Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This week is Buy Local Challenge” week, which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally-grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day. 

Buying local is good for you, good for the local economy, and good for the planet.  In addition to providing food that’s fresh and nutritional, buying food from local farms promotes cleaner air and water and reduces our carbon footprint.  Buying local keeps your dollars circulating in the community.  Buying local cuts down on the distance food travels reducing the consumption of oil and carbon emissions nationwide.  As Governor O’Malley said; “as anyone who has driven the Beltway knows, a tomato that has had to come a long distance to get here will be so stressed out that it can’t possibly taste as good as one grown right here in Maryland.”
The Buy Local Challenge is simple.  For one week; July 17-July 25th, everyone in Maryland is encouraged to eat local items every day.  Please don’t stop with just the farms…remember our hardworking local watermen as well.   

Here is a recipe for a wonderful Tomato, Corn and Crab Salad that will make a wonderful main dish on a hot summer evening.

1 Lb Maryland lump crab meat
2 large local tomatoes
3 ears of local sweet corn
1 local onion
1/8 c brown sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Old Bay
1 bunch chopped parsley
1 bottle local white wine reduced to 1 cup.
Dice onion and tomato, remove corn from cob and toss everything together.

Friday, July 9, 2010

CPRC Storytime Features our Underground Buddies Earthworms!

July 10th, Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel

      • Read by Nicole Barone Callahan
      • Worm and composting display by Cheverly Green Plan

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farmer Russ says that this is the kind of year for bankruptcy on some farms.  These are the hard times that you pray never come and hope you have enough reserve to make it through.  We are running irrigation pumps from the ponds from 4:30 in the morning until 9 each night.  We pray for rain because the ponds are not bottomless.  Irrigation water out of the ponds is also just a substitute and not a replacement for a good rain.  The fuel costs of running just the water pumps is staggering.  There will be reduced yields in many crops and sometimes reduced quality.  When a plant is forming it's flower or fruit it needs exactly the right amount of water and sun at exactly the right temperature to form an ideal product.  A miracle of life that is around us every day and that we sometimes overlook in perfect conditions.
     You also asked if prices would increase.  Our operation is two-fold; retail and wholesale.  We can't exist without both of these.  On the retail side we come to Farmer's Markets like Cheverly.  Communities where we have grown close to our customers, and know them by name.  We know what they like, what produce they wait for all season.  We know many times what they do for a living, how big their families are, how many kids they have in college, or if they have a medical problem.  We know what it costs to put healthy fresh food on the table every night and we feel like we're partners in helping our customers to do this.  We hate to raise our prices and we haven't raised them on most of our produce in several years.  Yes, we have to make a living too, but we try always to be very fair.  On the wholesale end, we unfortunately don't get to determine the prices.  We have to accept what they offer or they will go elsewhere.  In a bad year for one region the big chains will just pull from another.  They have to stay in business as well.
     On a good note, in a dry, hot year you will have a reduced incidence of disease in some crops and have less need for crop protectants.  Another benefit is that the fruit will be sweeter because the sugars get concentrated.  The stress of the heat and the drought is physically and mentally challenging, but the fact that halfway across the world in some God forsaken land young men and women the same age as our boys risk their lives every day and don't have the benefit of a few stolen minutes of air conditioning and an ice cold Gatorade, puts the whole thing in perspective and allows us to keep plowing ahead.
     Additionally, on 6/29 we found a baby girl in the cabbage patch.  Kallie Marie Shlagel was born to our oldest Karl, and his wife Apryl.  New life gives us renewed strength and optimism.
Last market day everyone got to meet Farmer Russ, as I had to take Karl's market in Rockville.  This week I'll be back and I'll be bringing: Huge sweet onions (wait until you see these babies), spring onions, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, watermelon, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, green beans, kale, collards, cabbage, squash, zucchini, specialty peppers and we just started picking eggplant.  I'll also be bringing ciders. I've enclosed a few pictures of Luke doing tractor work in a cloud of dust and some of irrigation water raining down.  See you on Saturday.      Eileen Shlagel

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Precious Produce

This past June was the hottest on record for our area, and July is now poised to be even hotter. As we've retreated to air-conditioned comfort and indoor plumbing, our farmers have spent grueling, long hot days in their fields trying to save their crops. 

