Monday, October 29, 2012

Columbia Heights Community Marketplace Haul

This weekend I finally made it to the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace. Located in the Columbia Heights civic plaza at the corner of 14th ST NW and Park Road NW, this small, busy community market is both a farmers' market and a space for local artists and artisans. On the day I visited there was a pottery vendor and salsa dancing. The CHCM organizers refer to the marketplace as a "Festivus." (However, I don't think they are referencing the Seinfeld episode.) The market's 2012 season lasts until December 15th. Like every farmers' market in my neighborhood, it happens on Saturdays, from 9am to 1pm. It is also a stone's throw from the Columbia Heights Metro station and Sticky Fingers bakery.
Overall, I was most impressed with the produce stands. Some of the veggies and fruits on display looked almost too perfect. One fruit stand sign that caught my eye was for the Nittany apple, a less glossy offering. I've eaten this apple variety in the past but I didn't realize it was introduced by scientists at my alma mater, Penn State University. A cross between a Golden Delicious and a York apple, this apple has a slightly tart flavor and golden yellow flesh. Its fruit oxidizes very slowly, so it doesn't turn brown quickly when sliced. It is also supposed to be excellent for baking, which I'd like to put to the test.

This week's market haul included a variety of apples, habaneros, bell peppers, vegan whole wheat bread, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, collards, arugula, kale, and chard. Also I finally bought a butternut squash. I'm so glad I scored all this local, fresh food before the Hurricane Sandy shopping hysteria began.   

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