Winter Farmers Markets – DC, VA, MD

A helpful guide to farmers markets by day all around the WMA (washington metropolitan region). The list includes markets from DC, MD, and VA from the small stands to the big FreshFarm/Smark Markets.

I have visited many of these markets but not all. If you go to one please pass along your experience. It would be helpful to know that all are open and worth visiting.

And, if you’re starved for quality local food on off-days the Silver Spring Coop is open everyday from 9-9pm and located at – 8309 Grubb Road, Silver Spring, Md.





Eastern Market — 7 -4 pm  — 225 Seventh St SE


Dupont Circle — 10 -1 pm — 20th and Q St NW

Eastern Market — 7 -4 pm — 225 Seventh St SE

Palisades — 9 -1 pm — 48th Place NW and MacArthur Blvd




Great Frederick Farmers Market — 8 -2 pm — 797 East Patrick St (fairgrounds)

Kensington Farmers Market — 8 -12pm — Howard Ave (Kensington train station parking lot)

Montgomery Farm Women’s Coop Market — 7 -4 pm — 7155 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda

Silver Spring FreshFarm Market — 10 -1 pm — Ellsworth Dr (Fenton St and Georgia Ave)

Twin Springs Fruit Farm at Bethesda United Church — 10 -2 pm — Fernwood Rd and Democracy Blvd


Bethesda Central Farm Market — 10 -2 pm — Bethesda Ln between Elm St and Bethesda Ave

Takoma Park Farmers Market — 10 -2 pm — Laurel Ave between Eastern and Carroll


Montgomery Farm Women’s Coop Market — 7 -4 pm — 7155 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda

Twin Springs Fruit Farm at Concord St. Andrew’s Church — 9  -2 pm — Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt


Twin Springs Fruit Farm at Bethesda United Church — 10 -2 pm — Fernwood Rd and Democracy Blvd


Montgomery Farm Women’s Coop Market — 7 -4 pm — 7155 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda




Alexandria Farmers Market — 5:30 -10:30 am — 301 King St (City Hall)

Arlington Farmers Market — 9 -12pm — North Courthouse Rd and 14th St (courthouse parking lot)

Del Ray Farmers Market — 9 -12pm — East Oxford and Mount Vernon

Falls Church Farmers Market — 9 -12pm — 300 Park Ave, City Hall parking lot

Leesburg Farmers Market — 9 – 12pm — Virginia Village Shopping Center, Catoctin Circle

Smart Markets at Oakton — 10 -1 pm — Unity Church of Fairfax, 2854 Hunter Mill Rd


Columbia Pike Farmers Market — 10 -1 pm — Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Dr (Pike Park, in front of the Rite Aid)


Smart Markets at Fairfax Corner Center — 11:30 -2:30 pm — 11895 Grand Commons Ave, Fairfax (Monument Dr and Government Center Prkwy)


Clarendon Farmers Market — 2 -7 pm — Wilson Blvd and N. Highland St, Arlington (Clarendon Metro station)

Community Feedback on the Year Ahead

It’s been a little over 8 months since A Clean Life was brought into the world. It was quite an odd birth.

I had this idea. That’s it just an idea.

I began telling friends, family, and coworkers about it. To my amazement it ignited their passions. They enthusiastically encouraged me to keep developing the idea. Some began researching on their own and reporting back to me. Nearly all started telling me about anything environmentally friendly they were doing.

It was like standing up in a large room and having everyone look at you all of sudden. Then you mumble something about a good idea. Instantly every hand is raised and waiting to tell you something. I remember thinking that this was crazy. I mean how could I ignore such a reaction. What if I did ignore it.

I didn’t. I listened to the community, gauged its needs, and presented an idea. The results in my own life and those around me have been astounding. I tremble when I think of myself before A Clean Life. I am similarly shocked when I think of the changes others have made.

It has truly been awe inspiring. Thank you to all who are a part of the Clean Life community.

Community Feedback

As time rolls on and 2010 gets started we have some great plans to share. Our goals for the upcoming year are beginning to take shape:

  • Recycling in DC.
  • Farmers markets in the WMA – DC/MD/VA.
  • Create a philanthropic fund (achieve permanent funding for community initiatives).
  • And, most interestingly – lifestyle coaching.

