Dupont Circle Farmers Market, Washington, D.C.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dupont Circle farmers market, Washington, DC

This market is managed by FRESHFARM Market, a nonprofit organization that sponsors 11 farmers markets in the Chesapeake Bay region. The farmers and producers generally come from within a 150-mile radius of Washington, DC. According to the organization’s Web site, “Our markets are producer-only, which means that our farmers and producers may sell only what they grow, raise or make on their own farms. To the extent possible, they employ local ingredients in creation of their products.”

– Mark Thompson

1500 block of 20th St., NW
(between Massachusetts Ave. and Q St.)
Washington, D.C.
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (summer)
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (winter)
(202) 362-8889

slide show

What I Bought

red currants
red currants
Price: $5/basket

Price: $10/lb.

Purslane is a common weed that you’ll spot everywhere, in low-lying, scrawny clumps, once you recognize it. It gets plump and succulent when it is well-watered and cultivated, as farmers are beginning to do, thanks to growing interest in the plant’s remarkable nutritional qualities. It is one of the best sources in the plant world for omega-3 fatty acid, which the body converts into other acids that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. People from various cultures around the world long ago discovered its virtues. Purslane is eaten extensively in soups and salads around the Mediterranean region. Mexicans are major customers for it in California. The Russians dry and can it for the winter. Henry Thoreau would make a meal of boiled purslane gathered around Walden Pond. All parts of the plant are edible, writes Pamela Jones, in “Just Weeds — History, Myths and Uses.” She recommends using it in salads. “I find that, dressed with oil and vinegar, the juicy mucilaginous leaves and stems add a mildly acid, piquant flavor,” she writes. It can also be steamed, stir-fried or pureed. According to a flyer produced by Four Sisters Farm, from whom I have purchased purslane in Northern California farmers markets, purslane “makes a dreamy gazpacho with tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, scallions and a vinaigrette.”

popping corn
popping corn
Price: $1 per ear

These ears were sold along with a small paper bag, just the right size to hold the whole ear. The instruction was to enclose the ear, unshelled, in the bag and put the bag in the microwave for three minutes or so until the kernels stop popping. It worked!


zucchini and assorted summer squash (above), tomatoes and eggplant (below)
Price: $2.50/lb.
Price: $3.20/lb. for tomatoes
$.99/lb. tomatoes seconds (on left)
$2.50/lb. for eggplants