The farmers markets in Columbia are in full season as the tomatoes, melons and corn hit their stride and the first apples appear. It's even better than my late June report.
Last Sunday at the Oakland Mills market, three produce stands were overflowing at 10 am. Homestead Farm had the tomatoes and melons that make August wonderful. Tomatoes are up to $3.99 a pound, but they're heavy and ripe. For lunch, I sliced a Bonaparte's baguette ($3 at the bread stand where people speak with accents) with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil from our porch. Homestead also offered its trademark array of exotics -- eggplants that came in black, white, purple, and even a long thin green eggplant that I had never
seen before. I bought waterleaf greens to chop into salad and took the recommendation for malabar spinach that I will stirfry tonight. The chopped stems go into the pan with firm vegetables, then the leaves at the end.
Lewis Orchard was selling two kinds of peaches, a tiny plum perfect for a packed lunch, and the first apples. The third stand had corn, onions and several melons. My arms were so full, and its line was so long with smiling customers that I decided that I'll just start with one of their watermelon next week.
Check out Bonaparte Bread -- the Savage bakery whose breads and pastries are one of the Oakland Mills market's highlights.
If you want ethnic or organic markets, check out this comprehensive listing. If you want unusual and high-quality produce, check out the H Mart -- my favorite place for food. If you want to pick-your-own, then go to Larriland Farm.
(Updated: The East Columbia market appears to be on THURSDAY, not Tuesday. I fixed it below. Thanks Wendy! Sorry for the error.)
The Sunday Farmers' Market at Oakland Mills
9 am to 1 pm, May to November (May 4-Nov. 23, 2008)
Oakland Mills Village Center
5851 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045
NEAR: Just east of Rte 29 and south of Rte 175. The village center is off Stevens Forest Road.
The Saturday Farmers' Market at Glenwood Library
9 am to 12:30 pm May to October (May 3-Oct. 25, 2008)
2350 State Road 97 (Roxbury Mills Road)
Cooksville, MD 21723
NEAR: Just south of I-70, west of Rte 32.
The Thursday Farmers' Market at East Columbia Library
2 pm to 6 pm, May to November (May 1-Nov. 20, 2008)
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045
NEAR: Just off Broken Land Parkway, north of Rte 32 and east of Rte 29.