Olney Farmers & Artists Market

Pie In the Face

Specifically, in the mouths of those who took part in our sale of slices after the judges had their say.  There were nine pies in the OFAM Second Annual Pie Bake-Off, so each judge took only a sliver of each one, leaving plenty for everybody else.


Don’t They Look Good?  That’s Chris Holding the Sign

Peter Franchot, the Maryland State Comptroller, came out to visit.  He was accompanied by Craig Zucker, District 14 State Delegate.  They were offered the chance to be judges, but politely declined.  They both did, however, get tastes.


L to R:Doug Terry, Janet Terry, Peter Franchot, Hal Hoiland, Bobbi Espinoza, Craig Zucker


The Judges Prepare. The Politicians Observe.


Then They Got Down To It.


The Audience Watches

The judging was accomplished with flair and alacrity by our distinguished panel.  They had the impeccable taste to award Your Faithful Correspondent the Grand Prize.  She wants to assure everyone that it was a completely blind tasting; we used a number system so that the anonymity of the pies’ bakers was maintained until after the judging.

 imageJudges Conferring. L to R: Kyle Russell, Debra Alfarone, Stanton Gill, Freddy Turim


The Judges Announce Winners.

Here is the list of winners:

 Grand Prize - Judy Newton, Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut Pie
2nd Prize: Beth and Tito Porfiri, Branded Boot Ranch Chocolate Buckaroo Pie
3rd Prize: Brandon Miller and Mark Welsh, Steak Chimichurri Pie
People’s Choice: Nancy Green, Blueberry Pie

We had a new volunteer, Chris Richter (he’s in the first picture), who has an interest in politics.  He was thrilled to meet Mr. Franchot and Mr. Zucker, and assisted ably in the pie contest. He’ll go far!

And by the way, here’s yet another shout-out to Anne Rickert and the wonderful signs she continues to produce for us each week!


Anne and Sign


P.S. Do what it says.   Still a few tickets left!

Judy Newton

At Least Three Rings, Maybe More

So much going on at the Market last Sunday!  It wasn’t enough that the eggplants

and melons

 and tomatoes

and blackberries

were in, but we had two musical acts, and one of them had 50 members!

Yes, the Olney Concert Band entertained us mightily,

and so did Waylon Henry, Rodney the Ramblin’ Pieman’s son.  And he will have to forgive me for not getting a picture of him playing and singing; I was selling tickets to a raffle to draw attention to THE PROGRESSIVE DINNER ON JULY 22.  Barry took a turn at the table as well.

Our Volunteer Barry Sells Tickets

The raffle was won by Carolyn Maddox, with Michael Fearson delightedly posing while holding the wine.

Carolyn and Michael

What else was going on?  How about a return engagement by Masters of Mystery?  They held the audience in thrall with all new tricks!

Jesse and Sam, Masters of Mystery

Audience Participation

And the cutest little girl with her unique means of transport (and her parents) was making her way through the Market.

Audrey and Her Radio Flyer

Next week, Pie Bakeoff!!  Contestants, bring your entry to the Chef’s Tent at 10:30 a.m. for a chance to win great prizes, and the rest of you, bring your appetites!

Judy Newton

Lamb Slides Away

Your Faithful Correspondent was away last Sunday, but we do have a record of the chef’s demo courtesy of Kathy Kidd, who stood in for me as Chef Liaison.  Here is the text of her email, and the pictures she sent:


From: Kathryn Kidd

Hi Everyone,

Attached are some pictures from the Chef’s Demo this weekend.    Vasilis was a big hit - I’ve never seen a line like that for the sample food.  They were also a lot of fun, thanks to Judy for booking them.

Theo, Yianni, and Bill (the Dad and founder) did a great job demoing how to make lamb sliders.

Have a nice day - Kathy (you can see the line in picture 686 which was constant for more than 1 hour they made more than 120 sliders)



I’m really sorry to have missed it!  I hope to have them out to the Market again.

Judy Newton

Do Your Herbs Know the Ropes?

There were some really interesting happenings at last Sunday’s Market!  Gold’s Gym came out and set up ropes, hurdles and other tests of strength and agility for kids to try.  Lots of kids had fun with them, including the family of an old friend of the Market.

Do You Know the Ropes?

Remember the knish stand? Erick Gilbert, who used to sell kosher knishes at the Market ‘way back in 2008 or so, came out with his kids.  His wife, Devorahmalka, still sells her jewelry at the Market, but you can’t eat it!

Erick (Yellow Shirt) With His Son and Daughter

Tate really loved running the hurdles.

Go Tate!

The gardeners from Sherwood High were back, selling veggies raised on the high school farm.  The Em brothers are summer interns, Jill Coutts is their teacher.  Look for an article about their program on this blog in a little while. I’m planning a field trip to the school!

