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Daily Archives: April 28, 2012

Nearby Farmer’s Markets – Silver Spring

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Now this is a farmer’s market.

Silver Spring year round Saturday market is really gearing up for spring. Twice the vendors than during the winter. Lots more choices, an entire block long pedestrian and bike friendly locale, with free parking in the Wayne Avenue garage. And, a Whole Foods right across the street for those who want to do all their shopping in an urban setting.

They close Ellsworth Avenue between Fenton and Georgia every Saturday morning year round for this market. In the spring and summer, there are at least twenty vendors. The web site is not up to date as they are missing at least one that I bought from today, Our House.

By going there today, I finished an entire month only visiting a chain grocery store once. That was Harris Teeter for seafood and coffee creamer, and some citrus fruit. In my challenge to myself to eat more unprocessed foods, mostly organic, the farmer’s markets are the way to find good food at less than the organic stores charge.

Today I wanted to round out my salad items, so I found:

Hydoponic tomatoes and greenhouse grown cucumbers from Mock’s Greenhouse. They will be one of the suppliers of greens and tomatoes to the Columbia Wegmans. They already supply the Frederick store. I also picked up a hydroponcially grown baby basil plant that I brought home and put in water.

With the tomato, some goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, this will be the salad tomorrow evening for dinner.

Buying Firefly Farms cheeses there is less expensive than from other sources near here. And, they are fresher, I have found.

I also picked up a bag of rolls to have with the soups I have been and will be making this week. Atwater’s is right across from the parking garage and always does a brisk business in breads, croissants, cakes, cookies and scones.

Picked up an almond cake from Praline’s of Bethesda. Taking it to a friend’s for a birthday dessert after we go out to eat tonight.

And, as I said above, Our House Farm, of Olney returned with their lovely baskets full of exotic microgreens. They also sell at the Sunday Olney market which I frequent. Olney will open Mother’s Day Sunday. They also include artists, prepared food vendors and demos. They are not far from us, so between Glenwood and Olney, in the summer, we find most of what we need from local sources.

Today I mixed baby kale, mustard greens, arugula, endive and leaf lettuce to augment my paltry microgreens from my garden. The weather is not cooperating in their growth and we are cutting them sparingly these days.

This market is convenient to those in South HoCo. There is also a one year old market that opens again next Saturday at Briggs Chaney and Greencastle. I will be checking it out as well to see who sells there. Our markets in HoCo finally will open the following week, so I can shop locally for the next six months.

Shop Local. Support small businesses and eat fresh healthy foods (well, all was healthy except for that almond cake). Check out Silver Spring or Briggs Chaney if you live in South HoCo.

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Hoping the Weather Changes

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This crazy spring, full of frost warnings and heat waves, has done a number on the plants. At least many of them seem to have survived the changes and are still on their schedule to bloom. I still have the tomato plants inside though. And, the delicate herbs. The weather in West HoCo is just a little cooler than Ellicott City or Columbia. We also are at 630 feet above sea level, one of the higher points in the county with little asphalt to retain heat overnight, so we get more frost warnings.

The spring flowers keep blooming, despite the strange weather. I noticed yesterday that my candy stripe azaleas were beginning to pop open.

I have two of this variety, and though they are a little spindly, they really do add a nice touch of color to the yard. They bloom much later than the others, like my red varieties.

The tangelo azalea is much further behind, and should burst next week. This variety is closer to the rhododendrons in size. It is being dwarfed at the moment by a volunteer burning bush that I have to prune way back this fall. It is at least protecting it from wind and frost damage, though.

As for the rhododendrons, they are coming along nicely and will soon burst open. One lonely bloom has been the vanguard.

Another isn’t far behind. This year I have the most blooms on the two plants. There are dozens of them instead of the 6-8 on each plant that I got other years. I think all the rain last fall made them happy.

We bought our house in the winter and didn’t know until spring just how many plants and flowers we had and what varieties they were. Every April, May and June we have the luxury of blooming flowers and trees. I don’t really need to visit Brighton Dam for azaleas as we have beauty in our back yard.

What’s blooming now where you live?