Favorite farmers markets

Every farmers market has its own personality; but at this time ofyear, all specialize in splendid tomatoes and vibrant mounds ofroot vegetables and apples. Prepared foods, crafts and jewelryare among other riches to be found at the outdoor markets.

Baltimore Farmers Market, downtown Saratoga Street, between Holliday and Gay streets
Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon

This is the mother ofBaltimore-area farmersmarkets, a cornucopiaof vegetables,fruit, fried donuts,cheeses, dog biscuits,jewelry, barbecue, icecream, omelets, friedfish sandwiches andwheat grass.

The hit: It's a greatplace to people watch,meet a friend forbrunch and revel in citylife.

Bel Air Farmers Market, Mary Risteau Building, parking lot, 2 S. Bond St.
Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.;Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

From produce, cheeses,pastries and savories toplants, quilts, honey, kettlecorn, bird houses andgourmet pet treats, theBel Air market offers aprofusion of staples andnecessary luxuries forhumans, canines -- andbirds.

The hit: The old-fashionedice cream made on Broom's Bloom Dairy Farm.

Downtown Westminster Farmers Market, Conaway parking lot, corner of Railroad Avenue and Emerald Hill Lane
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This is a "producers only"market where vendorsstrictly sell what they produce,including bakedgoods, honey, soaps,lotion, herbs, as well asfruits and vegetables.

The hit: Knitters may findwool, both raw and spun,from farmer GregThorne.

Catonsville Farmers Market, Bloomsbury Community Center, 106 bloomsbury Ave.
Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A small, friendly farmersmarket where youcan find Atwater'sbaked goods andNeopol's smoked fishwithout driving all theway to their BelvedereSquare location inBaltimore City.

The hit: Check outSwamp Fox Farm'sround seedless watermelons.

Anne Arundel County Farmers Market, Riva Road and Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis
Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.to noon through Oct. 11;Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to noon,Oct. 15 through Dec. 24

So popular that policeofficers help direct traffic,the Anne Arundel Countymarket is a place tosocialize while you shop.Come for coffee, freshlemonade and bakedgoods as well as produce.

The hit: Boxes of over-ripetomatoes for soups andsauce sell for $5, and thepeaches are divine.

--Stephanie Shapiro

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