Sunday, June 29, 2008

You're turning violet, Violet!

Before I say anything else, I must say this: the blueberries are awesome this year. Do not miss them. I had them today in a biscuit cobbler that my friend Jackie's mother made, and I was in heaven. I am also eating blueberries now. Thank you Glade-Link Farm. Yeon and I have decided to go blueberry picking at Glade-Link and I'll let her post on the particulars.

"You're turning violet, Violet!" (to Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory as she turned into a giant blueberry)

I visited Yeon today and we talked about this blog. Yeon gave me a scoop of fresh cherry ice cream that she had made with the fruits from Catoctin  Mountain Orchard (indescribably good on a hot afternoon), a sesame leaf plant, and some lovely cut flowers.

I also picked up a few tomato plants from Yeon today. Because I am crazy. Yes, that's right. I just got rid of my extra tomato plants and took on several more. But they were different! I didn't have any Amish paste or German strawberry tomatoes and was feeling deprived. This year I also don't have several of my favorites including a green zebra because I grew a bunch of other varieties from seed and was trying something different. Here are my top three all-time favorite tomato varieties to grow:

  1. German Pineapple. It has yellow flesh streaked with red and a pineappley sweet-tartness. Plus it's huge and beefy. Good producer with a long harvest (3 plants this year).
  2. Green zebra. It goes from light green with green streaks to yellow with green streaks, and is a gorgeous little slicer. It's also extremely drought-resistant in my experience. Prolific producer with a long harvest.
  3. Purple Cherokee. The ripe fruits are greenish on top with red/purple/black the rest of the way down. The insides look like blood. It's a meaty, flavorful tomato that is also extremely adaptable to dry summers. Some summers I have gotten nothing but green zebra and purple Cherokee tomatoes, and for that, I love them. Not the biggest producer but a long harvest. Ripens well on the counter (1 plant this year? I forget).
I will have lots of paste tomatoes this year. Very exciting. Normally I grow a plant or two and then the drought keeps them from fruiting. But I think this year, I'll be making sauce all over the place.

Zinnias are blooming! So are bergamot, tickseed, yarrow, black-eyed susan, and lilies.

Enjoy the week!



West Frederick Farmer's Market: Vendors Information

We will be updating the list as we find out more information. (Last Updated: May 6, 2009)

