One of the great things about the area is the wide variety of fall produce available at area farmers markets. FreshFarm Markets, a Chesapeake Bay region nonprofit, has an uncanny ability to make sure these producers are able to get their products to an area which has notoriously terrible selections at chain grocery stores. When I first moved here from Idaho, I was seriously depressed by grocery shopping. The produce was overpriced and sad. FreshFarm Markets saved me from scurvy as an intern and I’ve continued to be delighted by their offerings and locations.
What could be better than strolling though the market to get a few finishing touches for dinner on your way home from work? In addition to vegetables, they have baked goods, jams & jellies, eggs, meats, cheeses, milk as well as specialty items like flavored popcorns and fresh made pastas. The Crystal City location runs Tuesdays through November 25th this year so I can thankfully stock up until the Thanksgiving holidays.
I am super excited to have sunchokes, kohlrabi, carrots, parsnips, shallots, garlic, onions, winter squashes, potatoes, radishes, horseradish, and heirloom pumpkins for decorating and they insist you can eat them! I don’t know why that’s such a foreign concept– I guess, embarrassingly, I am used to pumpkin coming out of a can. Not to mention all the apple products: apple cider, applesauce, apple butters and jams. Oh and you want to make pies? Of course there are plenty of apples and pear varieties. Unfortunately, I didn’t order my turkey from here in time so I will have to see what I can find for our oil free “fryer”. Stay tuned for that blog post.
The other thing I love about farmers markets is how they help bind their community. Getting to know the vendors and your neighbors who are there with you creates bonds of community. You also get to know who is growing your food and whether it was happy (yes, that’s a Portlandia reference). But it makes a difference! Stop by your local farmers market and try it out!