The Freight Station Famers’ Market, located at 315 West Boscawen St, in Winchester, has been providing shoppers with fresh fruit and vegetables since 1987. Beth Nowak, owner of Mayfair Farm in Bunker Hill, WV, and purveyor at the market, has been there since its inception. “Even though we’re small, we have a wider selection of produce and whole foods of all types; even more than most of the bigger markets”, Nowak noted.
Originally from Alaska, Nowak missed the diverse abundance of cold water fish. “The only thing we could find around here was pretty bad Tilapia,” she said. Determined to start eating better, she worked out a deal with her brother Jim Hubbard – a commercial fisherman based in Seward, Alaska. He began overnighting his fresh catch to Nowak which she sells at the market. She estimates that they now sell between three and four thousand pounds of wild caught, Alaskan fish each year.
A small boat, long line fisherman, Hubbard catches and supplies Nowak with all the white fish varieties she offers. They source most of their Salmon from The Seafood Producers Cooperative. Hubbard’s wife, Rhonda, is a seafood broker and sources Nowak with Prawns, Sea Scallops and Crab.
Nowak currently sells King, Coho and Sockeye Salmon; Halibut; Sable (Black Cod); Lean Cod; Alaskan Cod; Alaskan Rock Fish; Halibut Cheeks; Alaskan Five-spot Prawns, Alaskan Sea Scallops and some crab. She even sells Salmon Bacon that many eat as a healthier substitute to the pork variety.
Fresh, seasonal vegetables are also available all winter long at the market. They have Asian Greens, Spinach, Radishes, Green Onions, Brussels sprouts, Kale, Collards, Carrots, Onions, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips and Leeks. They offer beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs, baked goods, Cider, Honey, Goat Cheese, Preserves, Soaps and much more.
Nowak mentioned that while they are not an organic market, spraying is only done on an as needed basis, which she says, depends on the vegetable. She said there are no pesticides on her winter vegetables.
The market is held year round on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 8am to 1pm. They’ll close after December 23rd for the holidays but will reopen the first Saturday in January. Then they’ll be open on Tuesday and Saturday from 10am to 1pm until May when they’ll return to regular season hours.
When asked her favorite way to cook Salmon, Nowak said one of her favorites was sautéing the fish in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper or Montreal Steak Seasoning. She places it in a hot skillet flesh side down for about 3 minutes, flips it over and cooks it for another 2 minutes then it’s ready to eat.
She also likes to eat Salmon that’s been poached. Use just enough water to cover the fish, bring it to a boil, then to a bare simmer and cook for about 3-5 minutes and serve with pineapple salsa.
Editors note: Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the proper functioning of various body organs. It’s also loaded with protein and provides a good amount of Vitamin D and Selenium. About 70% of the Salmon on the market is farm raised. When Salmon are raised in pens and fed a diet of corn and soy, their nutritional value can drop considerably. Farmed Salmon is also much higher in fat and tends to have higher concentrations of toxins and chemicals. While wild caught is best, when eating farmed Salmon, try to stick with ones farmed in Chile or Western Canada as many experts seem to agree that these carry fewer chemicals than the Scottish, Norwegian or US farmed fish.
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Tammy Batcha is a life-long resident of the Shenandoah Valley. A long-time commuter, she seeks to reconnect to her community. With a background of more than twenty years in publishing, she is founder of The Goodness and Grace Company. A board certified, health and wellness coach, she continues to study integrative nutritional theory while guiding others on a path to wellness.