On an understated corner of Gaithersburg, at the intersection of Fulks Corner Avenue and MD Route 355, is a farmers’ market with an incredible selection of fresh produce and delicious, homemade baked goodies, and a lot of heart.
The rapport between the vendors and clients at this farmers’ market is incredible.
When commenting at the Scenic View Orchards stall that I’d never seen such a diverse selection of peppers, Mona, a regular who comes every Thursday, piped in:
“Is it your first time here? You don’t know what you are missing. You should come every week! There are such beautiful people here. It’s like my family!”
Sue Velasquez agrees. She’s been coming for years. She appreciates Richard Masser, the owner of Scenic View Orchard, because “he picks me out the best stuff.”
She was particularly grateful for some cucumbers that he recently recommended because she turned them into bread and butter pickles, which turned out to be a big hit.
Cucumbers weren’t the only vegetables that were popular at Thursday’s market.
Scenic View Orchards had a spread of fresh produce that took up nearly one-third of the parking lot. It included sweet corn, blackberries, plums, peaches, red raspberries, ginger gold apples, lima beans, green beans, squash, eggplants, kale, onions, cabbage and potatoes.
Particularly impressive was the variety of peppers and tomatoes. Tomatoes included Roma, cherry and uniquely shaped heirloom. Green peppers were accompanied by a variety of hot peppers, Hungarian sweet peppers and even purple peppers!
“Not many people can produce all of this,” Masser modestly admitted.
Equally attentive to his clients is Ryan Tuckey of Tuckey’s Farm, which sells mountain-grown berries, fruits and vegetables.
“How’s your corn?” one client asked.
“It’s the best so far this season,” he replied. “We got some rain, so it’s big.”
An hour later, the big basket of white corn was sold out. It’s one of his most popular items, he said.
Still, the Tuckey tent had a wide selection of other fresh produce: watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, ginger gold apples, cabbage, hot peppers, green beans, tomatoes, squash, zucchini and potatoes.
“The fruit,” Tuckey said, “is what people really like, especially the cantaloupe and watermelon.”
For a smaller market, the steady flow of customers was impressive.
There’s so many customers that Jerry Klein, who comes to the market four or five times a year to buy tomatoes, said that he wishes they had more parking.
Courtney Stitt, the baker who supplies the market with homemade baked goodies, said that her fellow vendors, Ryan Tuckey and Richard Masser, are two of the nicest guys she’s every met.
This season is Stitt’s first season at the market and she said that it’s going well so far. Her lemon bread has become a big seller and her mini fruit pies are in high demand. (Her blackberry pie bar, which I tried, is to die for!).
And as far as niceness goes, Stitt’s up there, as well. She recently started her baking business after completing missionary work in Ethiopia.
The Gaithersburg Farmers' Market is open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays at the corner of Fulks Corner Avenue and MD Rt. 355 from June 1 to Oct. 27.