Farm Fresh and Local Produce 5/29/2010

I’m pretty good about getting up early on Saturdays – and am also pretty good about getting out of here early enough to get to the North Market before 8am – that is, unless P. is getting up and going with me. He’s the only person I know who can stretch out taking 2 pills in the morning to a 30 minute ordeal. What that meant for us was that we got out of here later than we usually do, and didn’t get to the North Market until about 8:15. The good thing about that was that all the farmers were set up already. The bad thing about that is that between his late start and my tendencies to be a motormouth, we didn’t get to Worthington until 9:15. But more about that later – for the time being, let me tell you about all the stuff available at the North Market this weekend.

As they do every week, Wishwell Farms had some stellar looking grape tomatoes – just the perfect thing to be paired with some fresh mozzarella and basil in a caprese salad.

Grape Tomatoes from Wishwell Farms

Toad Hill Organics had lots of pretty looking lettuces and other greens.

Lettuce from Toad Hill

And the flowers at Combs Herbs were just gorgeous this week. While I was here, I bought some arugula.

Pretty Flowers from Combs Herbs

I got a pound of shiitakes at Toby Run (yay for mushrooms!) to make paprikash – yes, I know – unseasonably hearty, but damn I’m craving it.

Shiitake Mushrooms from Toby Run

And Rhoads had, in addition to the strawberries they’ve had every week, some sweet cherries – this is just one of the two varieties they had.

Cherries from Rhoads Farm Market

Off to Worthington – by the time I got there after 9:15am, parking was almost impossible and the place was a madhouse. The holiday weekend brought out the mean in people, though – with all the pushing and shoving and rudeness and impatience, I could only snap a few pictures, like this of some of Mockingbird Meadows’ honey. That was just nuts – I was definitely reminded of why I like getting there as close to 8:15-8:30 as possible. Many of the farmers there start selling at 8am – while you won’t have all of the same produce you can get when everyone is set up, it’s definitely a more relaxed vibe before 9am.

Honey from Mockingbird Meadows

After dropping my stuff back off at home, it was back to the North Market for the Grillmaster’s Festival, where I, along with Miriam Bowers Abbott (reviewer for The Other Paper), G.A. Benton (reviewer for Columbus Alive), Tricia Wheeler (editor of Edible Columbus) and fellow food blogger Jim Ellison (CMH Gourmand) judged the Thrilla at the Grilla, which pitted 2 local chefs + a mini-Weber grill against each other for a showdown to crown one the Baron(ness) of the BBQ!

Grillmasters Festival

Janel Hedgepeth of Latitude 41 (and last year’s Baroness of BBQ) had an extremely strong showing with her grilled pork belly dish, which topped a super-tender but flavorful cheddar biscuit that I fell in love with. The slaw on top tied everything together, and her dish, at least for me, edged out the competition by a narrow margin. Of course, pork belly is one of my favorite things in the world so I may be a bit biased. ;)

Pork Belly on Cheddar Biscuit with Slaw

John Skaggs (of MyCateredTable.com, and formerly of Giorgio, R.J. Snappers, L’Antibes, and Northstar (to name a few)), who was also Baron of BBQ in 2007, picked up another win this year with his Seasonal Veggie Skewers with Marinated Grilled Bison, and what if I’m remembering correctly was a Blackberry BBQ sauce. I loved the presentation and use of seasonal ingredients in his dish, and thought his extremely tender bison was absolutely perfectly cooked to bring out the best in the meat.

Grilled Bison with Seasonal Veggie Skewers

I had a great time judging, and tasting the creativity of what some of our Columbus chefs have to offer up close and personal.

So how are the rest of you spending your Memorial Day weekend?

6 thoughts on “Farm Fresh and Local Produce 5/29/2010

  1. Worthington was a madhouse this week–no idea why. Even the merchants were commenting on it. I don't know the name of the merchant, but I was bummed the large produce stand I normally buy from (in Graeters parking lot) was not there. There stuff is always great, and I was counting on being able to get a lot there.

    We didn't get there until 10 this week (I know, big mistake!), and the person in front of us got the last dozen of eggs. *sigh*

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  4. Hey there, fellow Cbus-dweller =) I ran into your blog last weekend while searching for a good breakfast place, and I have no idea why it took me this long to find such an organized, professional blog like yours!

    I had no idea so much was going on last weekend- boo for being a vehicle-less graduating senior at OSU. I suppose I should take the bus to North Market, I already take it to the Clintonville farmers market on some Saturdays.

    How many of the local farmers markets have you been to, and what are your thoughts? I've only been to Clintonville, one in Pearl Alley downtown, and the brand new little shindig at 15th and High on Thursdays. I'm especially curious about the "Urban farmers market" on N. 4th and 18th, but Worthington sounds terrific, too.

    Keep up the great blogging!
    http://limelicious.wordpress.com

  5. I've been to a bunch of the local farmers markets. My favorites have to easily be the North Market, Worthington, and Dublin's Wednesday market – all are wonderful markets in their own ways, I'd have to say of all the ones I mentioned Worthington is the best one to be able to get fixings for complete meals.

    There's a lot of overlap between all the markets on Saturdays – some of the farmers sell at 3 or 4 different markets so I see them at each one. As far as favorite vendors, Toby Run Mushrooms at the North Market, Rhoads Farm Market at North Market and Clintonville, Wayward Seed Farm at all of the above, and Honeyrun Farms at Clintonville, Dublin, Worthington and Pearl Alley just to name a few.

    I'm still hoping to hit a few more of the ones I haven't been to yet as the season progresses, and hope to blog about them soon. :)

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