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Volume XVII, Issue 13 - March 26 - April 1, 2009
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Food Ways/Food Wise

Green relief just around the corner

by Margaret Tearman

The winter rations of locavores are protein-rich: local eggs and meat and some cheese. With spring comes the green relief of fresh local fruits and vegetables.

Chesapeake Country’s earliest and oldest farmers’ market, Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market (Harry S Truman Parkway at Riva Rd.), opens April 4.

“We’ll have greens like spinach that over-winter plus herbs and bedding plants and maybe winter root plants,” says board member and egg farmer Helen Perry, of Elmhurst Park Farm in Harwood. A few farmers may have coaxed up lettuces and radishes. To get the first taste of spring, plan to be an early shopper.

North Beach’s Friday Night Market previews its summer season at the Beaches are Blooming flower show April 17.

“We’ll have a great selection of flowering plants,” says market master Diane Burr. “But we’ll also have a mini-farmers’ market with early produce including asparagus and new lettuce.”

For a full green menu you’ll have to wait until mid-May when spring’s highlights appear: Broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, beets, greens and strawberries. Take your pick of May’s crops at Annapolis Westfield Mall, Fresh Farm Market on City Dock and Severna Park Farmers’ Market.

Calvert County is growing farmers’ markets. Joining the North Beach and Prince Frederick markets in May is a third market on the Solomon’s Island boardwalk.

Like crops, farmers’ markets ripen month by month. By June we’ll be hungry for the sweet taste of tomatoes, peaches, berries, melons and, of course, corn. Helping us fill our gastric needs — and shopping baskets — a few additional markets open in June and July: Deale Farmers’ Market, The Centre at Glen Burnie Farmers’ Market and Piney Orchard Farmers’ Market.

For locavores who want a personal stake in a farm — without the backbreaking labor — the choice is Community Supported Agriculture.

The cost for a season’s worth of produce — usually $450 to $600 — is paid in early spring, giving farmers the capital for planting. As crops ripen, members’ dividends are weekly shares of the farm’s bounty.

There are no guarantees in farming, and CSA members share the risks. Some weeks produce an abundant share, others less. But for dedicated CSA members, the relationship with their farmer and the land is worth the risk.

Memberships in some local CSAs are still available: or

Learn more on farmers’ markets at

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