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At Market: Cherries, Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes

June 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

one local summer 2009The aforementioned Saturday morning thunderstorms made for a damp morning at the Del Ray Farmers Market, but fair weather shoppers missed out on one of the best weeks of the year — the turning point between spring and summer where the final strawberries cross paths with the first field-ripened tomatoes and even a few small ears of sweet corn. We had a Father’s Day picnic planned for Sunday, so the boy picked out green and yellow beans (Mr. Biggs) and a pint of sweet cherries (Toigo) to share. We picked up Smith Meadows’ sun dried tomato pasta and sun-colored cherry tomatoes from Three Way Farm, whose stand was bursting with bright yellow and green summer squash, green and red tomatoes, and more. The farmers from Riva had deep red rhubarb and the first pints of the boy’s favorite, blueberries. In true FoodieTot fashion, he devoured his pint whilst roaming the market (pausing for his weekly slice of Tom’s aged cheddar), slurping the final few berries as we escaped to the car just as the next downpour began.

del ray farmers market alexandria va

By the way, Jane Black at the Washington Post confirmed today what we’ve been hearing from our market vendors — all that spring-into-summer rain has pretty much washed out this year’s cherry crops. If the trees at Moutoux Orchard are any indication, though, peach season is still on track.

I devoured a wealth of local foods over the weekend – from delicate fried softshell crabs with watermelon at West End Bistro, to dinner on our farm and the Father’s Day picnic at Naked Mountain Winery — but did very little cooking. Never mind, fresh beans served raw needed little more than some fresh locally-made hummus, and those sweet cherries gave a “cheat local” touch to store-brought mini-cupcakes. Hey, at least the wine was homemade….picnic

One Local Summer is an annual challenge in which people around the world join together for 13 weeks of seasonal eating, supporting local farmers and exploring their local foodsheds. Visit FarmtoPhilly on Tuesdays for the weekly round-up; here’s what my neighbors in the Southern region cooked up this week …. and, speaking of picnics, last week we shared a grilled nectarine and tomato salad for Cookie magazine‘s virtual picnic; check out the other contributions from some of my favorite foodie parents!

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