At the Market: Spring produce, organic eating, and local food-sourcing!

To market, to market!
This past weekend, I started tackling that spring to-do list and I am so glad I did.  The Farmer’s Market at Dupont Circle has so many wonderful, fresh, local products!  Cheeses, meats, eggs, soup…

And of course, veggies, more veggies, fruit and more veggies!  The best thing to do at farmer’s markets is to look for inspiration.  Try something you have never heard of.  For me, that was Stinking Nettle.  I juiced it as was recommended to me. It was similar to spinach, and is rich in vitamins A, C, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

It was a great find!  I also stocked up on local apples, kale, and honey.

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Walking around, I was struck not only by what was there, but also by what was not.  Farmer’s Markets strive (and should succeed) to bring local produce into your home.  In order to do that, they can only provide items that actually grow in the area, and are in season.  There were no peaches or grapes.  I didn’t see tomatoes or cauliflower.  They are not in season right now.  So what is?

What’s in season right now?
Between April and May, you should expect to be cooking, eating, or juicing apples, asparagus, broccoli rabe, carrots, chard, mushrooms, kale and collard greens, onions, arugula, beets (which did look particularly red and wonderful), parsnips, nettles, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, spinach and other salad greens, turnips, and sugar and snap peas and strawberries will be making an appearance in May.

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Based on what is in season, this Spring Salad recipe should be a wonderful treat!

To organic, or not to organic? That is the question… 
The other thing I started to think about as I was arm deep in cheese samples, was why local?  Why organic? There was a study released by Stanford University back in 2012 that found no “strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.”  Well, of course not!  There is not more calcium in an organic banana (versus a conventional one).  Just like it doesn’t have fewer calories!  Rather than regurgitate what Mark Bitman said, please read his excellent editorial on the subject.

So why should we eat organic?   Continue reading

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Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market

We’re kicking off our series on local DC farmer’s market with the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market! Are there better ways to spend a Sunday morning than heading out in some beautiful spring weather and stocking up on fresh goodies at a farmer’s market? Well, maybe there are a few things that can top that, but the list is pretty short in my opinion.

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Here’s the thing – I live very close to Eastern Market, so I don’t usually make it up to Dupont. That said, I am happy to report that the trip was completely worth it. So if you’re far away like me, trust me when I say it’s worth the extra travel.

I headed up there with a friend on a bright, sunny morning to see what it was all about. This farmer’s market is bustling and I got the feeling that people from all over DC, not just the surrounding neighborhood, stop by. The thing that is great about the Dupont Farmer’s Market is that everything is local. Even in the winter months, the farmer’s market is still alive and kicking. They just don’t have very much produce available, because everything is 100% locally grown. Not every market is like this and it’s really refreshing to see!

Continue reading