Shop Local—and Fresh—at the Summer Farmers' Market

By Chris Worthington, Staff Writer; photos by Richard Frederickson, Staff Photographer
Rudy Medicus

Rudy Medicus runs the Cat’s Paw Organic Farm tent at the NCI at Frederick Farmers’ Market.

The summer farmers’ market at NCI at Frederick is under way right on schedule, undeterred by a cool and rainy May.

Shoppers can find fresh produce, starter plants, local meats and cheeses, coffee, crafts, and more in the front parking lot of Building 549 every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market will run through Oct. 25.

While there, take a moment to stop by the Cat’s Paw Organic Farm tent, curated by former NCI employee Rudy Medicus.

Medicus, who has been attending the farmers’ market for more than 10 years, co-owns Cat’s Paw Organic Farm with his wife, Judy. Medicus worked in the Leukemogesis Department on transformed mouse cast cells in the early 1980s before starting an instrument company and working in the private sector. In 1989, he began farming full time.

Currently, Cat’s Paw is selling a wide variety of starter plants, particularly tomatoes and peppers, but also cucumber, squash, and bean plants. Later this summer, Medicus hopes to bring tomatillos—“for the Mexican food lovers”—as well as new varieties of eggplant and hot peppers. Cat’s Paw also offers baked goods, courtesy of Judy, who specializes in cookies and muffins but will occasionally bring cakes, too.

Cat’s Paw Organic Farm is named after an elusive mountain lion that used to roam the property at night. Though he never saw the cat, Medicus says he and his wife often saw its “impressive tracks,” and even heard of nearby farmers losing cattle.

Asked why the farmers’ market was important to the NCI at Frederick community, Medicus said, “The food at the market is fresher and tastier than grocery store produce. The vendors can tell shoppers exactly how the vegetables were grown and how the food was prepared—this is hard to determine at the stores.” 

The Cat's Paw Organic Farm booth at the farmers' market. Rudy Medicus waters some of the plants for sale at his booth. Rudy Medicus helps a customer at his booth.