A Better Choice Baked Goods
BB's Bagles & Bread
  • Specialties: Bagels made from scratch (Everything, Harvest, Cinnamon raisin, Sesame and others), Focaccia.
  • Website:
  • Contact: 301-846-0735
  • Location: 5866 Ballenger Creek Pike. Frederick, MD 21703
Boxwood Gardens
  • Boxwoods are forever.
  • Specialties: Boxwoods. Perennial plants.
  • Contact: Russ Turner,
  • Location: Darnestown, MD.
Cakes for Cause
  • A non-profit social enterprise bakery that provides job training for youth who are being served in public housing, foster care, or have aged out foster care in Maryland.
  • Specialties: Artisan breads, Croissants, Scones, Lemonades
  • Website:
  • Contact: Elin Ross,
  • Location: 21 East 5th Street Frederick, MD 21701
Caprikorn Farms
Cindy's Photo Pics
  • Specialties: Matted photos, Boxed notecards, Photo greeting cards, Framed photos. Vibrant colors, inter-playing shadows, and unique perspectives are primary characteristics of her work. Original prints are sold locally and many are scenes in and around Frederick County.
  • Website:
  • Contact: Cindy Stegle,
  • Location: Frederick MD
Chesapeake's Choice
  • Specialties: Rainbow eggs, Seasonal (and hard-to find) greens and vegetables, Herb plants.
  • Contact: Nancy and Dave Weiss,
  • Location: Middletown, MD
Ed's Bakery
Glade-Link Farm
  • Specialties: blueberries, sun flowers, raspberries, blackberries, pumpkins
  • Website:
  • Contact: Gwen Whitmore, 301-898-7131
  • Location: New Midway, MD
Imperial Chocolate Company
  • Specialties: Chocolate truffles (milk chocolate, dark Chocolate and dark chocolate raspberries and many other flavors).
  • Website:
  • Contact: Timothy Miller,, 301-788-5278
  • Location: 7900 Edgewood Farm Rd. Frederick, MD 21702
  • Order Pickup: Clustered Spires Pastry at 528 Montevue Lane, Frederick. Please call Tim first to arrange your pickup.
Jubilee Organic Farm
  • Specialties: Herbs (cuttings and plants), Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (Strawberries, Asparagus, Melons, Heirloom tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squashes)
  • Contact: Christopher Waesche
  • Location: Martinsburg, WV
M & W Nursery
  • Specialties: Dwarf and Rare Conifers, Perennial and Annual flowers and shrubs
  • Website:
  • Contact: Michal Dennis, 410-635-6305
  • Location: 15002 Oak Orchard Rd. New Windsor, MD 21776
New Hope Farms
  • Specialties: Certified Naturally Grown Produce (salad green mix, stir-fry green mix, crispy oriental cucumbers along with standard produce), Herb plants
  • Contact: Rieko and Erland Smith,
  • Location: 495 Martin Payne Rd. Kearneysville, WV 25430
Persimmon Pond Plants
  • Specialties: Perennials and Annuals, Cut flowers, Ornamental Gourds
  • Contact:Wendy Barth,
  • Location: 7600 Dance Hall Rd Frederick, MD 21701
Rohrer's Meats, etc...
  • Specialties: Pasture-raised and grain-finished Beef, Veal, Pork, Sausages, Chicken, Goat, Lamb, Eggs. No added hormone or growth-stimulant.
  • Contact: Danny Rohrer,
  • Location: Boonsboro, MD
Scenic View Orchards
So Very Special
  • Specialties: Herbal Skin Care Products made of only pure ingredients and their own herbs. Hand Cream, Hand Crafted Soap, Skin Cleanser, Toner.
  • Contact:
  • Location: Frederick, MD
Shuck Pottery
South Mountain Creamery
Summer Creek Farm
Thistle Rock Nursery
  • Specialties: Annual and perennial flowers, vegetable seedlings
  • Contact: Lisa, 301-432-2998.
  • Location: Sharpsburg, MD
Tomatoes Etc.
  • Specialties: Seasonal produce (green salad mix with edible flowers, young zucchini with blossoms, french filet beans, gourmet cucumbers, tomatoes, corns, french shallots, spring onions, garlic, radishes, baby beets), Herb Plants
  • Contact: Jim Crebs,

Whitmore Farm

  • Specialties: Maryland Organic-Certified farm heritage breed animals raised on pasture.
  • Location: Emmitsburg, Maryland
  • Contact:


West Frederick Farmer's Market: General Information

Potomac Physicians Parking Lot (Off Route 40, behind Holiday Cinemas)
110 Baughman's Lane
Frederick, MD

View Larger Map

Hours of Operation
Open Every Saturday, 10 am - 1 pm
From the first Saturday of May to Thanksgiving

Farmers are not allowed to sell anything till 10 am, until a bell rings . If you come to the market before 10, you can still pick and reserve what you would like to purchase at each stand, and purchase the items after the ring.

View detailed information about vendors at the Farmer's market.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

What $40 can get you from the farmer's market

Every week (unless I am in a working gulag at the old house) I go to the farmer's market on Baughman's lane with $40. I generally spend it down to almost nothing. Here is what I got today:

  • Ham salad sandwich from the Rohrers (aka Meat Man) which I promptly ate
  • Half gallon milk from the South Mountain Creamery (aka Milk Man, cost me a quarter after returning three deposit bottles)
  • a cup of fresh lemonade, 4 lemon-ginger scones (ate one), 2 cheddar-chive scones, and a chocolate croissant from Cakes for Cause
  • 1 bunch chard, three doggie biscuits (Lucy the dog ate two), and a patty pan squash from Chesapeake's Choice
  • 1 pint of organic yellow potatoes from Summer Creek Farm (and some water for Lucy)
  • a pint of cherries from the Scenic View Orchard
  • a pint of blueberries from Glade Link Farm (ate a few, FANTASTIC)
  • brought back $2.25.
I ran into a bunch of friends, Lucy made some new doggie friends, and my right hand went numb from carrying my heavy bag of booty. Yeon was busy talking to farmers about our blog; we are going to post whatever the farmers send us about what will be fresh the next week. Some of the farmers have mailing lists, so those will be easy to get.

