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Please, please, don't! Heinz is one of my heroes and the fate of the cardoon seeds Hathor brought back from Italy for me are in his hands.

I always manage to forage well in his piles. Just have to get up early.

when are the cardoons coming in? wasn't it the consensus last year that this is something that doesn't do well locally? at least, that's what heinz seemed to feel, so has he moved them up somehow into colder weather? i had never eaten them before, but i thought my batch turned out fairly decent and not too chewy without having to do much stringing.

fava beans are expensive, especially when you double shell them the way i guess you're supposed to.

the nettles that appear all too briefly in the spring at the market are local and organic. can you find them any other way?

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when are the cardoons coming in? wasn't it the consensus last year that this is something that doesn't do well locally? at least, that's what heinz seemed to feel, so has he moved them up somehow into colder weather?

I have no idea when; I think I handed over two packets of seeds some time in the fall, so if Heinz planted them, it's going to take some time.

Yes, local weather vs. the more Mediterranean climate of California is a major obstacle, especially given the odd patterns we've been experiencing lately. But Mario Batali's wife grows cardoons just fine in New Jersey and I'm not sure it's because of the high concentration of toxic waste in the state or greater domestic incentives.

* * *

Who sells nettles? I'm not one to miss out on unusual greens, but I can't say I've ever seen them in their new role as a commodity.

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What's currently in season? If I go to the Dupont market this weekend, what can I expect to find?

Nora is really good at mentioning what's in season on the menu (click). Off-topic, but if anyone goes to Nora, I can recommend the Shichimi-Crusted Tofu Tokyo Hot Pot ($26) with Udon Noodles, Shiitakes, Snow Peas, Bok Choy, and Carrots in a Miso-Mushroom Broth - it's mild and healthy.



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What's currently in season? If I go to the Dupont market this weekend, what can I expect to find?

From this week's FRESHFARM newsletter:


Sundays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, 20th St, NW

Dupont Market is OPEN every Sunday!

Special Foods at Market:

~ Farm at Sunnyside has bunches of maroon carrots that retain their color roasted or sauteed, bunches of beets with tasty greens, sweet Japanese turnips, French breakfast radishes and organic eggs.

~ Black Rock Orchard has tart dried apple rings.

~ Sunnyside Farm & Orchard has new crop of tender, young collards, greenhouse-grown cucumbers, parsnips are back, rainbow chard and potatoes.

~ Quaker Valley Orchard has Honeycrisp apples for eating and Golden Delicious for baking plus Popcorn on purple or golden ears and tasty preserves made with fruit from the farm.

~ Spring Valley Farm & Orchard will have LOTS of salad greens, Swiss chard, spinach, kale and stir-fry greens. Brussels sprouts are running out...stock up!

~ Next Step Produce: Organic potatoes (sweet potatoes too!) and sunchokes, also tender salad greens, mache, arugula, and probably the last of the garlic.

~ Everona: This Sunday may be the last opportunity to purchase Marble or Cracked Pepper, among other aged, raw sheep's milk cheeses. More cheeses (Piedmont, Stony Man) will be back at market in early April.

~ Smith Meadows: Selling concentrated stock made from their own chickens should you choose to make your spring tonic chicken soup!

~ Eco-Friendly has rose veal.

~ Cedarbrook will have bacon!

Lots of Seasonal Foods:

~ Apples, Pears (Asian and Bosc) and Ciders at market!

~ Bourbon Peaches at Toigo Orchards, along with Heirloom Pasta Sauces and Soup, Salsa, Bloody Mary Mix and Lynn's Hot Mustard.

~ Canned Peaches at Quaker Valley and Twin Springs

~ Hydroponic Lettuces and Arugula at Endless Summer Harvest

~ Brassicas: Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages

~ Beets,Carrots, Parsnips, Turnips, Radishes, Winter Squash and Edible Pumpkins

~ Cut flowers (Tulips and Lilies), also Freesia, Ranunculus and Anemones at Farmhouse Flowers & Plants

~ Leeks, Scallions, Garlic, Potatoes (white flesh and sweet potatoes)

~ Greens including Arugula, Collards, Cress, Escarole, Mache, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, Lettuces

~ Lots ofEggs from happy chickens!

