About seven years ago a quiet revolution started in the Washington area. Restaurant chefs began receiving back-door deliveries from local farmers and proprietors of roadside stands. Then neighborhood farmers' markets sprang up around the city.
The business of supplying fresh, healthy food began to boom. Today many of the same farmers who supply high-quality meat and produce to restaurants and markets are often willing to sell directly to the consumer. The following is a sample:
*Organic Farms, Beltsville Industrial Center, 10714 Hannah Ave., Beltsville. 595-5151. The largest distributor of certified organic produce in the country, Organic Farms has serviced co-ops, health food stores and restaurants for four years. The firm says its prodce comes from about 250 farmers around the country, including California, Oregon and Florida. Organic Farms sells grains, beans, nuts, seeds, raw dairy products, fertile eggs, dried fruits, juices and snacks from its 20,000- square-foot industrial complex at off U.S. 1. Open to the public Saturdays only p.m.; prices are 20 percent over wholesale.
*Food Tech International, Box 34629, Bethesda, Md. 20817. 294-9273. Food Tech was started 21/2 years ago by partners Jim Angel, Jim Balton and Paul Chapman, but the firm began stocking wild game only last fall. Today Food Tech supplies Virginia-raised and western buffalo to hotels and restaurants, shipping by United Parcel Service in thermal containers that keep the meat rock-hard for at least 48 hours. Individuals can order as well. Sample assortments of buffalo steaks, roasts and burgers -- including a cookbook -- are available for $39.95 and $49.95, shipping included. The firm also sells fresh and frozen venison, wild boar, pheasant, quail, squab, partridge, reindeer and rabbit -- but refuses to handle any endangered species, such as bear, turtles or crocodile.
*Epicure Smoked Fish Inc., 10576 Metropolitan Ave., Kensington. 946-4460. Ron Goodman established this firm 10 months ago when he sold his share in My Brother and Me restaurant. Epicure Smoked Fish, in the U.S. Fish Building in Kensington, includes the standard Jewish deli kippered salmon, Nova Scotia salmon, whitefish, chubs, sablefish and sturgeon. Specialty items include Scotch-style salmon, pastrami- cured smoked salmon, smoked mussels, shrimp and scallops. Minimum order is a side of Norwegian salmon ($14 a pound); for smoked fish, customers must take whatever size comes out of the smoker.
*Hill Farm, Rte. 2, Box 145, Colonial Beach, Va. 22443. 804/224-9690. Eight years ago Jean-Pierre Goyenvalle bought his first rabbits from Hill Farm for his Lion d'Or restaurant. Now French- born Louis Calzas sells his fresh herbs and French vegetables to many of Washington's French restaurants. Calzas welcomes customers at the farm; call first.
*Potomac Vegetable Farm, 9627 Leesburg Pike, Vienna. 759- 2119. For 23 years, this 200-acre vegetable farm has sold mostly organic vegetables, including sweet corn, tomatoes (pink, yellow, cherry, Italian and standard), green beans, lettuce, beets, cucumbers, melons, squash, zucchini, okra, dill, baby carrots, basil, celery and raspberries, as well as cut flowers. The farm's roadside stand is on Rte. 7 four miles west of Tysons Corner. Produce is also sold at a second stand at the intersection of Spring Hill Road and Lewinsville Road, McLean. Potomac Vegetable Farm also travels to farmers markets (Wednesdays, Fairfax and Georgetown; Fridays, McLean and Falls Church; Saturdays, Georgetown; and Sundays, Takoma Park).
*The Sleepy Creek Farm, Rte. 2, Box 211, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. 25411. 304/258-4018. Strawberries, lettuce, onions, beets, spinach, corn and pumpkins are grown on this 140-acre farm. In addition to the fruits and vegetables, goat milk and eggs are also sold directly to the consumer at two local markets: Wednesdays at Georgetown University inside the main gate at 37th and O streets and Saturdays at the intersection of 18th Street and Columbia Road.
*Coordinated Biofarms Systems, Rte. 1, Box 246, Remington, Va. 22734. 525-9340, 703/439-8369. Coordinated Biofarms has been raising all-natural (i.e., no chemicals) beef, veal, pork, lamb and poultry for 12 years. Although it mainly supplies local health food stores and restaurants, CBS also sells a 40-pound frozen sampler pack of its federally inspected meat to the public.