This Week at Smart Markets Springfield

Features and specials at this week's Springfield farmers market.

This Week at our Springfield Market
Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
American Legion Post 176
6520 Amherst Ave.
Springfield, VA 22150

On the Way In and Out

This may be the last week for peaches, so stock up now for canning, freezing, or making the last great peach dessert of the season. I’m making this Peach Dessert.

Apples are in -- maybe even Honeycrisp this week. Look also for table grapes at Fetters Fruit Farm. And ask Dave Fetters about the pears -- they should be coming soon.

Special Events This Week

Uncle Fred is back! That’s always a special event. We are happy to have him for the holiday weekend. Remember that you can pre-order to be sure you get what you want. Call Fred at (540) 313-2222.

This Week at the Market

Fall is in the air and in the market, but we still have quite a selection of summer produce as well as early autumn crops. Jose, Alma and Pete have all the vegetables you need for your Labor Day picnic: corn, green beans, summer squashes, potatoes, winter squashes, and greens.

You will have a great selection of meats at the Windmill Meadows and Wicked Oak stands, including fresh chickens, whole and parts; grass-fed, free-range beef; rose veal; and pork. And also plenty of wholesome, unadulterated country eggs.

Valley View will have a variety of breads for your sandwiches, and our home bakers, Terri and Tanya, will bring some of those great desserts.

From the Market Master

Dear Shopper,

One of the many newsletters that I read on your behalf as well as mine arrived in the mail yesterday. I realized while reading it that my involvement with farmers’ markets and the changes we have made in our diet because of that has altered my view of what I see on the news and read in these newsletters.

The example at hand is the September issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Articles are available online only to subscribers, so unfortunately I can’t link to them here.

The front-page story is all about the danger of red meat. There is nothing really new here, but the story is based on a recent report by doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health. The report links the consumption of red meat to earlier death rates but never makes clear what is an acceptable amount to eat, and they admit they don’t know. What they do know is that red meat is high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and a form of iron that is not good for us. The story then suggests substituting chicken, nuts, and fish.

Nowhere in the story is there any mention of grass-fed beef, which is found most often at farmers’ markets but in grocery stores as well. Where have these doctors been? Was no doctor or technician working on this report who had heard about the significant differences between grass-fed, free-range beef and the beef they examined? Regardless, if you are looking for alternative protein sources, you can get chicken and fresh beans at our market.

I also learned that my “apple a day” piece last week was right on! The Harvard newsletter says that “an apple a day -- plus a walk -- might contribute to a longer life.” Boiled down, the recommendation an older women in particular is to add a piece of fruit or a vegetable to her daily diet and to get out for a 30-minute walk most days of the week. Make that fruit a good apple (or Asian pear, now in season) from the farmers’ market, and you are halfway there.

Even if those apples cost a little more at the market, remember that unable huge corporate farms, our farmers cannot absorb the loss of a third of their crop to a hailstorm, as the Tysons suffered this year. And crop subsidies don’t cover their losses; they just go without that expected income when they lose crops to drought, a deluge, or a swarm of stink bugs. Besides, local apples taste so much better, maybe you will want to eat one every day. If you pay a higher price, it is the cost of staying healthy.

The Harvard newsletter also contained an article about what you can eat to minimize the need for vitamin D and calcium supplements. Yogurt is a great source of calcium, and you can buy the best yogurt around at most of our farmers’ markets. Cheddar cheese and kale are other good sources of calcium, and milk and yogurt are also mentioned as good sources of Vitamin D. Several of our markets carry all of those products.

The inveterate market shoppers among you might have picked up on these same things, but can you remember when you wouldn’t have? When the farmers’ market in your neighborhood was not even on your radar or weekly agenda? A weekly commitment to buying local will change your life and your viewpoint. And that’s a good thing!

See you at the market!


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