Archive: Farmers Markets

Chile Pepper Parade

There's a changing of the guard at Season's gate later this week, with autumn officially kicking off the evening of Friday, Sept. 23. Like it or not, it's the home stretch of summer, the last opportunity to savor warm-weather crops that soon will be a winterized memory. Get'em while they last -- tomatoes, eggplant, corn, melon, peaches and peppers. Throughout this week, I'll pay tribute to a few summer produce hangers-on; today is all about chile peppers. Below, a chile sampler found at a few area farm markets over the weekend:...

By Kim ODonnel | September 18, 2006; 12:08 PM ET | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

A Seattle Sunday

Life is just terrible. I'm typing to you from a houseboat on Lake Union in Seattle, Wash. There's a breeze blowing through the screen of the sliding door and I can hear alternating quacks of ducks and caw-caws of sea gulls. Occasionally, a seaplane whizzes by on its way to the San Juan Islands. On a clear day, I can see some of the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Yesterday, four of us enjoyed brunch (which included a batch of blue corn blueberry pancakes) on the roof of the houseboat, so as to keep a watchful eye on the parade of sailboats out for a tour. It was a hot day for Seattle as temperatures reached the high 80s, so we jumped into the chilly lake for a quick invigorating dip. Our lazy afternoon eased its way into "An Incredible Feast." For three hours, we ate our way through a...

By Kim ODonnel | August 21, 2006; 02:44 PM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Who Loves Ya, Basil Baby?

Although still in a Sunday morning fog, I grabbed my market bags off the hook and stumbled out the front door for the few blocks to my neighborhood farmer's market. Basil: Not just for tomatoes anymore. (Kim O'Donnel) On my short walk, I began formulating my mental shopping list for the week, not paying attention to the fact that I was nearing the white canopies of the market. Suddenly, I was greeted with an alluring perfume, a mix of anise and flowers that immediately lifted me out of my somnambulistic state. "Wow," I said to myself out loud, "what smells so good?" One more step led me underneath a vegetable seller's canopy where the mystery was solved. Of course. It was the basil making all that aromatherapeutic magic. She was everywhere I looked, on display at nearly every vendor and graciously infusing the atmosphere -- allowing us to ignore the...

By Kim ODonnel | August 14, 2006; 09:27 AM ET | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

A Vegetarian Feast Fit for a Queen

You've listened to me wax philosophical about shopping at your local farmer's markets. I know I can be relentlessly passionate about eating and shopping locally, and maybe you've had enough of my stuff. But right about now is when all that philosophizing and dream weaving becomes a matter of practicality and smart food shopping. Okra at dusk. (Kim O'Donnel) August is the peak period for summer produce, and when the weather cooperates, the harvest is golden, yielding tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs, onions, garlic, green beans, okra, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, peaches, melon and berries. (I'm sure I'm missing something; please add to the list in the comments area below.) Sounds like the produce aisle in the supermarket, doesn't it? And because of the variety of veg, it's easy to forget about meat at suppertime. Last night was a case in point. I stopped off at Clarendon farm market in the...

By Kim ODonnel | August 10, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

This Little Piggy Worked at Market

Sunday morning, early. The neighborhood is quiet enough that it seems only the birds and I are awake. I quickly munch on a piece of raisin toast, washed down with a few sips of coffee. I get dressed, stumble out of the house, still groggy, and walk two blocks to the Columbia Pike farmer's market. I'm not rushing to be the first customer; instead, I'm on my way to work. During the 2004 market season, I worked every Sunday at the market, alongside Mike Kennedy, who manages the stand for Twin Spring Fruit Farm, a 75-acre farm in Orrtanna, Pa. It was my first spring in my new neighborhood and quickly I became a regular market-goer. I had noticed that Kennedy often worked alone, juggling duties between the register and restocking the stand, all the while jovially talking up his customers. I asked him if he needed help, and he...

By Kim ODonnel | July 10, 2006; 09:41 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Berry Marvelous

Warmer temperatures mean warm-weather crops -- and major produce scores at local farm markets. Making a debut appearance at Arlington Courthouse market this Saturday (8 a.m. - noon) were members of the squash family -- yellow, zucchini and the adorable pattypan -- and dare I say it, an inaugural bunch of peaches. The cast included cucumbers, onions of all colors, sweet (and sour) cherries, herbs galore and early-bird garlic bulbs. Blackberries and raspberries from Westmoreland Berry Fam in Oak Grove, Va. (Kim O'Donnel) But the main attraction, at least based on the long, movie theater-esque lines, were the berries! The stand at Westmoreland Berry Farm, of Oak Grove, Va., was bursting with color, showcasing six, yes six, different kinds of berries. There they were -- blueberries, blackberries, red and black raspberries, strawberries and tayberries (a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry) in all their glory, and it looked like...

By Kim ODonnel | June 19, 2006; 09:22 AM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Local Goodies, Six Days a Week

Yesterday was opening day at Clarendon Farmers Market, located by the Clarendon Metro stop in north Arlington. It was slow going - with a small handful of vendors, a trickle of shoppers and a power outage for the musicians - but none of that mattered. The market was a reminder that the Washington area is brimming with local produce NOT just on the weekends, but six days a week. Farmers are bringing their goods into town every day but Monday (even they need a rest), so there's really no excuse not to shop locally this summer. 

Early-season lettuces and other green goodies from Sunnyside Farms, at Clarendon Farmers Market Below is a day-by-day list of area markets, abridged from the Food section's annual list of farmers markets in the Washington area. I've culled from their exhaustive resource to make the point that there's a good chance of a farmers market...

By Kim ODonnel | May 25, 2006; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)


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