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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011

Farmers Markets are in bloom

This weekend Farmers Markets are in full bloom, offering great venues to introduce kids to natural foods and get them vested in eating fruits and vegetables. Or, in my family’s case, vested in sampling fruit-flavored-gelato.
Strawberries for sale at the weekly farmers market in Dupont Circle, Washington. (Jeffrey Porter - For The Washington Post)

My personal favorites are the low-key, kid-centric, markets, like the Glover Park and Burleith gathering, which sends proceeds to school garden projects. On Saturday, the market is hosting traditional craftspeople (and animals) for its popular Fiber Arts Festival.

For more suggestions, I asked Colleen Levine, the Arlington creator of Foodie Tots, to recommend her top picks.(Readers may recognize her from my post yesterday on childhood obesity.)

Here’s Levine’s list:

Dupont Circle Farmers Market: This is the one that started it all and still your best source for the truly unique seasonal items, like sunchokes, ramps and morels. Of course, it’s also the most popular so keep your kids close and visit as early as you can to beat the crowds. There is often live music nearby, too.

Falls Church Farmers Market: This suburban market features many vendors you’ll recognize from Dupont Circle, and can get nearly as crowded during the peak summer months. Come hungry and feast on fresh crepes or Chris’s crabcakes and empanadas.

Bloomingdale Farmers Market: This Sunday market is smaller but offers a great mix of vendors, including Keswick Creamery (kids love their chocolate pudding). As an added bonus for mom and dad, it’s located in front of Big Bear Cafe for your morning coffee.

Alexandria West End Market: This market is hidden away in Ben Brenman Park, providing room for kids to play and prime picnic spots. Prices are often lower than at the city markets and it’s kid and dog-friendly. Don’t miss Westmoreland Berry Farm for the best strawberries (and fresh strawberry shortcake) in season.

Eastern Market: This is the market to take out-of-town visitors, who will enjoy the atmosphere and a taste of Market Lunch’s blueberry pancakes and crabcakes. The craft market is fun for kids, who can often see an artist in action. The food vendors have improved in recent years as the market has brought in some organic farmers.

What are your favorite Farmers Markets?

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011

 
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