Seed Planted for a White House Farmers Market?

By Jane Black
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 25, 2009; 3:32 PM

Last week, President Obama floated the idea of getting a "little farmers market set up outside the White House." But there were no specifics about where it might be or when it might open.

Turns out there might be an actual plan in the works. Sharp-eyed blogger Amanda McClements of Metrocurean tipped off AWCE to an item on the August agenda of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC): "Proposal from Freshfarm Market to establish a farmers market on the 800 block of 16th St., NW."

Guess where that is? About a block from the White House.

ANC Commissioner Victor Wexler, who represents the district near the White House, confirmed that FreshFarm had requested a meeting. He said an email from the group asking to be put on the agenda laid out a few details: that the market would be on 16th Street, north of the Hay Adams hotel between H and I streets, and would be held on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. from Sept. 17 to Oct. 29.

FreshFarm did not attend the Aug. 12 ANC meeting, however. Wexler said the organization has not indicated whether representatives will attend the next meeting on Sept. 9.

"My first reaction was: Who doesn't like a farmers market?" said Wexler. But he noted that construction on K Street near the proposed location could cause logistical problems for market-goers and traffic flow.

Even if the ANC supports a new market, FreshFarm must still apply for city permits to establish one.

Reached by phone, FreshFarm co-founder Ann Yonkers was cagey about the possibility of a new market and would not say whether the White House would be involved. FreshFarm had asked to be on the agenda but had decided it was not ready to make a formal proposal to the ANC, she said. "We think there is some potential. But there is a lot of work to do, and a lot of it is sensitive," she said. "Right now, it's premature to talk about it."

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