Matt Rebert writes, "Mother Nature has us scrambling.  We are trying to irrigate as much as possible with trickle.  The only problem is we haven't really used our system much in the last two years - and things aren't running smoothly---yet.  We are pumping water on our apples, peaches, tomatoes, etc.  Our corn is suffering the most.  We have to rely on overhead irrigation for the corn which is not very efficient."

Kristen Carbone with Radix Farm sent in her report. "We plan to be at the market on Saturday.  Hopefully with plenty to sell, but some things on my list are tentative due to the weather.  I haven't had any major devastation from yet, but the recently seeded crops are growing very slowly, and the tomatoes and eggplants aren't really setting new fruits in this heat.  Some plants (like tomatoes) stop growth when the temperature is over 90 degrees, so the heat and the lack of rain are really taking a toll on even seemingly healthy plants."

Sally Voris of White Rose Farm has posted "Of Loss and Lettuce" on her farm blog.

We are waiting to hear from Eileen and Russ, Emma Dudley, and Al Pong, and will post as soon as we can.

 In spite of the wicked weather and to the credit of the determination and perseverance of our farmers, Saturday's market is worth making  a SPECIAL EFFORT to come and shop. 

Yellow and White Peaches
A variety of plums
Lodi apples

Radix Farm
Summer Squash
Bok Choi
Herb Seedlings
and possibly small amounts of peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.

White Rose Farm
Pork: sausage, pork chops and ham slices, and we
have many other cuts available. This month we are featuring ham
ends--not slices--and our hams are on sale for $4.00/pound. People can
pre-order from our web site any cut we have available and we will
deliver on Saturday.

This is from the garden:
Beans, Roma--and possibly Burgundy
Onions, cipolini, scallions, Red Bull, and Shallots
Potatoes, Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold and All Blue
Squash, Summer
Tomatoes, Early Girl and Sun Gold

Basil: Anise, Genovese, Lemon, Opal and Thai
Celery, leaf
Parsley, Flat Italian

Flowers: Zinnias

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


What makes a great city?  Farmers Markets!   TRAVEL + LEISURE has just come out with its Annual America's Best Cities List. While great weather, parks, and family atmosphere were predictable factors,  the presence of fantastic farmer's markets helped separate the "Best" from the "Worst."

So make the Cheverly Community Market your Weekend Getaway Destination on July 10.

This is one Road Trip that
1. Includes your friends and neighbors
2. Is fun for the whole family
3. Won't have a carbon footprint, and
4. Won't involve backseat cries of  "Are We There Yet?"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CPRC Forecast for this Market: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!

When the band goes on their 10 a.m. break, the fun for kids begins! Join us at 10:00 a.m. at every Cheverly Community Market for story time and a craft or snack featuring goods from one of the vendors.
Children can get a special sticker cards. Each time they come to story time at the CPRC Kids' Corner they will earn a sticker. It only takes five stickers to win a great prize from a vendor.


*Read by Ann Barsi
* Snack Of Sausage bites from Simply Sausage
*50 cents off coupon to use at Simply Sausage

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to read a story one week, please contact Anna Smith.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Local Baby Food and a Local Blog to Bookmark

Many of us in Cheverly know Aimee O. through her work with Progressive Cheverly. The Weekday Nursery crowd knows her as "Lucas's Mom."  Her other son, Nathaniel, who is five months old, knows her as the center of his world.

We all know Aimee to be smart and savvy, so it came as no surprise to me to find out that she is also the author of two very pertinent, thoughtful, and informative blogs Smiling Mama  and Out by Ten.

Her latest posts are connected to the Cheverly Community Market.  In Out by Ten, Aimee does us a great service by promoting  CPRC's Kid's Corner.  Smiling Mama tells a more personal but just as informative story about transforming squash from last Saturday's market into baby food for Nathaniel. (His first veggies!)

Kudos to Aimee for the great work and we hope you visit her blogs often.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jammin' and Story Tellin' by CPRC - 10 am at the Market this Saturday

Breaking News!  Cheverly Community Market is an even more kid-friendly market. This season, Cheverly Parent Resource Center (CPRC) will be sponsoring a storytelling/craft event at each market that features one or two of our two vendors.

So get your little one's down to the market for CPRC storytelling at 10 am. Martha's Jams will be featured with the reading “The Giant Jam Sandwich,” by John Vernon Loyd. All children attending will receive a coupon good for 50 cents off a jar of Martha’s Jams.  All kids who sign up for the Kids’ Corner at the Market will get a sticker each time they come, and after getting 5 stickers, they get a small prize from a vendor.

