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To Market, To Market: BCFM (I and II)

Stonyman's Susan James, with fresh, strawberry-studded fromage blanc in hand. (photos by Bonnie Benwick -- The Washington Post)

When it comes to fresh-produce acquisition, Bethesdans suffer from almost an embarrassment of riches. (I am Bethesdan myself.) There are farmers markets great and small on several different days of the week, in various locations with fresh and prepared foods.

The newest one might be my favorite yet. The twice-a-week Bethesda Central Farm Market got underway on Sunday morning (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Elm Street parking deck situated between Woodmont and Wisconsin avenues; tomorrow (Thursday) it’s on Bethesda Lane between Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Texas shrimp from Lingenfelter Seafood.

Market managers Ann Brody Cove and Mitch Berliner both know from food, lined up generous sponsors and have brought together a very nice mix of vendors. I was happy to see fresh seafood from Vernon Lingenfelter of Kensington; lamb from Jamison Farm of Latrobe, Pa.; Stonyman Gourmet Farmer cheeses (which I’d been getting at the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market); baked goods from Atwaters and Praline, plus charcuterie from Jamie Stachowski of the newly formed Meat Crafters business (veal brats; two snaps up, chef); mushrooms from Kennett Square, Pa.; meats, chicken and eggs from Springfield Farm (Sparks, Md.); flower purveyors from Virginia and Maryland; prepared food to go from Catering by Anna Saint John (loved those curried walnuts, Anna!); all things honey-fied from the Naked Bee, and, of course, produce from Toigo Orchards, Twin Springs Fruit Farm, Endless Summer Harvest and the small, earnest Two-Acre Farm. AND, be still my heart, Sharpen This knife service will be on hand the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.

I'll be there, dull blades in hand.

The Sunday market has plenty of room to walk around. As a guy on guitar strummed and sang (and kids got their faces painted and balloons turned into animals for them), I sampled some of Vernon’s wonderful smoked trout ($16 per pound) and picked up some of his sweet jumbo shrimp from Texas ($12 per pound); a small amount of aged sheep’s-milk cheese with green peppercorns and fresh ginger from Stonyman ($20 per pound; Susan James recommended it as I explained my plans to build a poached shrimp salad as soon as I got home); wide, thin lamb steaks from Jamison ($14 per pound); $2 mint from Two-Acre Farm; sugar snaps and a tomato from Twin Springs (spent about $5 total there). I should have scooped up some morels, but frankly I was stunned to see them still around, looking pretty darn perky at $15 for a box of 15-20.

Morels from Pennsylvania.

Several vendors told me they’d be willing to take an order by phone or e-mail, and show up on Sunday with the desired goods.

Tomorrow’s lineup will be slightly reduced; expect to see Toigo produce, Atwaters Bakery, Stonyman (cheese, beef and eggs), Meat Crafters, Lingenfelter’s Seafood, Catering by Anna Saint John, Jamison Lamb, Gardener’s Gourmet and some of the flower folks.

The market plans to provide fresh food to Montgomery County citizens in need, through Fresh Give! and Manna Food Center. The Sunday market will be open until November, but the Thursday version will be open year-round.
-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  June 10, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  To Market, To Market  | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, Mitch Berliner  
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Next: Hot, Cold and Bothered at Wegmans


BCFM's Thursday market was canceled due to the heavy rains.

Posted by: benwickb | June 12, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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