Taste Tip: Black raspberries by hand, on ice cream, with cereal and as the star of a mixed-berry cobbler
On Saturdays, Anne Arundel County’s oldest farmers’ market 26 this year is our bazaar. Some 30 farmers and crafters of local goods fill the open-sided shelter, reminding you of how folks go to market in Italy, China, Costa Rica or Morocco. Most any vegetable you desire, from spring asparagus to summer zucchini, and most fruits, in season, you can buy six times over. Want C? Try chestnuts in autumn. Need O? Onions and odd squash. Specialties fill in the gaps: honey, beeswax candles, herbal vinegars and salves and lots of plants for your garden and flowers for your home.
On Saturdays, the bazaar is so thronged with you and your neighbors that a policeman directs traffic.
Shop Tuesday morning, however, and you have the market and its treasures almost to yourself. From fewer than a third of Saturday’s sellers, at a June market I collected summer’s sweetest early treasures. From the Earth, what must have been the year’s earliest new golden potatoes and youngest squash. From heaven, small, full-flavored Harbinger peaches and sweet, sooty-lobed black raspberries.
I love a Saturday bazaar, but nothing’s finer than turning up gold in the early morning on the way to work.
7am-noon thru Oct. 28 @ Riva Rd. at Harry S. Truman Pkwy., Annapolis: 410-349-0317.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Farmers’ markets are “less expensive than the grocery store,” says Ginger Adkins, buying tomatoes from Tom Sabelhaus.
At this nearly decade-old casual gathering, you’ll wait in no lines, and it’s easy to chat with farmers, sellers and other customers. Stop by and be tempted by the variety of fresh finds and the price.
“It’s less expensive than the grocery store,” says Ginger Adkins of Odenton, who’s trying to buy more locally since she moved from Germany in April.
You’ll find fresh vegetables like summer squash and green beans, and growing plants, including citronella and varieties of mint, from Deep Cove farm in Churchton. More produce comes from Good Love Farm in Davidsonville which grows seven or eight varieties of garlic, plus peaches, tomatoes, squash and raspberries to come. Tom Sabelhaus sells tomatoes, five varieties of peppers, squash, zucchini all grown in his Mount Airy greenhouses and homemade jams cooked with homegrown berries. Watermelons and cantaloupe are on their way, he says.
Three specialty producers add luxuries: specialty breads, seasoned loafs, scones and pastries from Vera’s Bakery based in Arnold; coffees by the cup and by the bag and tea from Cosmic Bean Coffee Company in Millersville; and jewelry by Juelles.
2pm-6:30pm thru Oct. 29 @ Piney Orchard Community & Visitors Center parking lot, Stream Valley Dr., off Rt. 170, Odenton: 410-867-9162.
Also The Centre at Glen Burnie Farmers’ Market 10am-1pm thru Sept. 24 @ The Centre, Best Buy Parking Lot, off Rt. 2, Glen Burnie: 410-349-0317.
Also Prince Frederick Farmers’ Market 2-6pm thru Sept. @ Prince Frederick Shopping Center, Rt. 4 & Rt. 231, Prince Frederick: 443-532-7479.
This eight-year-old market is small. Two farms The Wilkerson family and William Morris supply the vegetables and fruit. Bay Gardener Frank Gouin adds peaches, nectarines and, in fall, persimmons from his Upakrik Farm. The rest bring the seasonings (Elizabeth Ogden’s herbs), jam for your bread (Bonnie Delabrer, Dr. Gouin’s daughter, of Upakrik Pantry) and bread for your jam (Vera’s Bakery).
Kim Butler eyes the jams at Bonnie Delabrer’s Upakrik Pantry.
But selection is rich and deep. These farmers know their customers, and they heavy up week by week as shoppers get addicted to the freshest tastes money can buy. Gail Wilkerson, for example, can send her husband Eldridge home to their Tracys Landing farm for more corn if that’s the week’s hot item.
Come early, and you may fill your bag with treasures: heirloom tomatoes, figs, raspberries, Asian pears.
Kim Butler, new to the area, came late on her first visit, barely making it from work before the prompt 6pm closing. But not too late. She took home Bill Morris’ last box of tomatoes, planning to dredge slices in flour and Old Bay, then fry them in olive oil. “I’d rather get my vegetables at a place like this than at the store,” she said. “Or grow my own. But as I’ve just moved, I don’t yet have my garden.”
