Shopping at the farmers market and eating locally is an adventure!
You never know what you'll find at the market. As items arrive in season they start in small batches. Sometime the batches are so small they sell out early in the day. Later as the season is in full swing you'll find plenty!
Stay tuned to what is in season and plan your menu around a few items. Busy lives mean we can't always slow down and appreciate these small things but when we do we are always rewarded with amazing flavors from mother earth.
Right now your find ramps, also know as wild leeks or wild onions. They tend to have a pungent, garlicky taste. They are wonderful sauteed in butter, bacon fat, or olive oil. Use them to flavor your omelets or soups.
The ramp finds it native home in eastern North America; its range stretches from Nova Scotia down through to Georgia and west to Iowa. Despite this range, the ramp is commonly referred to as an Appalachian vegetable, due to the mountain region’s favorable growing conditions as well as the plant’s centrality in the region’s diet. Ramps typically grow under the shade of deciduous trees in rich soil. Read more here.
One of the first foraged foods to arrive in spring, ramps have been depended upon by the colonists, Native Americans, and Appalachians. They are full of of vitamin C. Just when you are tired of all the winter veggies this flavorful shoot shows up!
Check out this weeks recipe using ramps!
What you'll find this week!
Music this week: the acoustic sounds of Laurie Mangold
Honey Brook Farm will have fresh chicken this week!
Music this week: southern blues and rock by Dave Alan Lange
The Honey Brook Farm team returns to One Loudoun and will have a sweet lambs for the kids to see and pet. They will also have fresh frozen chicken for the first time.
Don't forget the Market Mascots! These beanie bay sized kitties can be found at either of our markets hiding among the vendor's tables. Once your child finds it they can go to the market manager for a prize!
"Do you love cookies? Do you love people? Noshy is hiring enthusiastic cookie lovers for two high priority sales positions in the Ashburn/Leesburg area.
Learn more and apply today at www.getnoshy.com!"
Pet food donations needed!
When families are struggling to feed their family they are also struggling to feed their beloved pets.
Your donations of pet food will mean a family will keep their pet and be able to feed it.
Please bring pet food to the market this weekend!
The food will be passed onto the Humane Society for those who are struggling. Every little bit helps!
Student Volunteers Welcome!
If your student is looking for volunteer work please suggest the farmers market to them. We would love to have a student photographer, graphic artist, or future business leader help out. Contact Mary Haskins for more information: email@example.com
Leesburg Farmers Market Saturdays 9am to noon
Virginia Village Shopping Center, Catoctin Circle SE
SNAPaccepted here! Please let friends and family that use SNAP that the Leesburg market accepts EBT cards and even has some matching funds! More info here.
Pink Polka Dot
Mill Road Farm
Staff of Life
Bigg Riggs Farm
Honey Brook Farms
Vale of the Blue Ridge
Harpers Ferry Farm
Blue Ridge Dairy
Greenheart Juice Shop
Breezy Meadow Farm
Little Corners Petit Fours
Walnut Hill Farm
Chase Your Tail Bakery
Cold Pantry Foods
Taste of Old Country
Pauly's Rib Shack
Number 1 Son's
Rivas Salsas de Mexico
Special order your Easter treats now! Little Corners Petit Fours
It is maple syrup time! Vale of the Blue Ridge has Virginia maple syrup!
One Loudoun WINTER Farmers Market Saturdays 9am to noon
Harpers Ferry Farm
Java Jen's out this week
Countless Blessings Green Acres
Walnut Hill Creamery
Dogwood Blossom CoolMama
Pure Veg 7 Muffins a Day Silcott Springs
Honey Brook Farms NEW! and lambs to pet!
Abby of Countless Blessing, our young baker!
Click the links above to go to the Facebook page for each market.
Family Challenge #4
Educating Kids about Eating Smarter
Hopefully this month the Farmers Market has helped you jump start your goal to a healthier you! At the market, you will find all kinds of trustworthy resources to help you get there, from local sustainable products to intellectual knowledge shared by farmers. It's also a great place to take your kids so they can see where food really comes from as well as to reinforce that delicate connection between food and health.
If you recall in the first newsletter this month, I asked elementary school kids what National Nutrition Month meant to them. Kids generally understand what healthy is but they may not always make that crucial connection between what they eat and their health now and in the future. This is why it's so important to talk to our kids every day about the food choices they make and how it can affect their life goals.
This brings us to Challenge #4 - Educate Educate and Educate our Kids. Every day a parent shares with me their concern that their child won't eat their vegetables or will only eat processed food. Too often I find myself sharing the same concerns about my own kids. I tell these concerned parents the same thing I remind myself. If you consistently teach your kids about the right choices, they will fall back on that training when they finally make that connection between food and health - usually as they get older. They will remember all the things you taught them about food and they will be able to make the changes. When I moved to the US and became exposed to all the processed food, I lost my way and stopped eating the right kinds of food. Every cell in my body would protest but processed food was (and is) everywhere in the US, so easy to grab and go, and chemically delicious. I eventually changed back to the Mediterranean lifestyle that I grew up with. In fact, I thank my parents often for teaching me as a child how to eat right because I was able to transition to a healthier lifestyle when I needed to. This is why I suggest you don't stop teaching your kids about food. Eventually, kids will make that connection and rely on your teachings. Continue taking them to the Farmers Market to select produce and to chat with the farmers. This will reinforce what you teach them and will make that transition to healthier eating much easier for them when the time comes.
--- Written by Maria Di Paolo-Greer, founder of Loudoun County based Cooking with Fun LLC. Cooking with Fun is a culinary center offering families garden-to-table hands-on cooking and gardening lessons, engaging cooking birthday parties, and fun cooking social events for kids and adults. Visit us at www.CookingWithFun.com, call us 571-252-9202, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramp Compound butter
Compound butter is one of the most wonderful things to have in your pantry! Use it to saute your omelette in or on toasted bread with your pasta. Serve it on pasta with your other favorite veggies. It is simple to make but packs a punch of flavor that will make your ramps last into summer!
1 lb. softened butter
1 to 2 cups ramp greens, chopped
2 Tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and pack in small containers.
You may freeze portions for later.