Spring has definitely arrived in DC and no where is that more evident than the many farmer’s markets throughout the metro area. As I have mentioned previously, I belong to the Star Hollow Farm CSA (sorry, but it’s currently closed to new members), which has a pick up site at the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market. Now that the Farmer’s Market is open, Star Hollow has both the CSA box distribution and the farm stand to attend to on Saturdays. To help manage both projects, CSA members volunteer to distribute the boxes to other members. It not only allows Star Hollow Farm to manage the workload, it gives the members a chance to interact with each other (and share recipes!). This past Saturday, I volunteered for the afternoon shift and had a ball!
Before starting my “shift”, I walked around the market to get a feel for the different vendors. Due to a miscommunication, it was advertised in the local media that the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market opened in May. Because of this, there are not a lot of farm stands currently set up. However, the ones that are there have already brought out the bounty of Spring. Lovely rhubarb and strawberries were on sale, along with red peppers (still a little too under ripe for my taste), green onions and spinach.
While I got ramps in my CSA box (more on what I did with them later), there were none for sale in the market itself. Quite honestly, I had never heard of ramps until a few weeks ago when I saw recipes using them on various food blogs in the blogosphere. Randy Treichler, the farmer behind Star Hollow, told me ramps are not planted. Instead, if the conditions are right, they grow wild and are then harvested. Randy (we call him Farmer Randy) then told me ramp season doesn’t last very long, so they are a prized food commodity.
I always learn something about the food I eat when I talk to Randy, which I find to be invaluable. There is something comforting about knowing how my food is being grown and who is growing it. In addition, I have always been a proponent of sustainable agriculture and supporting local farmers and local vendors. Not only does my CSA membership help support a local farm, it provides me with amazingly fresh (and high quality) produce. And that, in my humble opinion, is the secret to my fabulous creations!