Summer fruits and veggies are a plenty!

Don’t walk…RUN

Farmers marketing are bustling right now, so get your fill while you can!

If you are blessed with local market stands, do not walk but RUN to take advantage of the bounty.

Here are a few of my favorite markets in the area. All are local (to me) Farmers’ Markets in Maryland:

Riverdale Park – weekly on Thursday afternoons

Spicknall’s – Beltsville – daily – this is more a produce ‘stand’ (albeit a huge one) which is a permanent business with one producer. Truly seasonal as I recently wanted more of their ‘thumb-sized, super-sweet blackberries’ and was out of luck since that harvest was over!

Downtown College Park – weekly on Sundays  This one as well as the Riverdale Park market, include vendors of things such as teas, barbecued meats, pickles, etc. along with farmers selling produce.

University of Maryland  – Wednesdays in the summer only

College Park Farmers Market – Saturdays   This market has been around for ages – long before Farmers Markets were a trendy thing. At least 30 years ago when I lived in Greenbelt, I shopped here frequently on Saturday mornings. Not huge but long-established.

If you want to know the markets and stands near you, all you have to do is google “farmers markets near me” and there’s sure to be something in your area.

My summer favorites…tomatoes, peaches and corn. Oh My!

There’s that fresh, sweet and earthy aroma the moment you step foot into your local farmers market.

Plump red tomatoes off the vine

First and foremost, TOMATOES – nothing makes me happier than a tomato that tastes like a tomato…and now is that time here on the east coast.

The deep red and plumpness of a beefsteak. The sweetness of heirloom sungolds. The pear-shaped and meaty plum.

I even have had a few off my own backyard plants (though the wet spring/summer has delayed their arrival and reduced the number).

Fresh, fuzzy and juicy peaches

Peaches are hitting their stride right now as well.

Remember when you were a kid taking that first bite and your mouth was just bursting with peachy goodness…juice running down your chin.

Pick the ones that give just a little bit when gently squeezed and you will be rewarded with that perfect combo of texture and taste that is elusive most of the year.

You can grill them, slice them into a salad or just eat them out of hand.

And then try to remember that taste come December!

Sweet golden goodness

Corn of all varieties makes an appearance as well just about now.

You know summer’s in full swing when it’s corn season.

I like the tiny white kernels (shoe-peg) or the mixed yellow/white cobs.

The ritual of shucking corn and attempting to remove all the silk is summer defined for me.

I never shuck in the store or at the market as many do – I peek at the tips beneath the silk and feel how firm the cobs are and then bring them home for the messy fun of cleaning them before eating.

I’ve seen and read about boiling the corn before serving with a variety of butters (some flavored with herbs and/or spices).

I’m a bit minimalist with regard to corn and prefer a quick steam in barely an inch of water in a large pot fitted with a steamer insert. Then it’s just butter and salt for me.

I think the best treatment for all of these summer gems is to enjoy them as close to their natural state as possible.

The less you do, the more the beautiful natural flavors shine.

Enjoy your summer bounty!

If you have a favorite farmer’s market or fruit and veggie stand share your bounty by posting it in the comments, I’d live to hear about it.

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