Side note: I harvested some cherry tomatoes from the backyard last night. About five of them. I ate a few of the uglier ones with splits and left three on Edna's porch rail. I expect that her fresh produce radar has already found them...



Friday, June 27, 2008

First tomato! Plus- I got rid of extra tomato plants!

Hey! Yesterday I harvested my first tomato of the season. I don't have a picture because I broke my camera, but it was a little round pink-skinned beauty like a Prudens whose name I can't recall. I gave it to my 88-year old neighbor Edna, who practically snatched it out of my hands, she was so excited about it. She is going to stuff it (and a zucchini some neighbors of ours gave her) with sausage and make a few meals out of it. Sounds delicious.

I weeded my vegetable bed yesterday, the one with the seedlings that had begun to cry out "feed me, Seymour!" (from the Little Shop of Horrors, in case the reference is too obtuse). I dropped three tomatillo plants off at Vicky and Juan's place a few doors down, and as promised, jammed about a dozen vegetable plants into a few pots and took them over to Darlene's house. I showed up at her doorstep bedraggled and dirty. She was cleaning her porch furniture.

"Wow," I said. "You clean the furniture on the porch too."

She laughed and made some comment about how she likes to keep things tidy. Keep in mind that I was covered in filth all the way up my arms and I had actual rivers of sweat on my face.

I told her, "I brought you some tomato plants. They're in the back." And then I said, "I'm your dirty hippie friend who brings you plants."

Darlene looked at me and said, "nah, you're a normal" and then tried to invite me into her house. I refused to go because I was too dirty. She reminded me that she has a son. Just then I looked in the house and saw her son hitting himself on the face on purpose. Several times.

Then my dog crapped in her yard. "No problem," she said. "I'll get that later." People can be so charitable to dirty hippies.

We went to go look at the plants and she was thrilled with how big and healthy they were. Hooray! She's going to keep as many as she can and perhaps give some to the neighbors. I gave her garden peach; cherry; and hillbilly potato leaf varieties, plus a few tomatillo plants. She's going to use hangers for three of the tomato plants. They are going to take over.

Darlene showed me the cute little spot in her brick patio that she pulled out to grow cucumbers and watermelon. She created a sweet little bamboo tepee for the cucumbers, which are already trellising. "The watermelon plants are going to overrun your patio," I said.

"Yeah," Darlene answered, "when they do, I'll probably pull them out."



Thursday, June 26, 2008


Last year I bought a young tomatillo plant. It bloomed all right, but it never made a fruit! Well, I didn't know what to do even if it made fruits but once I had fruits, I was going to figure all out.
This year, I bought one each plant of green tomatillo and purple tomatillo at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. They bloomed for a while and then finally started making fruits! The photo shows my first harvest, which I happily gave away to my friends. I searched for a recipe and I found this Salsa de Tomatillo con Aguacate, basically spicy version of guacamole. I can't wait to try out the recipe Shannon just posted too! If you know a killer recipe for tomatillos, please let us know. I would love to explore the world of tomatillos!



Turn your tomatillos into Agua Verde

Since Yeon's tomatillos are ripening and I have six plants; and I got tequila for my birthday from Brad (urban pumpkin grower) and Danielle; and I saw this recipe in the March issue of Bon Appetit, I am going to share a cocktail recipe with you. I haven't tried it yet so you will have to let me know how it tastes:

Agua Verde
March 2008 Bon Appetit

  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1/2 fresh habanero chile
  • 1 c reposado tequila
  • 4 dashes Maggi Seasoning (liquid umami asian seasoning similar to soy sauce made from vegetable protein. Use another flavoring if you are sensitive to msg. )
  • ice
  • 4 sprigs cilantro
  • four radishes, halved
Puree whole tomatillos in a food processor. Strain through a sieve set over a bowl, pressing firmly on solids to yield 1 c juice. Discard solids. Mix salt and sugar in juice. Mix in garlic and chile. Let stand 1 minute. Discard garlic and chile.

