03/05/17 10:51 AM

Late spring is its own kind of heaven with tender lettuces, spinach and escarole for salads; tatsoi, bok choy and bunching onions for stir-fries; kale and bets for juicing. Look for lemony sorrel for soups along with carrots, turnips and sweet potatoes.

A real glory of the season is asparagus, fresh and local, not trucked for thousands of miles to stand around in grocery stores. Laura Bergey brings bundles of just harvested asparagus from just down the road. So fresh it only needs a whisper of heat, a kiss of oil and a sprinkle of salt to make it divine.

Bedding plants are still big news. Veg Out Gardens has fifty kinds of herbs, including just the right mint for you julep. Mattawoman Farms has a curated list – they sell only vegetable and herb plants that have proved to be outstanding performers on their own farm.

Plan ahead for Mother’s Day and put in your baked goods order to pick up on the 13th. Serve her breakfast in bed with coffee from Three Ships or tea from Iron Goddess. Bring her dull knives and let Max the Knife give them a fresh edge. And don’t forget bouquets from Grace and Gratitude or Zinnia Girls.

Check out children’s activities in the Information Tent and sign up to become an OBFM Friend.



This isn’t a traditional julep, but then again, some traditional were meant to be broken.

In his book, “Travels of Four Years And a Half in the United States of America, printed in London in 1803, John Davis recalls a beverage enjoyed during his visit to the commonwealth, noting that a Mint Julep is:

“A dram of spiritous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.”

So here is our version, perfect for spring not only resplendent in fresh mint, but fresh strawberries as well. Rather than bourbon, we lighten it up a bit with vodka and brighten it up a bit with sparkling wine – both from our great state.

Here’s how I make it:

In a wine glass, I add four or five torn pieces of fresh mint [from OBFM] and three finely chopped strawberries. To that I add one ounce of Spirits of the Blue Ridge vodka [distilled in Virginia Beach] and let it sit to steep for up to an hour in the refrigerator. Next I fill the glass with chilled Thibaut-Janisson [crafted in Charlottesville] sparkling wine and garnish the drink with fresh mint.

Note: Adding some crushed ice before the sparkling wine is optional.

Recipe from Chef Patrick Evans-Hylton

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Beach Biscotti

Bergey’s Blossoms

Brentwood Farm

The Butter Brothers

The Creative Wedge

Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

The Farm Life

Flour Child Bakery

Full Quiver Farm

Give, Treat, Love

Grace and Gratitude

The Green Cat

Iron Goddess Tea Room

It Started With A Fig

Lamia’s Crepes

Mattawoman Creek Farms

Max The Knife

Micro Greens Virginia Beach

My Vegan Sweet Tooth

Pelon’s Baja Grill

Pendulum Fine Meats

Speedy’s Hot Sauce

Terrapin Restaurant

Three Ships Coffee

Udder Chaos Farms

Veg Out Gardens

Whole-ly Rollers

Zinnia Girls

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