~ Duck eggs at Waterview Foods.

~ Mushrooms (shiitake, button, maitake, oysters, portabella) and mushroom chili and mushroom soup at Mushroom Stand

~ Culinary Herbs (rosemary, flat-leaf parsley, dill at Next Step)

~ Fresh Fish,Oysters and Clams at Buster's Seafood. Try the SOFTSHELLS--Buster's has plenty!

~ Wool, Honey, Pelts at Solitude on March 1. Gretchen will have 2 new kits--knitting yoga socks and felted brimmed hat. Also 2 new yarns: a Corriedale two-ply yarn and a Tunis/Alpaca two-ply marled yarn.

~ Chris' Marketplace Crabcakes, Empanadas.

~ Breads, pastries, granola and seasonal soups from Atwaters and Bonaparte.

~ Cookies, Soups, Eggs, more Hot Cider and sweets every Sunday at Creekside.

~ Cow's milk cheeses (feta, mozzarella), ricotta, yogurt, mascarpone, butter at Blue Ridge Dairy

~ Goat's milk cheeses (chevre, blue and more) at Firefly Farm

~ Cow's milk cheeses (feta and cheddars) and yogurt at Keswick

~ Pasta and Sauces from Smith Meadows Farm, using their farm-raised meats and eggs and locally sourced ingredients.

~ All pasture-fattened and humanely raisedMeats at Cibola Farm (bison, pork), Cedarbrook Farm (pork), Eco-Friendly Foods (chicken, pork, and more), Virginia Lamb (lamb meat, stews and soups), Smith Meadows Farm (pork, lamb, beef)

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Thanks, Mona!

Don't be disappointed if there are things on this list you don't find at market.

For example, I haven't seen leeks for a while at Next-Step Produce and overheard Heinz tell a customer there were no more about a month ago; does someone remember if anyone else carries them?

Not sure about cabbages, either, but I haven't been looking.

On the other hand, The Farm at Sunnyside (the organic folk, Emily of raven locks and Michael the Gruff) started to bring back little packages of culinary herbs, and usually there is a thing or two you haven't expected.

Unless you're there at 10 sharp, you might find supplies of the most coveted items wiped out. Lousy weather attracts smaller crowds, but steadfast loyalists arrive first thing in the morning, dart to their favorite places (e.g., Zora @ Eco-Friendly or in line for baked goods) and then skiddadle. Grabbers go for greens, almond croissants and whatever muffin sounds best at Atwater.

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Leeks and culinary herbs were at a stand at the Old Town market this morning. Winter + raw, dismal weather made the seasonally anemic market even more sad. That said, I did see leeks at a stand where I bought large bunchs of: robust oregano (I say that because my herb garden never produces such hearty leaves), Italian parsley and thyme for $5.

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Not sure about cabbages, either, but I haven't been looking.
They were there, sure enough, at Sunnyside.

Kale is harder to find. The Farm at Sunnyside (different; organic) has no more Tuscan kale and the one farmer who had it, sold out before I could get there. F @ Sunnyside was the only one with carrots this week at Dupont Circle (no more at Twin Springs and Next-Step did not go for the long-stored supply it's grown in years past), to be joined next week by the ones that Alice Waters bought at Tree & Leaf. Supplies are low, so go for the carrots early.

What Twin Springs still has are big, blushing Gold Rush apples :rolleyes:. Hard, tart. Storing very, very well this year when there was an unusually bumper crop.

Two weeks from now, you have to try the Erba Stella; you can pretend you're a pasture-grazed, quadruped and munch on the long, grassy leaves for dinner that night. The freshness of the salad green is amazing and scented on the day of purchase. Not so much at the end of the week, though it is hearty. I find it is really good alone w dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and blue cheese, though it is traditional in a salad of mixed greens.

Always good this time of year: Oysters. Clams. Pork. Lamb.

Good time to embrace root vegetables. Turnips and parsnips need love just as much as bacon do.

Other markets? I am curious about the availability of local milk at Takoma since the creamery that participates at Dupont Circle will not be returning until April with this year's supplies.

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