Local farmers' markets highlight county treats and services [Clarksville]

Howard County Times

Starting May 11, the Howard County Farmer's Market will be at Clarksville Commons, Route 108 at Great Star Drive, every Thursday, from 3 to 7 p.m., through September. The market, on the plaza and in the parking lot, exclusively features items grown or produced by Howard County vendors.

Market vendors include Hensing's Hilltop Acres, offering treats and raw milk for pets; Love Dove Farms; selling naturally-grown vegetables, Rod's Sharpening Service, providing blade sharpening and minor tool repairs; and TLV Tree Farm, featuring produce, herbs, plants, honey, jams and jellies as well as farm-fresh meat, poultry and eggs. Learn more at www.howardcountyfarmersmarkets.com.

The market also will host the Scoop & Paddle Ice Cream Co. The brainchild of Clarksville sisters-in-law Nadine and Renée Crisitello, Scoop & Paddle makes all natural, handmade ice cream. Nadine is a chef by training who fine-tuned recipes for Dean & Deluca in New York City. Building on her culinary-school experience, she attended two intensive ice cream courses to gain further industry knowledge in the art and science of producing the creamy frozen dessert. She crafts the ice cream, perfecting the flavors with the help of her "expert" taste testers, the duo's children and husbands.

Renée, a skilled pastry-cook who was raised in an Italian family, provides the baking expertise for the cookies in their handmade ice-cream sandwiches. Together, they launched the mobile ice cream store in 2014, serving up a new twist on the food truck trend.

Scoop & Paddle's easily recognized red bus is nicknamed "Tira" after tiramisu, the family's favorite dessert. The vehicle is a 1973 VW-van that was custom-renovated to transport and serve ice cream. "The bus embodies our retro-classic yet modern vision," said Renée.

A dozen high school and college students dish up ice-cream sandwiches, scoops in Dixie cups and pints to go, from the van and from mobile red carts. "We have a great group of young folks serving our ice cream," said Nadine. "We are excited to give the kids an opportunity to experience entrepreneurship in the community first-hand."

Nadine is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to whip up special seasonal and holiday offerings. Sorbet will debut on the menu this summer along with the launch of miniature personalized ice-cream cakes. "In our family, we love ice-cream cake but the kids can never agree on a flavor. So the idea was born for mini cakes that feed one to two people, custom made with a customer's favorite ice cream flavor," said Nadine.

In addition to Thursdays at Clarksville Commons, the Scoop & Paddle bus can be found on Wednesdays with the Howard County Farmer's Market at the Miller Branch library, from 2 to 6 p.m., and back at the Commons on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, from 4 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sundays, from noon to 8 p.m.

In the fall, the Crisitellos plan to move their commercial kitchen from Kensington to space in the Clarksville Commons.

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