While the Farmers Market opened on schedule last weekend in Rockville, the produce is a bit behind schedule due to rain. Kevin Grove at Quarter Branch Farm (near Point of Rocks) has leafy greens and white chard, and expects rainbow chard and assorted radishes next week (including French breakfast varieties). I also discovered that he offers two versions of CSA boxes for the Saturday market: a standard farm share and a new market share. For both shares, the customer prepays for a season’s worth of produce. In the farm share, the farmer assembles an assortment of the best produce for the week and brings it in a box or bag for customer pick-up at the market (it gives the customer the best produce, but no choice). The market share allows the customer to select from the produce available for sale at the market and charges it against the pre-paid account (it gives the customer choice, but not the best produce). Eight Rockvillians are participating and he’s not selling any additional shares this season, but it’s something to consider next year. Tikvat Israel also offers both summer and fall CSA shares with a Monday afternoon pickup.
Although leafy greens and strawberries currently dominate the market, you’ll find a couple vendors with tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini (thanks to greenhouses). New this year is Grandma Vera’s Bakery out of Saverna Park (near Annapolis) with a wide selection of pastries and breads, some of it influenced by Vera’s Brazilian roots. You’ll also find them at Wednesday’s market in Rockville. Otherwise, you’ll find lots of familiar faces selling produce, meat (fresh and cured), eggs, cheese, bread and pastries, flowers, honey, and garden plants.
Other nearby farmers markets are the Farmers and Artists Market in Olney on Sundays and the new one at King Farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. They’re all different so try to explore all of them this summer (although I’m still waiting for a mushroom vendor).