to compare this growing season to ones from the past.

Some markets already have blueberries, thanks to Westmoreland's presence. Monavano spots apricots at Kuhn's.

Last week brought the first raspberries I've seen to town along with sweet cherries, Bing and white (Early Robin).

I've heard rumors of tart cherries coming to town this weekend, but I could have sworn corn and stone fruits never came to town until July. Go figure.

Vegetables?

Purple cauliflower arrived last weekend in abundance and will be around for another week or so.

Anyone spied fava beans lately? It was their last week at Next Step Produce (Maryland) this past Sunday.

Peas endure, mostly sugar snap.

Newly dug potatoes fairly new presences, too.

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It was our lovely Goldenticket who spied apricots at Kuhn's :)

I spied gorgeous raspberries at Mt. Vernon this week. Heard tell that it's the last of VA's strawberries. Was a very, very good year for strawberries, indeed.

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