Do Ahead- Tomatillo mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Stir tequila and Maggi Seasoning into tomatillo mixture. Fill 4 tall glasses with ice. Pour mixture over. Garnish each with cilantro and radish.



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The race is get rid of tomato plants

Call me sentimental, but I can't bear to throw away the tomato plants I lovingly grew from seed. My dilemma is that in another week they will choke out everything else. Except for the weeds. In the hierarchy of my vegetable garden, top-down, there is:

  1. Bindweed
  2. Pigweed
  3. Other weeds
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Viney fruit and vegetable plants
  6. everything else

If anyone knows a commercial purpose for bindweed, let me know. Because I've been pulling it out like crazy and I can't get rid of it, so it might as well be useful.

I was reading today on MSNBC about the salmonella scare with tomatoes. Apparently people are buying local tomatoes in droves. Perhaps they will discover the joy of buying produce from the producer. Another good reason to buy local: gasoline prices are raising the price of food astronomically. Well maybe not that high. But bad enough. Why buy tomatoes from thousands of miles away when you can support a farmer here? Or grow your own?

People are growing Victory Gardens this year. Victory over what, I am not sure.

Victory over stagflation! Victory over salmonella!

Perhaps I should just move the extra tomato plants to other places in the yard where they can compete with the pigweed and achieve me some kind of victory. But that means the dreaded word: CANNING. A little bit of canning is okay. That's when you say, "oh, look. I have a few jalapeƱos and an extra pile of tomatoes. Why don't I can some salsa?" Oh yes, that's so chic. But I am talking about serious canning here, the kind that my mother did when I was a kid, when the four 5-gallon buckets of squashed fruits sat on the back porch in 97 degree heat, giving her the finger while my dad said, "Judy, you'd better can those things today."

Good news: my friend Darlene is going to take a few of my tomato plants. "I'll bring some by," I said. In a wheelbarrow. Full. Good luck with your Anti-Salmonella Stagflation Victory Garden!



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June is a time for blueberries

Hi, I'm Shannon, and I'll be posting here with Yeon.

Something delicious I made with findings from the Farmer's Market: Fresh strawberries and chevre on toasted ciabatta slices. Hello, easy! I took a few slices of ciabatta from the Cakes for Cause booth and toasted it (that place has the BEST scones and croissants). Then I added chevre from the Caprikorn Farms (new place, so I had to check it out), and fresh sliced strawberries (from the booth on the left in the first row- I forget the name, but I am sure Yeon remembers). I had this for dinner one night when it was 100 degrees out. It only seemed fair that I could have dessert for dinner since it was so hot.

I've also had some delicious raw longhorn cheddar from the South Mountain Creamery. I was amazed at the range of flavors in this cheese and highly recommend it. Other market favorites include Canadian bacon from Rohrer's (very lean). I also recently bought fresh garlic (from Summer Creek Farm) and scapes (from aforementioned unnamed place) and was wild about them. The scapes were great stir-fried and grilled, and I used the garlic in everything. Not only did I keep the vampires away, but also many undesired people. Garlic works!

June is the month of blueberries. I was reminded of this when I saw my neighbor's ripening fruit today. I would love to grow berries next year, but I'll let you in on a little secret: they grow wild in DROVES in the mountains around Frederick. The Appalachian Trail has some outstanding picking, but you'll find blueberries everywhere. Blueberries are a low bush with fruit that is partly hidden. After a while, you'll recognize the bushes for their foliage and take mental notes on locations for the following year. Don't pick the berries until they are soft and almost black; the purplish ones are tart and unpalatable. And of course, if you are picking wild berries, leave some for other people and animals. Pick berries during the day, as we have bears around here, they come out at night, and they love the fruit.