Thanks to Ann Barsi, Anna Smith, and CPRC for their commitment, creativity, and contributions toward making Cheverly a great place for kids and their families!


It's time to dust off your bike, skateboard, roller blades and join all of Cheverly for a celebration of summer on Cheverly Avenue in front of Legion Park this Saturday from 8 to noon. As of today we know what some of our vendors are bringing...early summer is full of tender treats, beautiful flowering plants and the possibilities of crops to come. And remember, breakfast is served if you visit  Cheverly Breadbasket and CHVBrew! Our guest winery this week is Running Hare Vineyard from Prince Frederick in Calvert County!

Taste of Tuscany comes to Cheverly Market- Make Running Hare part of your local menu!

If you ever go to any of Maryland's wine festivals, you will see long lines forming to taste some of Barb and Mike Scarborough's Running Hare Vineyard
's Napa and Tuscan-style wines. Their beautiful 300-acre Southern Maryland farm features gently curving hills planted with grapes and a lovely new building appropriate for seated dinners of up to 260 guests. You would think you were visiting the hills around Florence, not Prince Frederick, all within an hour's drive of Cheverly.

Their Pinot Grigio is their best-selling wine, a balanced citrus complement to any fish or chicken dish. Jack Rabbit Red and White wines are popular fruit-filled choices and the peppery notes of their wonderful Malbec are a good match for beef and pasta. Looking for an after-dinner wine akin to tawny port--ask for the Chambourcin, made from grapes that thrive on their farm.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Container Gardening: Vegetables and Fruits in Small Spaces

Hello Cheverly Community Market Friends

It's been a while since I wrote an article for Examiner.com.  I hope you will read it and pass it along!

Thank you for your support!

Audra Russell

Friday, May 28, 2010

Make Culinate Your "GO TO" for Seasonal Recipes

Before you make your shopping list for the next Cheverly Community Market, be sure to check out Culinate!

There will be plenty of strawberries at this market. Buy extra and freeze some for later in the season.

Make a strawberry rhubarb crisp for your Memorial Day picnic. Or how about rhubarb shortcake?

What to do with Arugula? Try Ina Garten's pizza recipe.

Bookmark Culinate and get inspired!
Strawberries * Rhubarb * Asparagus * Salad Mix, mild and spicy * Spring Onions * Spinach * * Beet Greens * Swiss Chard * Peas * Radishes * Arugula * Kale  *Collards * Hakurei Turnips * Garlic Scapes * Swiss Chard * Radishes * Herbs* EggsOysters * Free -Range Pork * Artisan Sausages * Sockeye Fillets * New England Dry Scallops * Smoked Keta Salmon *  * Ahi Tuna * Mahi * Chesapeake Rockfish Fillets  * Organic Breads and Pastries * Local Wine * Eve's Cheese * Martha's Jams * Mystic Water Soap * Cookies to Cocktails * Rose Fennel Pottery
Come Taste Spring: peppery arugula,  tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries, tender peas, leafy lettuces, and earthy asparagus. After a long dreary winter of  pushing shopping carts through florescent-lighted grocery stores, it's time to step out of your house and shop in the open air, share menu ideas with your fellow neighbors, and celebrate the first "real" fruits and vegetables of 2010.

Sure. You could go to the local Giant and shop and get your coupon for a discount on gasoline. Or you could go to Costco and load up your trunk with super-sized, over-packaged, irradiated and mass-produced produce many, many miles from the fields where it was grown. BUT.......

Spring is a time for renewal and hope.  This spring, I hope you review your shopping and eating habits and return to a tradition that is seasonal, local, and fresh.  I hope you take time to think about the source of the food you eat and the impact that your shopping habits have on the environment, local economy, your family's health, and the taste and quality of your meals.  Most of all, I hope that you come to market, shop with all your senses, take your market purchases home, and immediately experience the intimate reverie of eating food picked just hours ago, a few miles away, by a farmer who has directly benefited from your purchase.

So load up on strawberries this weekend. They won't be around for much longer. See you soon!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Informative Films on Food

Today, Cheverly Resident Lorey Hallada called and said she had recently watched Food Inc.

If you haven't watched it yet, I encourage you to do so. It changed Lorey's perspective on what kinds of food choices she will make for her family. "I will definitely be a loyal shopper at the Market this season," she said.

