Updates on the early July finds at our local farmers markets, and scroll down to learn why you should satisfy your sweet tooth with something honey-sweetened today!
At the Del Ray Farmers Market: Last week we returned to the Crystal City Farmers Market to check out its newest additions, and returned to the Del Ray Farmers Market after a weekend out of town. It seemed like summer took forever to arrive and now berries and cherries are making their fleeting appearance while the first peaches are already trickling in. Sweet corn is also making its first appearance, but we held off on that and instead picked up a cute, sweetly fragranced cantaloupe from Three Way Farms and sour cherries from Toigo Orchard. The melon was enjoyed for breakfast, wrapped with some not-at-all-local Ibérico ham (jamón) — but, I rationalized the purchase as supporting both a local chef, José Andrés (the importer) and local cheese shop La Fromagerie.
At the Crystal City Farmers Market: Earlier in the week, at Crystal Farms, we were pleased to see the two charcuterie vendors had arrived, Red Apron and MeatCrafters — with the latter cooking up a generous amount of samples to satiate the hungry boy. We brought home the patriotic Capital half-smokes this time, but the Merguez lamb sausage and sopressata were my personal favorites. The boy strutted through the market as if he owned the place — since this is an after-work market it doesn’t attract as many families as weekend markets, but there were plenty of kids helping out their parents at the stands.
The boy was thrilled that Kuhn Orchard had saved the last kid-sized cup of berries “just for me!”, bought purple string beans from a young assistant at Barajas Produce, chips and tomatillo salsa from the mom and daughter team of Salsa las Glorias, and had an involved chat with the J-Wen dairyman’s son about the various flavors of milk offered. (The boy settled on chocolate for himself and root beer for his father.) This market seems to be doing quite well, and the summer produce bounty is only just beginning so be sure to visit soon. They’ve also instituted a bag share program, where you can drop off extra reusable shopping bags that may be cluttering up your house or car, and pick one up if you forgot to bring one along. Fantastic idea.
Love food? Eat Honey July 10, Save a Honey Bee! Today is “Don’t Step on a Bee Day,” originally conceived to discourage people from going barefoot in the summer, and then stepping on a bee. The holiday was re-purposed to highlight the plight of the North American honey bee, whose declining numbers could seriously jeopardize our future food supply. (Serious Eats has a short video that explains colony collapse disorder.) So eat something honey-sweetened today (real honey, preferably from your local farmers market) and raise a glass to our friends, the honey bees! If you’re in the DC area, get a bite to eat at the Fairmont Hotel or Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm, both of whom raise honeybees on site, or drop by Buzz for free “honey cups” for the kids and an assortment of Josh Short’s honey-sweetened desserts.
Sending this honeybee note over to Fight Back Friday at the Food Renegade – take a look for more real food inspiration!