Blooming now in my yard: hydrangea, yarrow, monarda, hosta, lavender.

The horse manure that I got this year had the seeds of a spiny weed in it that I have to wear leather gloves to remove. While I was away for a week, it took over. Luckily, it's not that hard to pull. Somewhere behind this abomination I have tomato plants that are starting to bear fruit. I also have bok choy that has already started to bolt. Note to self: next year, grow the cruciferous vegetables in the shade. My Chesapeake Bay Fish peppers are hiding below some other pepper plants and will have to be moved, as they are slow growers. Everything is a jumble and I am trying to cage stuff now; compare this to Yeon's ordered and virtually weedless garden of earthly delights and you will appreciate the differences in our personalities!

Several of my neighbors and I, including Yeon, are trying out a vegetable sharing scheme. So far I shared some mushrooms that I grew from a kit (incredibly delicious shiitake and blue oyster mushrooms). I have herbs but so does everyone. I'll have lots of tomatoes but so will everyone. Soon I will probably have some kale to offer. It looks like we may do better with plant sharing than with vegetable sharing, but we'll see.



Growing in my back yard

This is a photo of my starter bed, taken this morning. I probably have a photo of the same bed a month ago somewhere - I will post it if I find it. Some with keen eyes will notice that I have many young tomato plants here. Though young, they are flowering. They are ready to take off - they want to spread and create a tomato jungle. They can't stay in this bed any more. They need to find a new home.

It would be pretty tough to find somebody who would like to take these young plants, already being in late June, and I might have to retire them into a compost pile. If anybody wants organically home-grown tomato plants, please leave me a comment! Below is the list.

Amish Paste
Garden Peach
German Red Strawberry
Red Calabash
Cherry (prize of the trail)
Early big red

First three are heirloom tomatoes. It is funny that many tomato varieties have fruit names, such as peach, strawberry and cherry. There are also pineapple and yellow pear tomatoes too. Many times, these names are borrowed to describe the size, shape and color of tomatoes (such as in strawberry, cherry, peach and pear) but I have heard that pineapple tomatoes are so sweet that they taste like pineapple. I will have to try it out this summer.
Red Calabash and Prize of the trail tomatoes are started from organic seeds from Seeds of Change. The seeds were getting old so I had to use them all.
Ildi and Early big red were bonus seeds when I placed orders in two different companies. They are hybrid seeds and I am not sure how they would perform.

Since I accidently killed my indoor seedlings, I bought four young tomato plants to give myself a jump-start. They are getting huge and making fruits now. Will post more about these giants some time. Meanwhile, if you want free tomato seedlings, please let me know in a week!



I know my friend, that you have a song.

You just had such a wonderful dinner with the fresh produce you picked up at the farmer's market. All the ingredients were so fresh, so full of tastes, you didn't have to do much, other than let them do what they do best, being themselves. Now you are full with joy, and would like to share your secret recipe.

You just had the best peach you ever had in your life. How can a peach this year can beat the best peach last summer, I don't understand the mystery either. But you are convinced that you just had the sweetest, juiciest peach in your life. You want to capture this memory. You want to take a photo. You want to describe the sensation. You want to share that perfect peach.

You happened to pick up the piece of the bread, that would accompany your humble breakfast. You were starting another same day, same morning, but that piece of bread was gently sweet, telling you that it is okay to have another ordinary day, and that many days in our lives are like the piece of bread - it might be simple, ordinary but gently sweet.

Your hydrangea is tiny. You picked it up at the master gardener's plant sale a year ago. It didn't even bloom last year. It was more like a stick in the ground with a few, pitiful leaves. Now look at your hydrangea. It now has five branches with blossoms. Each blossom head is full with small flower buds, which open to show the tiny pink petals. You adore your hydrangea. Somehow your tiny hydrangea is 100 times prettier than your neighbor's which is 10 times bigger. How does this happen? How an affection for a plant can warp your standard for beauty?

Tell me your stories. Send me your songs. I would like to be a keeper of your memories., that is me and Shannon. Please add "Grown in Frederick:" in subject so that we can make sure your song safely lands in the inbox.


