Culinary Shopping in Jefferson County, WV

I am a resident of Jefferson County, WV, and I like to buy food raised and made around these parts whenever possible. I cover a lot of what happens on the food scene around Frederick, MD because I write for the Frederick News-Post and I happen to enjoy being in Frederick, but my allegiances to that area have caused me to overlook some of the good stuff right in my backyard.

I’ve shopped at the Shepherdstown Farmer’s Market since my family moved out here several years ago. This market is the source of many of the vendor relationships that I rely on to help me write columns, cater and teach.

Ridgefield Farm is the most obvious example of this. I’ve collaborated with them on a story for the Martinsburg, WV Journal before and I’ve bought their beautiful apples for both catering and family use. (Last fall my mother-in-law and I put by an entire case of their apples in the form of applesauce, which lasted us maybe a month because everybody loved it so.)

There’s also Danny Rohrer and his top-notch meats; Danny once raised turkeys specifically for a wedding I was catering. I also buy beautiful produce from Uvilla Orchards during the short season they vend, and I like Fresh and Local when I’m seeking the best garlic greens on the planet. Thank God for Bon Vivant, which brings some interesting breads and outstanding caramels every week. There are other vendors too, but those are the ones I patronize most often.

Charles Town, WV has been pushing its farmers market pretty hard this season, and I finally made it over there yesterday to check out the vendors and see what was good there. Black Dog Coffee was my primary motivation for stopping by this market, after Jeanne tipped me off that I’d overlooked a local coffee roaster. The folks there are really nice, and I plan to post about their product once I have a chance to investigate my purchases further.

There are also the ladies from The Best Cookie, who were kind enough to give me a scone when my overzealous 2-year-old reached out and crumbled it. (It was cranberry with orange zest, still warm from the oven, and deliciously creamy and rich.) I admire The Best Cookie’s commitment to using real ingredients, including good butter and locally raised eggs.

I enjoyed talking to the guy from Roxley Farms, who sold me some oxtails I intend to turn into a ravioli once the weather gets chilly. (He also had liver and tongue available–cuts you don’t see too often at the local supermarket.)

You can also buy produce from some of the same vendors as sell at the Shepherdstown market.

Finally, this morning I investigated the Biz Market off Mission Road where it intersects with Route 9. This mountainous part of the county is not on my usual routs in and around the area, but it was worth checking it out to see some crafts and foodstuffs made by people in my own area. My son and I split a scone from my friend Jenniffer’s little booth. The pies next to her table looked alluring, but we took a pass. Another woman had all sorts of breads and preserved things to put on them: jams, relishes, and even a ready-to-use blackberry pie filling. A farmer brought beautiful green beans, eggplants, and adorable yellow tomatoes. And then there were non-food items like wall art for kids, handpainted glassware, and some handmade soaps. Black Dog is there in case you miss them in Charles Town on Saturday morning. Note that this market is open from 10-1, not 9-1 as I erroneously believed.

Happy local shopping!

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