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Ballston Market


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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.

Welcome to DR.com Foodgeek! Great post - thanks for highlighting a market that I don't think we've heard too much about (Ballston). Sounds like those chorizo (along with all the other goodies you mentioned) might be worth a lunchtime trip! Where exactly is the Ballston market located?
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Welcome to DR.com Foodgeek! Great post - thanks for highlighting a market that I don't think we've heard too much about (Ballston). Sounds like those chorizo (along with all the other goodies you mentioned) might be worth a lunchtime trip! Where exactly is the Ballston market located?

http://www.ballstonvasquare.org/farmers.html

The Ballston Farmers' Market is in Wellburn Square, which is at 9th Street and N. Stuart Street across from the Ballston Metro.

Much better than last year, but still geared toward the lunch-time and "pret-a-manger" crowd. The coffee roaster is definitely worth checking out.

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I love how this market is situated around the circle, but it certainly makes me dizzy when I can't make up my mind and end up going 'round and 'round and 'round. The lunch crowd was certainly hopping this past Friday, with the weather so nice and warm, but I feel like there were still not enough visitors to this market, despite its surrounding business. My purchases seemed to hover around the "8s," as my jar of Virginia wild Flower Raw Honey from Virginia Pure Honey ran around $8.50 for a large portion, while a new vendor, fleurir's 4-piece artisan chocolates ran at $8. Based out of Charlottesville, Robert, the chef/owner was very nice to talk to. With flavors like ginger rogers, carrot cake, and dark chocolate with a hint of shiraz, and others to come, it sounds like he has a few tricks up his sleeves worth trying out.

The score of the day was a $3 medium-sized watermelon from a Westmoreland farm. I don't know if it was the Westmoreland farm, since, well, the farms still don't really have signs like the FRESHFARM farmers' markets do. But whichever farm it was, there were two nice, young, gentlemen helping me, and boy, was this watermelon the sweetest, reddest, and juiciest, seedless watermelon I've had in a long, long time. Thankfully, I still have half of it left.

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I used to stop in here last summer, as I was working just a few blocks away, and would come to the square for lunch at Pupatella.

After the third trip to three different vendors, all resulting in mediocre to poor tasting fruit, I gave up.

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Really excited to have the wheatless bread and gnocchi made by Willow at the market! The bread was amazingly good gluten free bread, that was moist, dense, but still fairly light for gf bread with really nice texture. It tasted a lot like... bread actually :) Woohoo! Trying the gnocchi tonight! Am going to pick up some meat this week.

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Is that what happened? I didn't see it on a couple Fridays so I thought it may not be happening this year.

I thought it was that the original folks that ran it didn't run it this year, so we had none until FreshFarm picked it up. Maybe AB can answer why it's on Thursdays?

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??? ^ My guess is as good as anyone else's except in this regard: Imagine you are a small, local food producer or farm locally with a minimal number of hands to help. Say, on a farm that does 1 to 3 farmers markets vs. the operation that has enough staff to participate in 2 markets a day, 4 days a week.

Since markets on weekends draw the biggest crowds and have the highest potential for sales, would you rather spend Friday packing a truck, driving 25 to 125 miles, setting up a stand, selling, breaking down that stand, idling in traffic along routes frequented by commuters headed out for the weekend, or picking tomatoes, washing greens and bunching carrots?

Friday markets might be dandy for shoppers whose parents always took them to the supermarket after work at the end of the week, but I suspect they are not convenient for farmers. Probably not all that profitable, either, in a city with so many commuters and cocktail lounges.

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