Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Food: Farmers Market Tips

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
fruit & vegetables
courtesy of ekelly80

Spring and summer: every locavore’s dream. The fresh produce is abundant, the options in the kitchen are endless, and all the colors and smells are so great that you almost forget about the scorching hot sun.

So I started to think about all the different farmers markets and what I had heard about each one–the tips and tricks for stocking your fridge and pantry with local eats. After the jump, you can find out what DC eaters and chefs have to say about some of our local farmers markets. You can follow my Twitter list of DC-area farmers markets and some of the vendors and give me a holler if there are any I missed adding to the list. And feel free to share any of your farmers market tips in the comments section.

A big hat tip to Cathy of Mrs. Wheelbarrow who sparked the idea.

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′
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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, Ward 7

Cooking Demo with Carla Hall at DC CHEW

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
courtesy of ekelly80

Last weekend, DC C.H.E.W. (Community. Harvest. Education. in Ward 7) opened to local residents in Ward 7, and this weekend the market is hosting a chef demo by former Top Chef contestant, Carla Hall.

The market is part of the Skyland project to redevelop a shopping mall in the area into an improved town center and meet the demands of local restaurants who have been asking for a market in their neighborhood. Plus, customers at the market can get healthy eating and nutrition tips in addition to locally grown food. DC CHEW will feature local vendors including Tuckey’s Mountain Farm, Plum Good and Converge Coffee. This Saturday is the second and last date for the season; the market will close for the winter and reopen in full force in May 2012.

Hall will be doing her food demo at 11 AM. You can find the market at the intersection of Good Hope Road, Naylor Road and Alabama Avenue SE.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Arcadia’s Mobile Market Project and Happy Hour Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘afagen’

There are some truly innovative projects going on in the food world to expand access to healthy and local produce. One right in DC is Arcadia’s Mobile Market Project, an initiative to turn a school bus into a traveling farmer’s market that will run on biofuel (a.k.a. old cooking oil) and stop in “food deserts” across the city.

The first fundraiser event for the project is this Thursday, March 31 from 5 to 8 PM at Lounge 2o1 near Union Station. The happy hour will have cocktails with local spirits, as well as some tiny bites made with local, sustainable beef from White House Meats. You’ll be able to make a secure pledge to the Mobile Market Project right on the spot and Lounge 201 will donate a portion of the night’s proceeds to the project.

The project is trying to raise $15,000 by Earth Day on April 22nd. Unfortunately, if the project doesn’t meet its goal it will be stalled and you won’t be charged for your donation. When the Mobile Market launches, it will make regular stops in Wards 5, 7 and 8 and sell fresh, affordable produce. To increase accessibility, the market will accept many forms of payment, including SNAP, WIC and FMNP vouchers. Additionally, the bus will make special visits to different schools and community centers to bring chefs, farmers and other community leaders in to talk about making healthy food choices.

So far the project has raised more than $7,000 and has 23 days to go. If you can’t make it to the happy hour at Lounge 201, you can make an online pledge here.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, We Love Drinks

Friday Happy Hour: Cool Hand Cuke

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‘Cucumber Cocktail’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’ 

Welcome to the Friday Happy Hour, your single drink primer for the weekend.

Last month Samer and I were treated to a sneak peek of the incredibly refreshing cocktail Owen Thomson would mix up to inaugurate the “Farm to Glass” program in his new role at Cafe Atlantico. Beginning tonight, you can try it too. Called the Cool Hand Cuke, it has a beautiful green hue quirkily topped by a baby cucumber blossom. Perfectly balanced between vegetal and spice flavors, it features SubRosa Tarragon Infused Vodka, Black Rock Farms Baby Persian Cucumber Juice, black pepper and thyme juice and “Dr. Thomson’s” spiced liquor #2.

The “Farm to Glass” program is part of Cafe Atlantico’s Farmers’ Market Dinners, a three-course menu (priced at $45) sourced from the Penn Quarter FRESHFARM market by newly appointed head chef Richard Brandenburg and served every Friday evening during market season. The “Farm to Glass” cocktail program will complement the dinners and their seasonal ingredients.

A green cocktail for a green program. Sip up what Samer called “summer in a glass,” and don’t forget to eat the baby cucumber garnish too – it’s part of the fun!

The Daily Feed

Farmers’ Markets Reopening Soon

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‘Dupont Circle Farmers Market’
courtesy of ‘runneralan2004′

Already with the vernal mercury rising, the fresh produce offerings at Eastern Market and Dupont Circle–open throughout the year–have greatly improved. I was psyched to see the return of of apples, tomatoes, brussel sprouts and various other goodies (yum, samples!) when I passed through Eastern Market on Sunday. This weekend sees the return of Anchor Nursery,  Clear Spring CreameryWollam Gardens, and Next Step Produce to Dupont’s market.

Very soon all other varieties of district farmers’ markets will return for the Spring months: Continue reading