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Vendors and Farmers


marketfan
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Who are your favorite farmers -- and why?

I am curious.

I will start. I go to many different farmers' markets because I like different farmers for different things. Lately, Truckpatch at Mt Pleasant has been growing terrific arugula and I have always liked the Asian Pears at Reid's (various markets) but this year I fell in love with their Elstar Apples. and Wheatland's cucumbers.

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Thanks to Hillvalley's recommendations, I checked out the Saturday morning market at Sheridan School yesterday. A real pleasure and good to know about on Tuesdays.

I almost overlooked them, but Sunnyside Organic had little plastic bags of flattened zucchini blossoms at Dupont Circle today. $1.50 for six; not bad.

There still were sour cherries--though this may have been the last week. Not sure. Country Pleasures had red and black currants, the former for the last time since it's hard to keep the birds from eating them all, though the black should be back next week. Lots of black raspberries everywhere and quite a few sightings of cherry tomatoes mean the days of oven-roasting the supermarket variety are over.

For the very first time (i.e. a brand-new crop), Spring Valley was selling Roma beans--the flat green kind. Should be around all summer. (No shell beans until fall.) I plan on blanching them and then sautéing them till kingdom come in olive oil with plenty of garlic and or onion; a few weeks from now, there will be tomatoes stewing with them, too.

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Smith Meadow is also at the 14& U Farmers Market outside the Reeves Center on Saturdays, 9-1. Nancy's pasta is remarkably good. I don't normally like whole wheat pastas but she has converted me! And it is made with their grass range eggs.

IF you like Breadline Bread, you can now find it at the Bloomingdale Farmers' Market on Sundays, 10-2 pm at First and R Streets NW

And Sunnyside will have its remarkable bargains on heirlooms (pile up a mix and match basket) and cases of 30 pounds of Early Girls at Bloomingdale as well. And lots of squash blossoms, leeks, fennel, cucumbers, garlic, summer squash....

New Asbury Farm lamb (this week) is very tender, very flavorful.

Reid has lots of tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, blackberries and early apples .

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Fresh apricots at Toigo this morning were small, brilliantly colored and flavorful. They'll be roasted or poached and turned into breakfast with yogurt. Might boil some leftover basmati rice in milk w coconut till thick, then add apricots sautéed in butter w a little sugar and sprinkle on chopped pistachios.

Picked up a Dark Prince at Tree & Leaf.

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Picked up a Dark Prince at Tree & Leaf.

So... How was he? B)

At Next Step this morning, Heinz had small, ripe figs for sale (I didn't buy any because I had just bought a flat of them at Costco), tomatillos--a new crop for him, and Pineapple melon, which looks and smells like a round Sharlyn--my favorite melon. It is clearly a variant, because the color, aroma and flavor of the flesh is very similar. The texture is a bit firmer-- ripe Sharlyns have the melt-in-your-mouth texture of a ripe Cranshaw. Excellent, however.

Most stands were selling heirloom tomatoes for $3-$4 a pound. Sunnyside Organics price was $2 a pound, $12 for a basket, which can be filled with 7-8 pounds, if you pack the basket judiciously.

Bev Eggleston was selling fresh chickens and eggs--no duck eggs, however. He is apparently making regular trips to deliver his products to restaurants in NYC--he was telling me about chefs at Gramercy Tavern and Tasting Room who were both wanting to feed him, and how he would accept a meal at one, one week, and then the other on the next week. Hard times down on the farm :angry: Though I certainly don't begrudge him any of the success that is coming his way. He just picked the perfect time to be doing what he is doing.

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This morning I cut up an incredible peach from Spring Valley Farm for a bowl of cereal.

Last week my peaches came from Toigo, the week before, Twin Springs. All wonderful and ripe.

On the other hand, I buy potatoes ONLY from Heinz at Next Step Produce and always make sure some of my tomatoes come from Tree & Leaf even if I pick up whatever looks good and costs less elsewhere.

How loyal are you to certain farms or venders?

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This morning I cut up an incredible peach from Spring Valley Farm for a bowl of cereal.

Last week my peaches came from Toigo, the week before, Twin Springs. All wonderful and ripe.

On the other hand, I buy potatoes ONLY from Heinz at Next Step Produce and always make sure some of my tomatoes come from Tree & Leaf even if I pick up whatever looks good and costs less elsewhere.

How loyal are you to certain farms or venders?

That's a great question since I've been getting more dedicated to certain vendors at the Kingstowne Market. Allenberg Orchard has had the pick of the crop for a coupe types of cherries, peaches and tomatoes. They sell nectarines and peaches, both yellow, white and donut. The tomatoes are great to, with several varieties to choose from.

Their prices are low too.

I've been going to the same stall for corn, but have to get the name of the farm committed to memory.

I'm also partial to Eco-friendly (when at Dupont and Arlington) and Cibola.

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Eco-Friendly brought 5 lbs. of coarsely ground fat from around the kidneys of its pigs in response to my order, so now I can make leaf lard. In addition to Zora's wonderful advice, Bruce gave me further instructions. I'm psyched! :angry:

However, the reason I'm posting here is that I read the sign for Cedarbrook Farm at the market and noticed that David Ober sells lard already made. $4.95 a quart is a great price, too. His pigs are also pasture-grazed.

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Truck Patch (U street, Mt. Pleasant and Bloomingdale markets) for pork. The first time I had their pork chops I thought it was the recipe. The second chop, simply pan-fried, was also quite good. Others have raved about their bacon. Recently served a pork shoulder to some friends; all through the meal I kept muttering: damn, this is good pork. Damn! This is good pork. They thought I was commenting on the recipe. No; it was the pork.

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Truck Patch (U street, Mt. Pleasant and Bloomingdale markets) for pork. The first time I had their pork chops I thought it was the recipe. The second chop, simply pan-fried, was also quite good. Others have raved about their bacon. Recently served a pork shoulder to some friends; all through the meal I kept muttering: damn, this is good pork. Damn! This is good pork. They thought I was commenting on the recipe. No; it was the pork.

Agreed! I was so happy with the pork tenderloin. Another one is in my freezer and I think I'm going to dry rub it, grill it and serve with a cherry gastrique.

Love their slab bacon.

I'm going to pick up some bone-in pork chops next Sat. More meat and less fat than EcoF's (which I've had, and are good, but I don't eat all that fat, despite the good taste).

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