L to R:Chamnan Em, Jill Coutts, Piseth Em

Our chef, Susan Belsinger, is a renowned herbal specialist.  She came suitably attired, with a great chef’s jacket and killer boots.

Susan With Her Sign

She gave our audience a lively, participatory lesson in taste and smell.

You Can’t Taste The Herb Until You Release Your Nose

Susan wielded her mezzaluna while producing a tasty salad with tarragon vinaigrette.  She also made blueberry herb syrup to mix with seltzer for a refreshing summer drink.

A Mezzaluna Makes Short Work Of Chopping Herbs

Notice The Sign!

Building The Salad

Notice the lovely sign by our graphic artist, Anne Rickert, and the subject on the back - we are now selling tickets to this season’s Progressive Dinner.  Don’t be left out!  Get yours today!

 Judy Newton


Steak, Elephants, and Exotics at the Market

You may have noticed that we have had more vendors join us for the new season.  Last Sunday, there was a little section of the Market so colorful that it could have been transported straight from an Eastern bazaar.


Exotic Market Stalls

Ritu Sundershan runs Ekaa, an importer of handcrafted home and fashion accessories.


Ritu In Her Tent

Swati sat among her colorful wares at Suhina, also handmade.


Swati of Suhina

And at the community tent, Miriam Gardsbane sold tiny, handcrafted clay elephants in aid of her project,  "They Deserve To Be Free,” all proceeds to be donated to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, which rescues abused elephants from the streets and logging camps.  Miriam and her fellow fifth graders at Sandy Spring Friends School made them with help from their art teacher, Kate Santorineos.  That’s Miriam in the middle, in the picture.


Elephant Kids

Our chef, Scott Sunshine, grilled skirt steak while explaining how marination adds flavor and tenderness to this cut of beef.  The recipe is on the website.


Chef Scott


Sammy Helps Grill While Chef Scott Talks


Samples Were Consumed

Rodney Henry, once again sold out of his Dangerously Delicious Pies, posed with Chef Scott.


Rodney and Scott

 And Sandra Dean, one of our favorite musical guests, belted it out with help from her band.


And Notice The Sign - Another Anne Rickert Production!

Orchard Breeze Farm sells eggs.  Big, jumbo brown-shelled eggs fresh from the hens.  They have dark yellow yolks and taste wonderful.  I’ve been poaching them for lunch, usually plopping them right in amongst the leftovers from dinner, taking them off the heat when the whites are just set and the yolks are liquid, forming a sauce.


Poached Egg on Veggies

This dish contained Romanesco cauliflower from Valle Farm and kale from Homestead Farm.  (The chickpeas came from Harris Teeter in a can.)  It’s summer, and the living is delicious!

P.S. This coming Sunday we will start selling tickets to the OFAM Progressive Dinner.  On July 22nd, you will have a chance to eat at some of Olney’s finest dining facilities, while raising money to help us provide double produce for our neediest customers! Stay tuned for more info.

Judy Newton

Synergy at the Market - Kale and Pepper Jam

Once again, the sun shone and the weather was perfect on Market day.  There were some breezes towards afternoon, which served to remind all the vendors of how important weights are for their tents!

The music was supplied by George Larkin, standing next to the lovely sign as supplied by our wonderful artist, Anne Rickert.


Sing, George!

The kid’s tent had a new activity: a set of Duplos, which proved popular and photogenic.



Our chef demo this week featured Better Than Raw — Marinated Kale Salad.  When you hear “kale,” you either run towards or away - there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground!  So it was gratifying to see an enthusiastic audience for Gina Rieg of Simplistic Wholistic as she mixed up the marinade for a really delicious dish.


It’s Easy!



It’s Delicious!

Mike at Homestead Farm has a new batch of jams, some made from the many kinds of hot peppers he raises.


Watch Out For The Ghost Pepper Jam!

We took home a jar of Hot Pineapple Jam with Fatali peppers and a bunch of kale.  I prepared Gina’s recipe and used the jam instead of honey.  There was a noticeable but not outrageous kick to it.

 And there were gorgeous peonies at Mark and Madgie’s.  Beautiful to look at, lovely to smell!



We thank The Farm at Our House and Shepherd’s Manor Creamery for their donations to this week’s chef demo.  See you next Sunday!

 Judy Newton

Presto-Chango! At The Market

And now for something completely different, we bring you a magic show!  Yes, just for a change of pace from the usual chef demo, the Masters of Mystery performed last Sunday to an enthusiastic audience of all ages.

Sam and Jesse, Masters of Mystery

They changed milk to confetti, made stuff appear and disappear, and for their grand finale Sam DIDN’T get his hand chopped off, though two carrots were not so lucky.  (Does anyone else detect a food theme here, even with no cooking?)