3-6pm thru Oct. 30 @ Cedar Grove United Methodist Church Parking Lot, Rt. 256, Deale: 410-867-4993.
The blast from the air horn means it is Friday, 6pm, in North Beach and the Farmers’ Market is open for business. For the next three hours, shoppers will line up to buy fresh produce, baked goods, herbs and cut flowers.
North Beach held its first farmers’ market on Friday, June 13. In spite of the ominous opening date, the fledgling market has experienced anything but bad luck. Long lines have become the norm.
Jim and Sherri Kennedy from Prince Fredrick were one of 40-plus shoppers in line to buy corn and peaches from Swann’s Farm of Lower Marlboro.
Jim and Sherri Kennedy said the lines are worth the wait “for the sweetest corn around.”
“We got here about 5:30pm,” said Sherri. “It’s the sweetest corn around. This is definitely worth the wait.”
A few stalls away, the intoxicating smells of cinnamon and yeast wafted out from under the Uptown Bakery’s tent. Here more than 30 people patiently waited mouths watering and stomachs growling to choose from heaps of cookies, sweet rolls and a dozen varieties of bread.
Leslie Krauss was back in line for the second time that evening. “I bought a couple of cinnamon rolls earlier,” she laughs. “But my husband already ate them. I need to buy more.”
Other regular marketers include Mennonite White Oak Point Farm (Calvert County: veggies, and homemade goods for eating and bath); Green Violet (Fairhaven: organic herbs and herbal potions), Jack Creek (Shady Side: potted plants) Harris Orchards (Jug Bay: fruit); and Wise Acres (Huntingtown: flowers plus organic herbs, veggies).
“Traditionally, farmers’ markets open by ringing a bell,” explained Mayor Mike Bojokles. “We’re using the air horn just until we can find a bell.”
6-9pm thru Oct. 31 @ across from boardwalk, Fifth St. & Bay Ave., North Beach: 202-257-3253.
Gourds galore at Pat Hochmuth’s stand at the Severna Park Market.
A steady stream of shoppers flows from table to table, gently testing the fuzzy skin of Harris Orchard peaches, slipping the husk down Brown Cove Farm bi-color corn to peek at the plump kernels and scouring the labels on My Nana’s Kitchen bottles in search of jalapeño jelly.
Leashed dogs meander with their shopping partners, noses seeking out low-lying produce or spilled samples. Ruby, a black Lab who sells corn with Brown Cove, grabs a fat ear and retreats behind a pickup truck.
Bleary-eyed customers file toward The Cosmic Bean, where carafes filled with hot or iced locally roasted coffee offer shoppers a shot of caffeine. The smell of cinnamon sticks and fresh-baked scones from Vera’s Bakery mingles with the lingering scents of mint and sage from Joyce’s Flowers & Herbs.
Touring, you find: organically grown Eastern Shore peppers, tomatoes and produce from Walin Farms; fresh baked loaves from Ellicott City’s The Breadery; Master Gardeners answering questions at the bloom trouble-shooting booth; Japanese maple saplings and grasses at McAllister’s Plants & Shrubs; fresh green beans and gourds from Pat Hochmuth’s farm; herbs and new potatoes from Deep Cove Farm; hand-crafted pots and photographs from Printempts Pottery; fresh tomatoes from Sojourner Douglass College co-op, Spruill Farm.
In spite of the local bounty, there is little waste. Every plum or heirloom tomato that doesn’t find its way into your shopping bag finds a new home at local fruit stands, other farmers’ markets, food kitchens or on a farmer’s dining room table. As for Vera Port’s sumptuous baked goods, confections unsold by the close of market provide a sweet treat for area homeless shelters.
8am-noon thru Oct. 25 @ Rt. 2 & Jones Station Rd., Severna Park: 410-827-9192.
Also Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market 7am-noon thru Dec. 20 @ Riva Rd. at Harry S. Truman Pkwy., Annapolis: 410-349-0317.
Also Prince Frederick Farmers’ Market 8am-2pm thru Sept. @ Prince Frederick Shopping Center, Rt. 4 & Rt. 231, Prince Frederick: 443-532-7479.