A Trio of Treatstesttest
Tempt your taste buds with summer’s finest. Softball size tomatoes, basketball size cantaloupes, fresh baked cinnamon rolls along with golden sweet local honey are just a sampling of treasures found among Calvert County’s Farmers Markets.
Mike Chillum and son Dan of St. Leonard specialize in a wide range of honeys: strawberry, locust, comb, wildflower and privet-hedge flower. “The bees do all the work, we just package it,” Dan says. Blueberry and damson plum jams are also sellouts. The duo dabbles in potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and onions. With 20-plus years under their belts, they’re likely to share an old-time farm story or two with visitors to their stand at all three Calvert markets.
Veteran Mike Cox of White Oak Point Farm in Prince Frederick has been farming, starting with tobacco, since he could walk, over 30 years and counting. His produce runs from asparagus to winter greens to zucchini. Cox and his children are familiar faces at Calvert Memorial and Barstow markets.
Debbie Jones of Sunderland’s Windy Willow Farms in Sunderland brings more fresh vegetables and jam to those markets, plus organic beef, lamb, pork and eggs.
First-year marketeer Priscilla Bradley of Kneadful Things, her at-home bakery in Prince Frederick, satisfies your sweet tooth with fresh baked goodies like cinnamon rolls and carrot muffins, her top two sellers. Her three children are under age five.
“They’re my taste testers,” Bradley says. All-organic ingredients, including eggs from her own chickens, go into her products.
The three markets are small. But you can set a full table from them.
Calvert Memorial Hospital, with prime location on Rt. 4, is an up and coming market.
Calvert Fairgrounds Market hasn’t traveled far from its origins as a Saturday flea market. You’ll find Cox, Chillum and Bradley tucked away to the left of a row of sales tables stretching a football field long.
Solomons’ Riverwalk is a quieter market, averaging one to three vendors on any given Friday afternoon.
For Calvert’s Buy Local Challenge, the temporary Courthouse Green Produce Stand opens from 3 to 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, July 23, 25 and 27, with different producers each day.
Learn more at Calvert County Dept. of Economic Development: 800-331-9771; www.ecalvert.com.