Farmers' Market to keep growing

First Sunday shopping has crowds, few crops

June 07, 1999|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Monica Colston went shopping for dinner yesterday under the Jones Falls Expressway, where the picky shopper found a crowd and several deals -- but not everything she wanted -- on this year's opening day of the Baltimore Farmers' Market.

"This is just the first day," said Colston, a 30-year-old letter carrier who lives in Northwest Baltimore. "Soon, everything will be full, and there'll be a lot of competition."

For 22 years, the makeshift market has been enticing residents looking for produce, flowers, herbs and knickknacks. It is scheduled for 8 a.m. every Sunday until Dec. 19 on a city parking lot at North Holliday and East Saratoga streets.

With trucks and cars rumbling overhead on the expressway, and the aroma of pit beef drifting, Colston led her 2-year-old son, Eric, past the tables about 11: 30 a.m.

It was too early in the season for most produce. Farmers were selling a few heads of broccoli, some lettuce, snow peas and small strawberries. But that didn't bother Colston, who has been shopping at the market almost every Sunday for three years.

Colston bought one of the last remaining heads of romaine lettuce from farmer Richard Seletzky of Manchester.

"Next week, we should have more spinach, lettuce, peas," Seletzky said. "Each week, we'll have more and more."

Colston moved on, eyeing strawberries that were just a little too small, then brown eggs that were too expensive.

She settled on $2.90 worth of cheese from Bedford Produce of Harford County -- and a pound of jumbo shrimp from a nearby table for the grill.

"I'm still looking forward to next week," said Colston, "to get my squash and vegetables."

Pub Date: 6/07/99

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