It's high season for Baltimore's Farmers' Market

Locally grown produce for Thanksgiving feasting

Outside: sports, activities, events

November 20, 2003|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

Whether it's turkey and stuffing for 20 or tofu and veggies for two that you'll be making this Thanksgiving, chances are you'll have to go out for groceries.

But you don't have to just share the holiday spending - er, spirit - with the area's bustling supermarket chains and massive commercial food marts.

You can spread the love to your local farmers and mom-and-pop growers, too.

The Baltimore Farmers' Market is a good place to start.

Located under the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga streets, the weekly, Sunday-morning bazaar abounds with fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade goodies that were produced in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The vast majority of the items were grown close by, said Tracy Baskerville of the Office of Promotion and the Arts, who noted that the market vendors are required to grow what they sell.

A few exceptions are permitted during busy holiday times, however, when seasoning ingredients such as citrus fruits and ham are brought in because of high demand, she said.

This year's array of homegrown Thanksgiving produce will include herbs, cabbage, root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips and potatoes) and greens.

Pick up some homemade sausage and a loaf of fresh-baked bread for gravy and stuffing recipes, or select from the assortment of baking supplies - honey, nuts, pumpkins and apples will also be on hand.

The wide variety of fresh ingredients will ensure a flavorful meal, but the food will benefit more than just the stomachs of your hungry kin.

The season's commerce is a boost for the region's farm economy as well, Baskerville said.

"Just coming to the market is helping the farmers. This weekend is their big weekend as far as selling produce and items."

So after you run out to the grocery store for a turkey and other Thanksgiving essentials, take a break and head for Baltimore's Farmers' Market, the largest in the area.

But if you want to pick up some tasty goodies and wholesome finishing touches for your feast, then get there early in the morning.

Baskerville said the bustling market may sell out sooner than usual this weekend when an expected 10,000 people - more than double the usual crowd - pay a visit.

The Baltimore Farmers' Market is at Holliday and Saratoga streets, under the Jones Falls Expressway. Hours are 8 a.m.-sellout Sundays. The market will remain operational through Dec. 21. For more information, call 877-BALTIMORE or visit www.promotionandarts.com.

For more on the outdoors, go to www.SunSpot.net/outdoors

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