This Week at the Smart Markets Centreville Farmers' Market

We'll be closing this market permanently after next week, but we invite you to visit us at a new location in Manassas Park.

This Week at Our Centreville Market
Friday 3:30–6:30pm
5875 Trinity Pkwy.

On the Way In and Out

Think soups, stews, and apple desserts. Try this simple and tasty squash bisque recipe with Jose’s acorn squash. Please take the time to make your own rich chicken broth with parts from Windmill Meadows and make sure to use Jacob’s half-and-half or cream in the soup. It won’t take much of either to produce a creamy soup.

Doug Linton has many roasts at this time of year, and all work well in the Comforting Shredded Beef recipe. His short ribs come out falling off the bone from the slow cooker or braising pot.

And check out the Smart Markets tent for new apple dessert recipes. Or just make applesauce and then the applesauce cake, but make sure to use the local cider at Tyson’s tent along with their apples. Make enough and you can feed your kids all winter long. It doesn’t take much of this rich applesauce to fill them up, especially since you do not peel the apples. That fiber is a real filler-upper.

This Week at the Market

Next week, October 19, will be our last market for this season and at this location. We have enjoyed our years at Trinity Centre but could just never get this market off the ground, and by this time we should be soaring. However, we are not moving too far away for you to continue to visit us each Friday afternoon.

We will be moving next spring to Manassas Park, lock, stock, and apple boxes, and will set up at the corner of Manassas Drive and Railroad Drive next door to the VRE railroad station. We will have the same hours unless we decide to stay open till 7 p.m. We are waiting to hear from VRE about their arrival times at that station.

Manassas Park reached out to us, and we will work closely with the staff at their fabulous new community center on many health and wellness projects. We also are going after grant funding to open several pop-up markets in the lower-income areas of the city, where we will be accepting food stamps for the first time.

While for some of you I am sure this will be an inconvenience, it is only a ten-minute drive in normal traffic, and I hope some of you live somewhere between our present and future locations. Please check out our year-round markets this winter, and you may find one worth a little longer trip on a Saturday or Sunday.

We also invite you to a special Meet Your Market event at the new site on the evening of October 26. From 3:30–6:30 p.m., we will have a grand old time with music, great food from your favorite providers, and some other surprises for the kiddies. Everyone wearing a costume will also receive free treats.

Thank you for some great years at Trinity Centre, and thanks to the staff who have been so gracious and supportive. They can’t help that no one could see us.

From the Market Master

Dear Shopper,

Since Smart Markets opened its first market on the grounds of a public school in June of this year, we have become even more involved with parents of young children who are vigorously committed to raising healthy children by increasing the real food that they eat, limiting the “snacks, seconds and sweets,” and eliminating the “edible food-like substances.” Those words in quotes are from the little book that I have quoted before by Michael Pollan, titled Food Rules.

This fall, I have been not advising so much as reinforcing two committees of parents at Piney Branch Elementary School in Bristow that are working to introduce their school population to ideas about what we should eat and why. I will be sitting in on another meeting soon where we will discuss plans for Food Week, which begins with Food Day on October 22. I thought I would look through Pollan’s book for “rules” that the elementary school-aged kids could relate to.

It was easy to come up with a representative sample of quotations that cry out for illustrative projects and displays that kids can create themselves. Just imagine what a group of children could do with these rules. I have done some of the work for you, but I am sure that every parent and every teacher can think of more projects.

For the youngest children:

“Avoid foods you see advertised on television.” Watch your favorite TV programs and make a list of the foods that are advertised.

“Eat only foods that will eventually rot.” They would have a ball with this one, but the classroom might become slightly if not seriously rank.

“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.” Can’t you see a colorful chart of foods made in factories and an even more colorful chart of foods grown in the ground?

For older grades in elementary school:

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” A student could interview a great-grandmother or grandmother about what they recognize from the grocery store that they ate when they were growing up and what they don’t recognize.

“Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.” Create a project to determine the percentage of products on one shelf in the grocery store that meet this requirement. (Not all the products on store shelves that meet this criterion are healthy, but it is still important to learn how to recognize those that do.)

“Avoid products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.” This could lead to a classroom elocution lesson unlike any in a curriculum guide.

“Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not.” This would put to good use basic science and interpretive skills -- looking for cheese that does not contain milk and other foods with fake rather than real sugars, real fats or real sweeteners. Remember when we were told that margarine was good for us? If we followed this rule, we would never have known what Imperial was. And we’d be healthier for it as a nation, too.

“Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.” This one would require some Web research, but what an eye-opener for fifth- or sixth-graders to learn how food is really made in a factory. It’s these processes that lead to salmonella in peanut butter, pretty much on a regular basis now.

“It’s not food if it is called the same thing in every language.” Another great project for an early introduction to food that is eaten in foreign countries.

And for all ages: “Buy your snacks at the farmers’ markets.” Even the treats have been made by hand and therefore can have less sugar and more fiber than just about any treat bought in the grocery store.

I may go through the remaining two sections of the book next week and suggest some other ideas. These are not just for the teachers but for you parents who are stepping up to the dinner plate and taking back some control over what your kids eat at home and at school. And make no mistake about this, it is a battle for control. We have lost control to Big Food. Our government, our schools and our grocery stores are all the proof we need of that.

These classroom projects will work just as well at home. Chuck game night and do a project together that means something and may win fame and fortune -- or at least extra credit -- for your child or your school. These are the kinds of rules and lessons that can save a life -- literally.

Many thanks to Michael Pollan for writing a book that we can use as well as read. I wish we could afford to give copies to classrooms across Northern Virginia.

See you at the market! P.S.: Bring your “homework” to the market, and we will display it at the Smart Markets tent.

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Michele October 13, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Thank you so much for the link to other markets. I have tried to visit the market on Fridays, but it is held at the absolute worst day and time for me and my friends. It is good to be reminded of the alternatives....


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