Mark the Markets

Since moving to the DC/NoVa area, Julia has become quite the aficionado on local produce. Namely in the form of weekly farmer's markets in the area. She has been to The Ballston on Fridays, The Clarendon on Wednesdays, The Dupont on Sundays and The Foggy (Bottom) on Wednesdays. Don't they sound even more intriguing with these fancy names I made up? Well okay, so maybe that's just me. But the names need not persuade you, it's the content that should, and in my opinion, will.

While I've only been with her to The Foggy (located in the park next to FB Metro Station), the content sure won me over quite quickly. How about a table of huge, fresh beefsteak tomatoes? Or tubs overflowing with fresh edamame? Or huge, juicy peaches that taste like descriptions from James and the Giant Peach? Or a guy hoarding his fresh feta and goat cheese in coolers of enigma as if he's smuggled it straight from Greece? Actually it's been driven from Pennsylvania where it was made fresh at a creamery, and the covert ops? That's purely a testament to how dang good and popular the stuff is. All these treasures to be found. And that's not even taking into account the fresh baked loaves of bread, like a whole grain loaf with whole pitted kalamata olives or a white loaf with only four total ingredients. It’s not taking into account the countless varieties of farm-fresh jams, some green, some bright red, some black. Or maybe I didn't mention the luscious apples on display, that are just coming into season. In Julia's own very true words, “these actually taste like apple-picking, orchard apples.” And boy did they! There was a whole booth with fresh flowers, a table with enormous bell peppers, hot cerranos and poblanos and patty pan squashes that were over 6 inches in diameter. And this was just one farmer's market. Apparently, each one has its own uniqueness. Perhaps fresh honeys of different varieties like sage honey, that Julia experienced at a different market. Or fresh pastries. Or fresh juices. Or big beautiful berries, which are quickly fleeting out of season.

I know you are all at least somewhat familiar with these delights. A rare confluence of local culture and economy in one. So why support such things? Why seek out your local farmer's markets and make it a habit to go? Why work with local groups to increase their presence and popularity in communities with less frequent or numerous farmer's markets as the DC Metro Area? Why get excited about them? I mean I'm sure you don't like fresh, delicious and unique produce. I'm sure you don't like getting most of your week's fresh food for nary $15 rather than getting it for $50 at the grocery store. I'm sure you hate giving back to your community and you local economy in a time when local economies really don't need any of our help. I'm also positive that you really dislike going outside, relaxing and interacting with others. And I certainly am sure that you prefer ugly, sprayed, older produce to fresh-picked, natural, unique produce.

If for some reason, by some freak of nature, you happen to like any of those things I just mentioned you definitely NOT liking, then you should be running, jumping, flying to support your local farmer’s markets. And hey, those farmers would be very happy with me, if there were only just a few people willing to eat/shop/live/interact outside the (big) box and actually like any of those things I just mentioned up there. Yah you. It’s perfectly okay.

For DC-Virginia-Maryland folks, here’s a list of many of the farmer’s markets in the area and their schedules. But not all, so always be on the lookout!

No comments: