New Vendors This Week
Valley View Bakery and Wicked Oak Farm will join us permanently starting this week. Valley View has great European breads, breakfast pastries, and desserts of all kinds. Two African gentlemen, both with a great story to tell, have teamed up to open a bakery here in Northern Virginia and are moving from wholesale to retail sales.
Wicked Oak will bring fresh country eggs and drug- and hormone-free, free-range chicken and pastured pork. Ask Russ Anderson about their Humane Farming designation. They will also bring sustainably grown vegetables.
On the Way In and Out
More corn is on the way at Fossil Rock Farm. They are bringing it in from a neighbor’s farm and have told me that this corn has quite a reputation over in the Valley. More tomatoes will also be on display — Tyson Farms will have many more this week, and the heirlooms are coming in at Montoya’s. Heritage Farm will soon have those lovely pink oxheart tomatoes, which have won me over — a great meaty sauce tomato with no oversized core to throw away.
Special Events This Week
Annie is coming next week to cook for us and teach you at the same time – we’ll post the menu on our Facebook page. Schedule your shopping visit to catch her show — it’s worth every penny. Especially since it’s free.
This Week at the Market
As we work to squeeze in our new vendors, take your time going through the market so you don’t miss any of your favorites. We will introduce three tents into the open area, which we learned at our last party contributed to a lively bustle in the market. So pay attention and you may actually find something new to sample or an interesting new vendor to talk to. But of course all of our vendors are interesting!
This Week at the Market
Hats off to our vendors and our shoppers for helping us through the worst weather week in my ten years of managing farmers’ markets. Even when we understand the ravages of several hours in 100-degree temperatures, we feel that we need to keep our markets open for the farmers. They work in the heat whether the markets are open or not. They need to be able to sell what they are picking when they pick it, or it returns as waste or compost back to the fields that produced it. We also need to be there for our regular shoppers who, with or without power, turned out last week and bought what they could eat quickly or safely store at home.
I an particularly grateful for those vendors other than the farmers who came out to support their farming friends and to be there for the shoppers. They knew full well that they were not going to make nearly the money they normally do and also knew that they were going to be pretty miserable in unsheltered parking lots with only Mother Nature’s breeze (and as much water as they could drink) to provide relief. I also want to thank our market managers for service beyond the call of duty and for their wise and cautious management, shutting down markets early when necessary to get our vendors home in good time and good health and ready to return the next day.
It looks as if we will enjoy much more normal summer weather at our markets for the next couple of weeks, and we do have some special events and demos planned, so check our website’s event calendar for Annie’s next visits, music at the market, or a demo by our latest in-house expert, Patricia Repko. Patty will be “touring” our markets over the next couple of months to talk about preventive health care based on diet and exercise.
The cheapest health-care plan incorporates how you eat and how you live. If all you are doing is comparing prices every now and then, it may appear to be more expensive to shop at a farmers’ market. But if buying fresh and local is taken as a seasonal challenge, you will naturally take in more nutrients that can actually prevent disease and discomfort at a lower year-round cost than grocery-store shopping can provide.
We also hope to have a few other demonstrations (such as an olive oil tasting) for you throughout all of our markets. You can stay updated by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking our website, and subscribing to our newsletter through our website.
Thank your farmer when you see him or her next. They did not come out last week just to sell but to keep their commitment to you. On the weekend of June 30, we were open when no one else was, and they did it without air conditioning. It was amazing to show up at the Springfield market on the 30th, not having been able to contact any of the vendors, and see all but two come rolling in from a three-state area. The only two who did not make it were home bakers from Springfield who had lost power just as they were planning to bake for you on Friday night. That’s the one downside to offering the freshest of everything — no power the night before means no product for the market.
See you at the market!