We love the Portsmouth farmer's market. Okay, truthfully, we love all farmer's markets. I've been a regular visitor since about 1999 when I lived in Oxford, OH. Their market was tiny and just started as a couple farmers sitting in the parking lot of a school.
When we moved to Iowa we went to the Grinnell market every week. The dirt in the midwest is, maybe, the most fertile anywhere and it's pretty easy to grow seemingly anything in great abundance. The summer of 2000 we were so amazed with the quantity, quality and prices that we were immediately hooked (plus that's just after I really started reading about food production). Maybe the greatest farmer's market in the country is in Des Moines, there was more than we could imagine.
Subsequently, we moved to the east coast, the DC area. We were regulars at the College Park, Baltimore, and DC markets. But, that paled in comparison to our love for the Takoma Park market. First, it's year round. Second, there's an egg guy who was sold out within 5 minutes of opening because his prices were so low. Third, there were these scones... Finally, the farmers... They were (a) required to be within 150 miles, and (b) sustainable. There was a mix of meat, produce, dairy, and fruit. The apples lasted through the winter until the berries started coming in. Asian pears, peaches, ... The produce came early and lasted late. Since then all the others have suffered a bit in comparison.
But, as we've moved north we've started to appreciate the coming of the spring even more. The market opening, the first greens appearing (fiddleheads), and the gradual change from asparagus to lettuce to chard and more.
This week peas appeared (last week we were up the coast and they were 2 weeks behind in terms of the growing season). HPF gave us some sugar snap peas (by which I mean, we bought) and we picked up some snow peas from Wake and some parsley from the herb guy on the south side of the market.
How'd we eat them? Kate made up a little vinegarette (oil, white basalmic, salt, pepper and a bit of parsley). I'm not sure what she did with them, I was "resting my eyes" at the time. But, I took the strings out of a handful of each and microwaved them for 30 seconds, tossed with a little of the vinegarette. Mmm tasty.