Farmers markets provide customers with direct access to the growers and artisans who show up each week with fresh produce and goods. I love visiting Richmond’s South of the James market in Forest Hill Park because it offers a wonderful (and large) mix of food items and arts & crafts. The line-up of vendors can vary slightly from week to week, but most are regulars throughout the May-Dec season. I thought it might be fun to offer a small tour of some of my favorite places to shop, based on my 25 May visit to the market.
My husband and I love goat cheese, and there are usually several booths offering tastes of their handcrafted goat cheeses in different flavors.
Goats-R-Us has a large selection of sweet and savory cheeses, and we often pick up a container of their Horsey Chevre (made with horseradish), because it tastes great on crackers and as a sandwich spread. The 4 oz. containers of cheese are $5.50 each, and they offer a Buy 9-Get 1 Free “Frequent Buyer” card.
During this visit, we also made a first-time purchase of some of the Lachevriere Cendre from the Bonnyclabber Cheese Co. at Sullivan’s Pond Farm. This soft goat cheese is coated in a mixture of grapevine ash and sea salt, and had an amazingly rich flavor that made us immediate fans.
For people who can cook (like my husband) and who enjoy quality seafood, you can’t beat Barham’s. The seafood offered here comes fresh off the fishing boat, nestled on ice in large coolers. Those who arrive late on a Saturday morning risk experiencing one of the market’s saddest sights – a “Sold Out” written next to the item they were hoping to have for dinner.
On this particular day, Barham’s didn’t have the salmon we were hoping for, so Stephen instead picked out three pieces of tuna for grilling. We ate two pieces for dinner with Stephen’s homemade tartar sauce, and he used the third piece to make tuna salad for sandwiches.
If you’d like a change from grocery-store peanut butter, check out Reginald’s Homemade. Their creamy and crunchy peanut butters are really good, but if you’re feeling adventurous, Stephen loves their Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter, while I’m a fan of their Cashew Nilla Cashew Butter. We didn’t buy anything during this particular visit, but I’m seeing a jar of their Double Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter in my future.
Stay tuned to this blog for the exciting conclusion to my tour of the South of the James Farmers Market!
(The South of the James Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to Noon Saturdays in Forest Hill Park, 42nd Street and New Kent Avenue. The 2013 season runs 4 May through 7 December.)