Spring has felt like a long time coming this year, but now we’re on the cusp of continued warm days that bring a burst of fresh, local produce. This week, many markets around Washington that closed for the fall and winter are reopening for the season. Others are expanding their hours.
You can find our full list of markets and their details on our interactive map. The 2013 roundup includes several new markets. Here are a few of them:
The Burtonsville Farmers Market arose from work already being done by Cedar Ridge Community Church. The church has a farm that grows produce to donate to those in need and had discussed starting a market, says Gigi Goin, who will manage the new outpost as part of her Milk Lady Farmers’ Markets group. Goin said she hopes to attract church groups that might otherwise buy less-healthful prepared foods for their events. There will be 10 to 12 vendors: a mix of farmers, artisans and food purveyors.
Goin also will be managing the new White Oak Middle School Farmers Market, which this year replaces the Briggs Chaney-Greencastle Farmers and Artisans’ Market. The middle school is a better location in terms of visibility, Goin says. The market will work with some of the school’s students as part of the Milk Lady Farmers’ Markets’ young entrepreneurs program. Expect 10 to 12 vendors there as well.
“We are really trying to make Twinbrook more of a neighborhood,” says Ashley Lambdin of the JBG Cos. about the new Twinbrook Farmers Market. Lambdin, director of the area’s business improvement district, says a farmers market was a recurring theme that came up when tenants were asked what they would like to see in Twinbrook. The market will feature produce from Twin Springs Fruit Farm, baked goods from Upper Crust Bakery and charcuterie from MeatCrafters. Lambdin says a monthly kid-friendly day is planned to engage children at the local Department of Health & Human Services child care center.
Smart Markets at Manassas Park is the newest location for Northern Virginia’s Smart Markets. Manager Jean Janssen says the City of Manassas Park reached out to her last year about opening a market. This year it debuts in the City Hall parking lot. The idea is to make the market a community event for residents of all income levels, Janssen says, and she’s exploring the idea of operating pop-up stands in some of the area’s lower-income neighborhoods as well. There’s talk of combining the market, expected to have 15 vendors, with a summer concert series.
The Suitland Farmers Market had been in the works for several years, according to manager Ibti Vincent. It will help address a lack of fresh food options in the neighborhood and will give federal workers in the area options for daytime eats, she says. Five farmers from Maryland and Virginia will sell at the market, as will a few prepared-food vendors. There will be some “hyper-local” produce for sale, grown a few blocks from the market at the Windsor Crossing apartments. Vincent says the market has plans for chef demos and health outreach events. A free shuttle will operate between the market and the Suitland Metro station.
4508 Suitland Rd. email@example.com. 301-442-1600. 3-7 p.m. Tuesdays, April 23-Nov. 5.
Aya Community Markets arose from a desire to get more fresh food into underserved neighborhoods, says Chris Bradshaw, executive director of Dreaming Out Loud, the markets’ parent group. The first market to open will be near the Southwest Waterfront Metro, with details for a location on Benning Road Southeast now being finalized. Dreaming Out Loud would like to help residents “learn how to experience healthy living,” so the organization intends to offer cooking demonstrations. Other events meant to get neighbors acquainted with one another include live music and poetry readings.
900 Fourth St. SW (Christ United Methodist Church). 202-332-1306. www.ayamarkets.org. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, May 4-Nov. 16.
The Bristow Farmers Market came together after farmers at a previous market in the area decide they didn’t want to change locations this year, says manager Holly Martin. So they created their own. The Bristow Montessori School is hosting the market and has helped with marketing. Martin said the market will coincide with some of the school’s open-house events, ideally bringing in more shoppers. There will be 15 to 20 vendors in the summer (the market will be year-round) selling a wide variety of items, including produce, meats, chocolate and soap. “It’s a nice, exciting mix of people,” Martin says.
Four new locations will host the Arcadia Mobile Market, a project of the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. In 2012, the retrofitted 28-foot school bus made its debut, and “we had a lot of great interest from the neighborhoods we were serving,” mobile market director Benjamin Bartley says. The market travels to low-income neighborhoods lacking ready access to fresh produce. About 40 percent of the market’s 2012 customers were nutrition assistance program beneficiaries, and Arcadia has a $10 matching program for those individuals. Most of the vegetables for sale come from Arcadia’s farm at Woodlawn Plantation; otherl farms supply the rest of the inventory.
4-6 p.m. Tuesdays, 740 Kenilworth Terrace NE (Circle 7 Express); 1-3 p.m. Wednesdays, 111 Michigan Ave. NW (Children’s National Medical Center WIC Clinic); 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays, 4800 Minnesota Ave NE (Deanwood Recreation Center); 3-6 p.m. Thursdays, 8908 Riggs Rd., Adephi (Mary’s Center). 571-384-8845. firstname.lastname@example.org. arcadiafood.org.