The Magic Milk Trick


Josie Volunteered To Assist

Can This Hand Be Saved?

In another part of the Market, Pat O’Neill worked his musical magic.

 Pat Sings and Plays

Then there was a display of expertise from the Master Method Karate School - broken boards were flying everywhere!


Feet And Boards Fly

And Freddy was serving his breakfast burritos and barbeque to appreciative customers.  Good news - by popular demand, the waffles will return!


This Sunday promises to be another beautiful Spring day.  Come spend it at the Market!

Judy Newton

Report on Two Markets

I didn’t manage to get a post out on last week’s market, so this one will include both the markets on May 18 and 25th.

On May 18, there was a wine tasting scheduled, but our tasting guide’s plane was delayed.  She was too late, so Anne’s beautiful sign was for naught!

 But What a Great Sign!

Her music sign, for Jeff Burnett, was equally lovely and more truthful - Jeff really was there.

Really Jeff!

Madgie of M&M Plants posed with Carol and Lee Carrier of Plantmasters.   Our two flower vendors in one!

Madgie, Carol, Lee, Flowers

And speaking of plants, the Sherwood High School horticulture program sold the plants raised in their greenhouse.

Sherwood Sells Plants

We have a new vendor selling Asian-style sugarcane drinks.  Some of our patrons are familiar with these drinks, but for others it’s a new experience.  Just as we provide a wide range of fruits and vegetables, so we try to have new and different food and drinks at the Market.  Stop by and try some - they give samples!

A Sweet, Juicy Treat

Remember when Ike Leggett, the County Executive, came to Opening Day?  The official copy of the Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation has arrived.  Janet Terry, our President and Market Master, posed with it proudly.  Stop by the Information Booth and admire it on Sunday!

We Are Recognized and Appreciated

Last Sunday, our chef was Matt Baker of the Occidental Restaurant in DC.  The sign was again produced by our terrific graphic artist, Anne Rickert, who posed by her work.

Signmaster Anne

Chef Matt showed us how to make a Grilled Asparagus and Strawberry Salad, with Goat Cheese, Arugula, and Salsa Verde.  Very seasonal, and very tasty.

Consider the Asparagus

He had the audience enthralled with his exposition on asparagus and green dressing.

Everyone Watches Chef Matt

Meanwhile there were other signs of spring: English peas, sugar snaps and cherry tomatoes at Pleitez;

And a Spanish Lesson Too!

patriotic boys fascinated with the spinning wheel at the Sandy Spring Museum booth;



and color-coded  quads having a picnic.

The Hats Are To Tell Them Apart

See you this Sunday!

Judy Newton

Opening Day, And Time Begins

You couldn’t ask for better weather last Sunday.  Winter is over at last, and the Market had the strawberries and asparagus to prove it.


Patrons and vendors turned out in force.  So did a couple of our local politicians.

Janet Terry, Market President; Karen Montgomery, State Senator; Ike Leggett, County Executive

There were some new vendors -

Rodney Henry of Dangerously Delicious Pies

- and some old friends.

Paddy, the Orchard Breeze Guys, and Chaan of Angels and Anchors

And our chef showed us how to make ice cream with milk and cream from Orchard Breeze Farm.

Lindsay Clendaniel, Author of Scoop Adventures

Sampling the Ice Cream

Chef’s Audience

Notice the snazzy new sign?  Watch that space each week for a different chef cooking up delicious things!

Judy Newton

Two Market Chefs Will Be Judges at Embassy Chef Challenge

I noticed that two famous local chefs who have been demo chefs at the Olney Farmers Market will be judges for the Embassy Chef Challenge   next week.  Joan Nathan and Amy Riolo, along with other chefs and food writers, are featured at the charity event.

The annual benefit supports the free programs and events provided by Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Washington DC’s art, culture and heritage.  This is a unique benefit of living in the Washington DC area - a chance to take advantage of a diverse selection of cuisines as interpreted by Embassy chefs from around the globe.

Fifteen Embassy chefs will take part in vying for People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice Awards. There will also be an auction with items offering diverse culinary and travel adventures.  Here are the details of the event, from  the Embassy Chef Challenge website:


The 6th annual Embassy Chef Challenge will take place on Thursday, May 15 from 6:00-9:30 p.m. Chefs from around the world, who usually serve only to dignitaries and heads of states, will dish up hors d’oeuvres showcasing their countries’ cuisine while trying to win favor for the People’s Choice Award. A panel of celebrity chefs and food critics will select the Judge’s Choice. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art, culture and heritage found in Washington’s diverse neighborhoods.

DATE: Thursday, May 15, 2014
TIME: 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
TICKETS: $250 per ticket. Early registration is encouraged— last year’s event sold out.

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