I get this rush when I go to farmers markets, especially when it’s a market I’ve never been to before. My heart races as I remove the lens cap from my camera and I ask if I can photograph their beautiful displays, fingers itching to pick up business cards so I remember what I’ve bought and from whom.
It’s like a mission. A Meals with Morri mission.
Getting back into the blogging groove has proven itself more difficult than I expected. But going on excursions such as these may help in easing my way back into producing recipes and product reviews. After all, I’d been looking forward to May specifically because it was the start of the farmers market season.
What's in season, you might be wondering? I'm so glad you asked.
The scent of strawberries was heavy and intoxicating at the Wakefield Farmers Market. On Wednesdays from two to six, two rows of vendors lay out their fruits, flowers, vegetables, baked goods, meats, dairy products, and honey in loving fashions. It’s a quieter, smaller farmers market, but the people are happy to strike up a meaningful conversation with you. There’s even a booth run by the Fairfax County Master Gardeners for green thumb enthusiasts.
You can find up to thirteen vendors in the Wakefield Farmers Market:
J & W Family Farm
Level Green Farm
Lois’s Produce & Herbs
F.J. Medina & Son Farm
Stallard Road Farm – grass finished beef, herbs, and jams
What’s for Dinner Now – corn and grain finished pork, beef, sausages, soups, and entrees*
Baked Goods (alas, not the gluten-free kind)
Cenan’s Bakery – breads, croissants, et al.
Sue’s Pies & More – pies, cookies, and other baked goods
Red Fox Creamery – homemade ice cream
Massanutten Mountain Apiaries – honey*
Salsa Las Glorias – salsa
Fields of Grace Farm – all natural farmstead cheese
My first stop was at the What’s for Dinner Now booth run by the Stifler family. Their beef and pork are raised in the Shenandoah Valley, and all cuts are individually vacuum packaged. They were a little confused by my request to take a photo of their meat freezer, but were kind enough to lift open the door for me to do so. Many of their sausages as I could see are gluten free and soy free, but some do contain sugar.
My next stop was the Massanutten Mountain Apiaries booth. I have a sweet spot for honey, especially since it is used in much of my baking, desserts, fermenting, and brewing. While they didn’t have bee pollen, they did have honey sticks, small jars jam-packed with sliced almonds and other nuts in honey, jars with honeycomb just asking to be chewed on like nature’s chewing gum, and even gallon-sized containers should you want to make five gallons of mead. Most of their honey comes from wildflowers, but they also mentioned to have tulip poplar honey from time to time.
We talked about their bees, and I asked how their hives were doing. They said that Virginia was one of those places where the bees aren’t dying off as they are in some places. A silver lining, that, but we seriously need to do something for nature's pollinators.
I finished my farmers market excursion at the Kuhn Orchards booth. I gravitated towards the absolutely stunning apple display. There was an apple called Gold Rush, and if you could imagine the combining of a Golden Delicious with a Honeycrisp, it was an explosion of sunshine on the tongue. There were greens and rhubarb and other delights, but really, any booth with apples will become my favorite.
With a camera full of pictures and a bag full of goodies, I came home content and excited to write this post. I have a lineup of farmers markets to explore now, and I can’t wait to get to know the people behind the products they sell.
For more information regarding farmers markets or CSAs by region, go to VirginiaGrown.com