Searching for a farmer's market

When Dan and I first moved down to Frederick three years ago, there were three places that I had to find before anything else: farmer's market, public library, and thrift store.

We found a huge Goodwill place at the east Church street. Though all the items were in half chaos and finding things in that chaos was challenging, it still offered me a pleasure of treasure-hunting. Things have gotten better at the Goodwill over the years and I am happy to add that there is now order in that place.
Next thing we found was Frederick public library. Oh, how I love our library. I always borrow more books than I can read, and return them, and checked them out again. The fact that our library doesn't limit the number of books that we can borrow, doesn't help stopping my ambitious yet silly cycle. Whoever invented this free book lending system to public is a genius! (maybe my librarian friends can chime in and tell us a little history of public library.)

At this point all there was left to find was a farmer's market, and my expectation for farmer's market was set pretty high partly due to all the discoveries we were making in Frederick. Just by looking at people, walking down the streets, and driving around beautiful farmlands in the County, I was convinced that we must have one of the best farmer's markets. When we tried Frederick farmer's market at the fair ground, we were sadly disappointed. We gave another week of try and never went back. There were simply not many farmers there at all. We tried downtown Farmer's market at the Everedy Square. Fresh peaches, corns, eggs, salad mix, flowers and even wool they offered at the market was so precious, but the market was still rather small.
I don't think I knew about West Frederick farmer's market till the following year, until my friend Shannon told me about it. The same year we moved from out-skirt of Frederick city to downtown, and start meeting all the wonderful neighbors. My obsession to this farmer's market slowly but steadily grew after my first visit. If you insist comparing this market with other farmer's markets, yes, it is still smaller than those found in metro cities. But we got the farmers. We have these dedicated people who will rise as the Sun rises on Saturday morning to pick the best and freshest produce for us. We have these people who are breathing the nature to bring the best gift from the Mother earth. The market might be small, but we've got local orchard people, organic farmers, conventional farmers, flower people, artisan bakers, meat man, milk man, soap man, and even boxwood man! Add honey, hand-crafted chocolate truffles, photos, home-popped pop-corns, and pottery to this mix. How can you resist this delightful offering!
So now I am fully addicted. Below is the details of my addiction.

West Frederick Farmer's Market
Potomac Physicians Parking Lot (Off Route 40, behind Holiday Cinemas)
110 Baughman's Lane
Frederick, MD
Open Every Saturday, 10 am - 1 pm
From the first Saturday of May to Thanksgiving

Farmers are not allowed to sell anything till 10 am, until a bell rings . If you come to the market before 10, you can still pick and reserve what you would like to purchase at each stand, and purchase the items after the ring.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Naming is always tough.

I would like to start with a paragraph by Todd Hoff in his C++ Coding Standard.

Make Names Fit
Names are the heart of programming. In the past people believed knowing someone's true name gave them magical power over that person. If you can think up the true name for something, you give yourself and the people coming after power over the code. Don't laugh!

A name is the result of a long deep thought process about the ecology it lives in. Only a programmer who understands the system as a whole can create a name that "fits" with the system. If the name is appropriate everything fits together naturally, relationships are clear, meaning is derivable, and reasoning from common human expectations works as expected.

I spent about an hour staring at the blogger screen trying to figure out a name for this blog. The first idea was to name this "local harvest", and surprisingly this name was still available. However, I didn't want this blog to be compared with, which is one of the best websites that promote local farms, CSAs, farmer's markets... basically anything local produce.
After some more thoughts, "Grown in Frederick" was chosen as the blog name. In this space I hope we will share many stories, photos and recipes about fresh produce grown in and near Frederick MD. I hope with this space, passion for local food and the bonding with our local farmers will grow. As a gardener with many friends who can talk about tomatoes and peppers in their back yards for hours, I won't be able to resist the topic of urban gardening in this space either. In the end, the produce that we grow in our own back-yard is the most local and fresh produce we can eat.

I hope I captured the true name for this blog. I hope this name will empower the people who are coming to this space. This is locally grown in Frederick.