Brunswick Farmer’s Market and Reflections on Vendors

Stopped by the Brunswick farmer’s market briefly on Sunday.  Seemed like a light crowd.  Had a different meat purveyor from Boonsboro, but their bacon etc. all had nitrates in it.  Also their beef was grain finished.  I was really in the mood to cook something up, but there was not a whole lot of produce.  Had a curious experience.  We went to one (of the two) produce vendors, Ridgefield Farms.  When asked where their strawberries came from the lady  hesitated, then replied cryptically “we have a hothouse.”  Now we were in a hurry to get to a Father’s Day function but upon reflection I found that answer almost Clintonesque, since she left the impression they grew the strawberries but didn’t actually say anything that could be held against them.  I also wonder why in the world you would need a hothouse to grow strawberries in Maryland in June?  Now Mrs F would say its just my naturally cynical nature, but once in North Carolina we had stopped at a  roadside ‘farm stand’ to get some produce.  I happened to wander around back and saw in their storage shed employees unloading boxes of produce with labels from all over the country.  They were taking them out of the packages and putting them in their own.  So ever since I have wondered. 

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2 responses to “Brunswick Farmer’s Market and Reflections on Vendors

  1. I would suggest you look to the market’s organization to determine whether or not the produce is what you expect it might be. Some markets are producers-only, some markets have a miles-traveled maximum for items sold at the booths, some markets accept only certified organic producers. I doubt Brunswick is any of these. (Shepherdstown, WV, where I do most of my farm market shopping, has none of these qualities, but it’s still a really good farmer’s market.) Any vendor should be willing to be honest with you about the provenance of their goods.

    I know the guys who run Ridgefield quite well. They’re great people over there. The apples they grow are a favorite of my entire family, and I’ve collaborated with them on a story about the apples in the past. Their fall festival weekends are a great time for my young son, who enjoys picking apples, selecting our household pumpkin, and taking in magician and banjo-player entertainment.

    It’s true that Ridgefield sells produce not grown on their own farm. They’ve been honest with me when I asked about it and I’m surprised they were a little more cagey with you. I mostly buy the things they actually grow on their farm, but the products they carry from other farms are usually good and the people selling them mean the best. However, if you want products sold only by the producers, you’re probably looking at schlepping closer to the city (not sure about the Frederick area markets in this regard). I used to shop the Takoma Park, MD market every Sunday and that one is producers-only, has a mileage requirement (I think it’s 100 miles), and most of the vendors were organic to boot. I think it’s a little much to expect the same out here.

  2. Pingback: Brunswick Farmers Market « Fred Foodie- Eating and Drinking in and around Frederick, Maryland

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