January 8th, 2018

Milking the Market

by Nate Charnas

When Laureen Brunelli started shopping at the Waverly Farmers Market eight years ago in search of hormone-free milk for her three children, she didn’t expect to be coming back almost every Saturday. She started with a shopping list consisting of five half-gallons of South Mountain Creamery‘s milk, eggs, and cheese. But then she began visiting other farmers’ stands, and fruits and vegetables soon became a regular item in her shopping bags. Before long, she found herself cooking more and more vegetables year-round. Now, Laureen is a member of the One Straw Farm CSA, and she does most of her meal planning for the week at the market. “Fresh and local is always going to taste better,” she explains.

Laureen says she really enjoys the year-round aspect of Waverly, citing that even in the winter there are still plenty of things for her to buy. She’s admittedly reluctant to identify a favorite vegetable, preferring to say that her favorite thing to eat or cook changes with the season. In the spring, for example, she’s a fan of the kale and other greens, but during the summer, she likes…well…everything. sespite her overwhelming love for…well…everything, She’s a discerning shopper, especially when it comes to tomatoes. She regularly makes a complete loop around market before buying any so she can find the very best tomatoes for the best price. Her daughter’s penchant for apples, coupled with the fact that they are available at market nearly all year long, means Laureen spends a lot of time carting apples home from the market. When her children were younger, they would wake up early to accompany her in hopes of getting goodies at the market (scones!).

But Laureen has found that Waverly has more than just good groceries. She enjoys watching the children appreciate the music at market. (The guitarist and accordionist are the biggest stars!) And since her children are now teenagers who seem less interested in milk than when they were young, Laureen has less to bring back from the market. This means she can bike there from her house in Patterson Park, and she has found it’s a wonderful way to get a ride in on a Saturday morning.

The 32nd Street Farmers Market is located at the intersection of E. 32nd Street and Barclay in Baltimore City and is open from 7am until noon every Saturday all year long.

About the Author Nate Charnas

Nate Charnas is an AmeriCorps VISTA at MDFMA focusing on increasing benefits access for farmers market customers. He is originally from San Francisco and hopes the good people of Baltimore will accept all of his Giants clothing as a sign of solidarity with the Orioles.