To Market, to Market: Greenbelt Charm
On a warm, slightly humid July morning, the pleasures of the Greenbelt farmers market will hit you as soon as you open the car door. Yesterday, those were the smell of sweet peppers and the sound of delighted youngsters getting the chance to feed wee baby goats.
This is the market’s second year, but it looks well entrenched. It’s situated in the west parking lot of the Roosevelt Center, a communal, multi-use area; a short walk for much of the immediate neighborhood. It’s also steps away from the New Deal Cafe (with just-added breakfast service) and the Greenbelt Consumer Co-op grocery, which features some of the market’s vendors.
About 17 of the market’s 19 producers were on hand yesterday between its reasonable Sunday hours of 10 to 2. There’s a definite Birkenstock vibe. Market master Nancy Solomon says Greenbelt likes to offer regular kid-friendly programs, such as those very cute baby goats from Unicorn Farms.
Among the deals I couldn’t pass up: frozen goat sausage ($8.99 per pound) from Many Rocks Farm in Washington County, Md.; green tomatoes ($2.49 per pound) from Shlagel Farms of Waldorf; baby yellow squash (2 for $1) and sweet peppers (3 for $1) from Friendly Hall Farm in St. Mary's County; and cabbage sprouts ($2 per pound) from Thanksgiving Farm in Adamstown, Md.
Terri and Rodney Russell are back this year, from Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe in Bowie. They had turned the peaches they bought from Shlagel Farms the week before into peach amaretto ice cream ($3 single scoop or cone), which was richly textured and a little chewy with visible bits of the fruit. Same goes for the Russells' cantaloupe ice cream, also from Shlagel Farms fruit and also very rich-tasting. It was tough to choose from among the other daily specials: cantaloupe coconut, lemon ginger, mango Italian ice, banana pudding, vanilla, chocolate Oreo mint, stracciatella, vanilla and chocolate. But that’s just the kind of challenge I never shy away from.
-- Bonnie Benwick
P.S.: Last week I wailed about the whereabouts of tasty tomatoes, but now I know where they are! Baltimore.
I had to make an early dropoff at BWI, so I pressed on to the downtown farmers market, at Holliday and Saratoga streets under the Jones Falls Expressway viaduct (I-83). I was rewarded with a showstopping display: dozens of heirloom varieties as well as hardy hybrids simply labeled “Eastern Shore.” The guys from Browns Cove Farm in Essex, Md., were smart enough to label the distinct flavor profiles of their tomatoes and offer chunky samples on paper plates. Yesterday I had my first taste of Japanese Triple, a tomato that’s not too big and along the lines, tastewise, of a Cherokee Purple. I went back for seconds to the plate of Glowing Peach Fizz, a beautiful yellow variety with some pale pink streaks on top and bottom.
The Food Section
July 27, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories: To Market, To Market | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, Greenbelt, farmers markets
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