Tag Archives: local

To market..to market: Opening Day of H Street NE FRESHFARM Market

21 Apr

I am so lucky to now be an official team member of the FRESHFARM markets in D.C. I have volunteered and done chef demonstrations of my recipes in the past couple of years, but today I started as the EBT Coordinator at the H Street NE FRESHFARM Market. One of the most important things to me in the past few years has been not only promoting my own health by eating fresh foods, but also promoting healthy habits for everyone. To be involved with a program that helps to ensure fresh and local food access to underserved populations is incredible. Read more about the program here.

With forecasts of strong storms hitting the eastern seaboard looming, I was a bit dubious of good weather for this morning’s opening. Luckily, it could not have been more perfect. We had sunny and blue skies, mild winds, warm temperatures, and as Flo-Rida/Avicii might say, woah, we had a good feeling.

neighborhood guy rallies for support for his petition

I cannot put into mere words how awesome the H St. NE FRESHFARM market is. It is the epitome of a community market. I would describe the vibe of the neighborhood as “community-all-hands-on-deck.” As we stood outside, the local shopkeepers gathered ’round (please note my use of arcane language because it is rare that in an age of Targets and Starbucks, local shopkeepers can actually gather ’round) to discuss the extension of our market into the street. Even the zone’s Councilmember made an appearance and was on board. They were friendly and chatty and welcoming and made me feel like I had been transported to another time. Or perhaps Canada (where I’ve heard everyone is very nice).

In addition to all of the gorgeous treats sprinkled around the market, Washingtonian Magazine’s rising star Chef Wes Morton of Art and Soul did a chef demonstration. He made a beautiful asparagus, sweet onion, and green garlic salad with a creamy egg Gribiche sauce, which I cannot wait to veganize, and taught me how to season my brand new (thus temporarily worthless) cast iron skillet.

eggs, green garlic, radishes, and asparagus from the market

Not only did I love how thoroughly engaged he was with the audience, especially the kids,

who says kids don't love their veggies? they loved raw radishes!

but he also introduced me to what will surely be my latest EVOO crack habit — Frantoia. This Sicilian olive oil has such a fruitiness that I have never tasted before — and blows my organic Californian right out of the water.

market welcomes shoppers of all breeds

I’d like to give a special thanks to Atwater’s Bakery for giving me an incredible vegan spelt loaf in exchange for watching his booth for 5 minutes (which I have devoured the better quarter of already), Blueberry Hill Farm for awesome veggies for my week, Full Cellar Farm for pretty tulips to brighten my days, and Quaker Valley Orchards for feeding my apple drug-like habit for the week (read: day).

my market bounty!

the happenstance gourmande


Love the smell of a good market this time of year

23 Mar

Yesterday was the opening of the FRESHFARM Market near my office in Penn Quarter. I LOVE this market. It happens on Thursdays, has everything you could want (most specifically, my crack fix for anything from Toigo Orchards), and is conveniently located just a few blocks from my office so I don’t even have to think. After a rough morning/afternoon at work yesterday, I decided to go for a walk to visit the market, especially because it was so lovely out. In addition to my usual favorites, including Toigo (whose Honeycrisp apples, pears, and PEACHES will make you slap your mama) and Red Apron Butchery (who was taunting me with Facebook pictures of mortadella and fennel and citrus salami while I was juice-fasting), there were some new treats, including Gordy’s Pickle Jar, which I just HAD to try. They were amazing.

I am a REAL SUCKER for anything local. I can’t resist. Here are some pictures of the wonderful market.

Gorgeous poppies and tulips.

This bread smelled even more amazing than it looks.

Can’t resist Toigo’s apples. I picked up some of the Mutsu and they were awesome. Super crisp, sweet with a little bit of tartness, and just perfect for a warm spring day.

And here’s my bounty! A purple/green head of cabbage (for my experimentation with “Corned Tofu and Cabbage”), sweet pepper relish from Gordy’s, Mutsu apples, the facebook-stalking fennel and citrus salami from Red Apron (for my omnivorous weekends), and some great looking little red beets.

I love supporting our area’s farmers. I mean, what better way to eat fresh, eat clean, and eat local than at a farmers market, right? I love transparency in all of my food — knowing from where my pig came and where it was smoked, when and from where my eggs were picked, and that those apples were plucked just yesterday is a great feeling.

the happenstance gourmande