April showers are known as the forerunner for many wonderful things – summer, green grass and, of course, May flowers. For me, the end of April means the beginning of Farmer’s Market season in Richmond.
With the markets’ opening just a few days away, here are some of my favorite treats from local vendors at Richmond’s South of the James Market.
Simply Southern Pies – Cherry Pie
Though I can’t think of a bad time for pie, is there a better occasion for cherry pie and ice cream than a hot summer evening? Nothing ends a great summer day than a piece of Tracey’s Cherry Pie. If Cherry is not to your liking, don’t fret; the crew at Simply Southern Pies has over 10 pies including Chocolate Chess and Peach Blueberry.
Wild Heaven Farm – Morningstar Soap
While I enjoy spending my Saturdays at the market, I don’t necessarily want to smell like I have been at the market all day. That’s when Mary Kroll’s Morningstar soap is handy. Combining real goat’s mile with grapefruit, cardamon, orange and rosemary, this soap allows me to wash away the cares of a busy day at the market.
Blanchard’s Coffee – Ethiopian Yergacheffe
Even though I love going to the market, Grammy still needs her caffeine to get started in the AM. To get my morning going, nothing helps more than a cup of Blanchard’s freshly roasted joe. The hint of coconut in this blend doesn’t hurt, either.
Bonnyclabber Cheese Company – Chesapeake Blue Cheese
You can’t have a farmer’s market without farmers. On Sullivans’ Pond Farm, the goats who contribute to Rona’s fermented delights spend the year grazing on pastures that are kept green without the benefit of herbicides, pesticides or commercial fertilizers. While the goats graze in the field, I prefer to nibble on a piece of Chesapeake Blue Cheese.
Cavanna Pasta- Eggplant Pamesan
Yes, I have already discussed desert, but I can’t forget about dinner. While the Cavanna family makes it difficult to make a bad choice with their large selection, my preference is the Eggplant Parmesan. When combined with a glass of wine, this combination of sautéed eggplant, parmesan cheese and red sauce provides the perfect meal to compliment a busy day.
To learn more about Cavanna Pasta, check them out at http://www.cavannapasta.com/index.html .
The South of the James Market is located at Forest Hill Park (Forest Hill Ave & 42nd Street, Richmond, VA 23225). The market is open between 8 AM and 12 Noon every Saturday from May to December.