For those of you who have watched Food Inc, and are interested in other films, I strongly recommend The Future of Food It's a whole hour, so make sure you have some time. It will probably bore the kids, but if you like documentaries, it is classic.

If you missed Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution it's worth watching. This is a good show to watch with the family and have group discussion afterward.

Finally, Cooking up a Story is a collection of videos that serve up a powerful dose of food awareness in 5 to 9 minutes.

Watch and then get out and plant some tomatoes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Meet Audra Russell and Follow Her Blog!

Hi Friends of Cheverly Community Market. Meet Audra Russell. Her energy is amazing and she'll be vending at our market this year.

"I am a certified master gardener and have been growing vegetables the all natural way for five years now. It is important to me to feed my family fresh fruits and vegetables that have no pesticides or processed fertilizers. I believe you should be able to walk into a garden and eat right from the vine.
I grew up spending alternate summers with both sets of my grandparents. My paternal grandmother owned a 22 acre farm in Minnesota. My grandmother raised her own cows for butchering, had her own chickens and grew her own fruits and vegetables. My maternal grandparents had a one acre lot across from their house. They grew and canned their own food to feed their family of eleven.
When I began my garden, it was intended to show my children where food comes from. Thatfirst garden awakened my passion for growing my own food, which led to my decision to become a master gardener. I enjoy sharing what I learn--and grow--with others."

What would our world be like if more people did what Audra does? She'd love to hear from you. Post your comments below. She also welcomes new readers to her blog to share her garden experiences and see what's growing. Follow her at http://fatearth.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring is here- Fresh, local asparagus. Perfect!

Spring has finally arrived! The asparagus is jumping out of the ground. This is delicious, all natural, (no chemicals used) asparagus. Eileen Shlagel will be coming to the Cheverly Community Center on Saturday, April 10, from 10-11am with FRESH/LOCAL eggs and FRESH/LOCAL asparagus. The eggs are $4.00/doz and the asparagus will be $4.00 for a large one-pound bundle. When you buy it in the grocery store, it's usually 10 days old already, so you have plenty of time to savor what you buy on Saturday because it will be cut on Friday or Saturday am. E-mail me your orders of eggs or asparagus or both, and as always, I will bring some extra! Buy some for a friend! Nothing says "I love you", like a bunch of asparagus! Eileen Shlagel eshlagel@verizon.net Last Saturday, Ed Terry and MJ Coolin bought Eileen's eggs and rushed home and made themselves a delicious, healthy asparagus omelette breakfast with the farm-fresh eggs, along with Eve's Cheese smoked cheddar cheese grits and fresh rosemary bread. Imagine how great your weekend will be if you follow Ed and MJ's example!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Fruits of Labor on the Reberts Farm

Matt Rebert gives us insight into the "Off" season on the family Farm: "Our winter was also very snowy. I'll give you a brief idea of what happens on our farm in the "off" season. In October, we begin to mow over the vegetable fields. We seed the fields with a cover crop, either rye or winter wheat. In November (always Thanksgiving weekend), we begin to mulch the strawberries with oat straw. December means time to start trimming apple trees. All the apples get trimmed before we move on to the next fruit. In February and March, we begin to trim the stone fruits. My brother Mark finished up peaches on Friday, March 26, and moved to the cherries the next day -- Saturday. Our dad fertilized the raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries the last week of March. On Friday dad began to mulch the apple brush. In April, as soon as the ground dries, we will begin to plow under the cover crop and get the fields ready for planting vegetables. We also plant our new trees and strawberries in April. We are replacing some old apricots and apples with new trees this spring. The strawberries we plant this spring won't be ready to pick until next year. After the first full moon in May, we remove the straw from our existing strawberry patches, and let the berries go into bloom. We had more snow this winter than we have had in the past few years. Besides keeping us out of the orchards for a long time the snow actually has some benefits. The snow helps to restore the ground water, hopefully meaning it won't be too dry this summer. Snow also acts as a protective barrier to the cover crops, protecting them from the harsh winter temperatures. We had 28 inches of snow on Feb 6th and 42 inches on Feb 10th. Up until last week there was still places you could see snow. I hope this gives an idea as to what we do over late fall and winter." --- MATT REBERT

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thank You

Thanks to all of our vendors, volunteers, and customers for a wonderful 2009 season. And many thanks to the community for supporting Cheverly Community Market.