Opening Weekend at DC/VA/MD Farmers Markets

I’ve been spoiled to live by year-round markets, but my heart still skips a beat at the first spotting of bright green stalks of asparagus after a long, cold winter. This past weekend I lucked out and found the season’s first Northern Neck strawberries, too — much to the Foodie Tot’s joy. (Yes, he did a dance after peering into my market bag.)

black rock orchard asparagus

But May brings the opening of many of the area’s seasonal markets — including Fairfax County markets, the Alexandria West End market (Sundays, 9am-1pm — **note, opening has been delayed until next Sunday, May 8), the FreshFarm Crystal City market (Tuesdays, 3-7m), and others. happy strawberry danceThe FreshFarm Market by the White House opens next Thursday (3-7pm), and one of my favorites, West Virginia’s Bigg Riggs Farm, is joining the market this year. (You can also find them at Crystal City and Alexandria’s Old Town and Upper King Street Markets — and they’ve had ramps the past couple weeks.)

If you’re headed out in search of asparagus this weekend, Northern Virginia magazine offers some pointers on how to choose and prepare them. Me, I roast them in olive oil and sea salt for about 8-10 minutes (400 degrees), until just tender enough for the baby to gnaw on.

That’s right, the Foodie Bebe has already savored her first asparagus. The boy’s fancy for it comes and goes. (Though I did discover he likes it better if I pan roast it in the cast iron skillet with butter instead of olive oil, and a little parmesan cheese never hurts.) Do your kids like it?

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25 Responses to “Opening Weekend at DC/VA/MD Farmers Markets”

  1. Bethesda Locavore

    My kids love it. I’ve been roasting it like you describe, but now I want to try it in the cast iron with butter … mmm …
    Bethesda Locavore´s last blog post ..Roast Chicken With Root VegetablesMy ComLuv Profile

  2. Liz

    Our three gobbled up the asparagus we brought home today – a quick steam and some lemon pepper on top. Yumm!!!
    Liz´s last blog post ..When Local is Global and Global is LocalMy ComLuv Profile

  3. Christie Smith
    Twitter:

    My kids love asparagus (thankfully). I recently tried putting it in a bread pudding type casserole with mushrooms and goat cheese. Big hit. I will be sad when it’s no longer in season, which will be far too soon!
    Christie Smith´s last blog post ..Sweet Potato MuffinsMy ComLuv Profile

  4. Fun Mama

    I grew up with the NC Farmer’s Market in my backyard–which meant two+ warehouses of affordable, farm fresh food. So, I find the farmer’s markets around here lacking in variety and sometimes overpriced. (I’m still ticked off about the woman who refused to let people sample her $8 strawberries!) Anyway, is there a larger farmers market anywhere near here? I’m willing to drive to stock up!

  5. Amanda

    My 27mo loves it, but with a caveat. She uses it as a spoon to get “ketchup” (actually painstakingly prepared hollandaise sauce) into her mouth. The 4yo isn’t a fan.

  6. foodietots
    Twitter:

    @ Fun Mama — In the metro area, Dupont Circle is the largest — but it’s also probably the most expensive. I’ve found better prices in the suburbs, esp. Fairfax County markets. You might be interested in checking out the Amish market in Charlotte’s Hall, Southern Maryland — I haven’t been but have been to smaller markets down there and they are much more affordable. Here’s a link to the So.Md. market guide: http://www.somarylandsogood.com/pdf/farmMarket2011.pdf

    @ Amanda — ah, the “ketchup” trick worked wonders for my son’s toddler days. I once got him to eat pork bites dipped in “pink ketchup” — aka, rhubarb bbq sauce.

    @ Christie — that bread pudding sounds phenomenal!

    @ Liz, Bethesda — glad to hear of little asparagus lovers out there! After declaring “I hate asparagus!” on the first night, when I roasted them, two days later I got an, “Actually, I *love* asparagus!” Gotta love those fickle taste buds. :)

  7. David Gonzalez

    I loved asparagus since when I was a kid, I love asparagus especially when it was cooked with chicken pasta, Hmmm yummy! That was great farm of asparagus huh, i love it very much!
    David Gonzalez´s last blog post ..Abs Diet RecipesMy ComLuv Profile

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