Sunday, December 18, 2005

Downtown Baltimore's Last Farmers Market of '05

The last one ended at noon today, Dec. 18, 2005. It wont be back until 8 a.m. the first Sunday of May, 2006. By then, a new spring season should be bearing its early bounty. Fresh local produce, of course, is the biggest draw, but Baltimore's Sunday morning farmers markets, running from before 8 a.m. until a little before noon, have plenty of other offerings. Among them are pork products, eggrolls, smoked duck, fried fish, honey, even jewelry and crafts. We've heard numerous Baltimoreans as sociologically diverse as they are like-minded, refer to its farmers market as what they like most about living in downtown Baltimore. For all of them, it's part ambience, and most significantly the place to purchase not only the freshest, but the most reasonably priced produce in town. As the seasons evolve through spring into winter the pickings vary, as late season crops replace the earlier ones. Heading into winter, these are mostly greens, such as kale, collards, mustard, and turnip that continue to be harvested in abundance, along with the hardier root crops. Among fruits, the season's latest, observed today, were quinces. Unlike most fruits, they need to be cooked. The flavor is suggestive of apple-apricot. We purchased some to be used in a lamb stew. If successful, it may be on our Christmas dinner table, and of course you'll be able to read the recipe at this site in a few days.