Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Local Produce 101

Eating locally seems to be all the rage lately... and if you know me, you know I'm not normally one to jump on the bandwagon... but with the weird diseased-veggie outbreaks recently and the mounting costs of well... everything, farmers' markets have quickly become intriguing to us, though if I'm honest, I've always loved the idea of carrying my canvas tote to my neighborhood market and buying super fresh, in-season produce (feels so European to me... plus, if either this or this is what these markets have in store for us, who can resist?!).

With that, welcome to what I hope will be the first installment of (probably only 2-3 in total) our adventures in local markets. Follow us through a few of the markets here in the DC metropolitan areas... what are the advantages and disadvantages of shopping and eating locally, and anything else fun, inspiring, or otherwise about all of the farmers' markets around us these days.

For my first half-experience (it was impromptu and only a very brief stop so I refuse to give this a full review), I decided to quickly walk through the weekly Foggy Bottom FreshFarm market on my way to the Metro this afternoon. It was a little underwhelming, to be honest... though I think my point of comparison is a little unfair. I sadly didn't have our camera but I did catch glimpses of beautiful (but little... and expensive!) baskets of fresh cherries, blackberries, raspberries, snap peas, fresh garlic, huge scallions, and all sorts of tomatoes (the prices of the tomatoes made me OH-so-happy that we have at least 3 out-of-control tomato plants in the backyard). There was also a stand with fresh dairy products such as goat cheeses and another vendor with homemade jams and jellies.

As in any review, the review is only as good as the reviewer is honest... so my final word is that this particular market was small and the prices were high, but I was energized to seek out more markets after this initial attempt. I wouldn't necessarily send anyone to FreshFarm (at least in Foggy Bottom) though I may be back here in a few days telling you that their prices were very comparable to other DC-area markets, but I am at the very least hoping for some more selection and even some unusual fruits, vegetables and other products that will broaden my admittedly limited chain-grocery knowledge.



  1. We do have pretty amazing produce here in Southern California. But fresh berries, garlic, and sugar snap peas sound excellent to me! And tomato plants in your back yard? What's better than that? Thanks for the links, Kara.

  2. I was walking past those cute cottages by the Lakes today and one home had an apricot tree in the front. I almost swiped some fro you, probably even better than a farmers market, but then figured they wouldn't ship well! We've got them in our fruit baskets at work now, very tastey!


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