July 10th, 2017

A Bicycle Built for Food (or, Bike to Market Day is Back!)

by Michele Levy

The third MDFMA/Bikemore Bike to Market Day is this Saturday (7/15). And where better than the 32nd Street/Waverly Farmers Market, where Zeke’s iced coffees await within feet of the bike valet?

For those new to the Waverly market, I say without fear of over-promising: prepare your senses for an adventure. This, my friends, is peak market season! July is when Maryland’s agricultural community really struts its stuff. We’re talking peaches and corn, tomatoes and basil, peppers and cherries– tart and sweet. Added bonus: breakfast options at Waverly abound! Refuel from your ride with a Blacksauce biscuit sandwich or a samosa from The Curry Shack. Craving lighter fare? Head for a wrap from Farm to Face Falafel or a gluten-free, vegan baked treat from Harmony Bakery.

By now, three Bike to Market Days in, we’re all pros at the basic how-to’s of transporting market goodies by bike (if you need a refresher, check out Bikemore’s excellent tips). But today we’re getting a little more advanced. After all, nothing reverses the high of a market outing more quickly than the discovery of squished tomatoes in your panniers.

Tip #1: Shop first, load last

Rather than cram your market acquisitions into your saddlebag or backpack as you shop, bring a few reusable bags to carry through market. Once you’ve stocked up on enough greens, sauerkraut, and goat milk fudge (yes, that’s a real—and very important—thing) to get you through the week, then repack your haul for the ride home. Not only are you more likely to avoid breakage or damage, but smart packing may also leave you with some extra room to squeeze in that loaf of fresh bread you’d been eyeing.

Tip #2: Bring containers

Some of summer’s most coveted treats are also the most fragile—we’re talking blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes (are you hungry yet)? Farmers generally appreciate when you leave them the display box, and your own solid container will do a far better job protecting your goods. A simple fix: grab a few Tupperware or empty yogurt tubs before leaving the house.

Tip #3: Try something new!

Ok, so this one isn’t bike specific. But it’s key to unlocking what makes farmers market shopping so special. This week, pick up a vegetable that you haven’t tried before. The farmer will gladly tell you how to select, store, and prepare it– don’t be shy! Not only might you discover a new summer favorite, but you’ll also get to connect with the person who grew your food. For a handy guide to what’s hot at Maryland markets this month, check out MDFMA’s July Shopping List.





About the Author Michele Levy

Michele oversees food access programming for the MDFMA and is deeply committed to situating our work in social justice movements, both nationally and within the state. She can't imagine a Saturday morning without her weekly pilgrimage to the farmers market, which is vital for fueling her kale habit.