Jun 08,2010 0 Comments
Nothing comes close to the romance that open air shopping brings. Each year, from May to November, farmers’ markets sprout around town selling fruits and vegetables organically and locally grown.
Open-air markets are commonly seen in every nook and cranny of the U.S.A. They are patronized by shoppers to support their local farmers and put food on their table that are devoid of pesticides, hormones and additives.
Variety is the spice of farmers’ markets. There are brown eggs from free-roaming hens, specialty jams and jellies made from exotic ingredients. The scent of freshly picked vegetables complement the aroma of freshly baked goods such as bread, croissants, cookies and other pastries. There are a wide array of meat like buffalo meat, free-range pork chops, bacon, ham and sausages. Seasonal finds such as ramps (wild leeks with a garlicky-onion flavor) and morel mushrooms lure people to open-air shop every week-end.
The local farmers in the Old Town Alexandria farmers’ market have been selling their produce since 1753. It is believed to be one of the nation’s oldest continually operating farmer’s markets. Fairfax County supervises twelve “producers-only” farmers’ markets which means that the vendor must grow, raise or produce the products they sell. All products sold are produced by vendors within 125 miles of the county. Some markets in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia have even introduced “Chef at Market” events where area-known chefs are invited to host demonstrations using products from the market, food tastings and book signings.
Shopping at farmers’ markets is an adventure for those who want to eat seasonal ingredients and the freshest, locally grown produce. Open-air markets are also living examples of a way of life in a different time – that of our parents and grandparents which we can relive today.