These represent several weeks of brainstorming and research. The greatest opportunity to make the change that A Clean Life was created for.

As I begin to write up the strategy plan and call the board to order, I want some of your feedback. What do you think of them? What would you like to see me do?

Further, if you have been touched in any way by A Clean Life, please, share your story. Tell us what changes you made. Tell what you struggled with. Tell us what you need.

Your feedback is important!

The Great DC Bag Experiment


Starting January 1 of this year (2010) everybody in the district will be coughing up 5 cents to get a plastic or paper bag from every place that sells food or alcohol. That’s right we’ve reached the point where American laziness is preventing progress and we are switching to forceful laws (aka progressive taxation).

It’s really a test of environmental will which I’m calling the ‘great DC bag experiment‘.  The revenue from the bag tax will go towards cleaning up the Anacostia River. A laudable cause. Even a progressive one. In this day/age when we have given up on our rivers the DC City Council is making a play.

Dig a little deeper and you can find an interesting swirl of facts. Like this being a tax on the poor, avoiding the rich who already own reusable bags. But, the website shows that over 460,000 reusable bags will be given out. With less that 600,000 people in the district that covers 76% of all residents. Assuming the reusable bags can get to the less fortunate in DC, this is almost a non-issue. There appears to be some enlightened leadership in our DC government (gasp!).

Then we can talk about laziness. Or, better yet, this whole reusable bag thing is an issue of the well off. I mean who among the poor class really cares about spending an extra 2-20$ on a bamboo or recycled plastic bag. I guess it’s time for them to start caring. Their excuse is lack of money. What about the rest of us. Laziness? Habit? Apathy?

Time and time again we are finding that Americans just don’t care. They have given up on their rivers, beaches, bays, and parks. The ease of disposable goods is way to alluring, compared to keeping that reusable bag in ur trunk. Most governments around the country and world are finding themselves with one option. Lawmaking. Force people to develop new habits through taxation, fines, and built-in surcharges.

Take that libertarians. Guess its not possible to be a libertarian and an environmentalist.

The ironic part here is that I’m betting DC residents will now start carrying a reusable bag around to avoid that 5 cent charge. Ironic in that pollution, waste, landfills, global warming, dirty rivers, ruined bays – matter zilch to people. But, charge them a nickel and they act like the world is on fire.

The last thing to point out here is that each place you shop at is now saving money. They need to buy less bags and can add to their profit margins. You can bet they won’t be passing that savings onto us, the enlightened consumer. Better/worse yet the new law pays them one cent for doing nothing except participating. Two cents for offering you a nickel rebate when u bring in a reusable bag. Hmmm…you think that is fair?

All right well I expect to see some grumbling and complaining as our “Skip the Bag, Save the River” law comes into effect. You can bet I’ll be watching for that and to see how this great experiment plays out.

DC Mayor’s Conservation Corps

As summer comes to a close and school begins anew I wanted to take some time to highlight something special in DC. The Mayor’s Conservation Corps.

This is a city sponsored effort to provide district youth with social employment. They get paid $7.25/hour and participate in programs like graffiti removal, cleaning parks, community projects, outreach, and more.

It is really a fantastic program for our fair city, which is in need of some beautification. Especially the non-NorthWest affluent areas. Then our kids, oh gosh, have you seen some of these youngsters. If so you would appreciate any sort of mentoring and productive leadership directed their way.

So, it surprises me that so many folks are decrying this effort. Nearly every article, and I mean every article except one or two, knock down this effort. They focus on the mistakes, goofiness, and sometimes rebellion that occurs. Which begs the question, have you ever hung out with the youth?

That is exactly how they are. Even the good ones will act tough and cool. But beneath it all is a sincere desire to help, find guidance, and grow as people. Maybe your ‘tough’ articles would be better if you actually looked beneath the surface and learned about our youth.

Even worse, the city’s world renowned newspaper, the Washington Post, has not published one article about this. Not one. This is embarrassing for them since they have time to write about our Metro failings and crime issues.

As a former middle school teacher I understand this problem better than most. These children are in desperate need of leadership and guidance, not more oppression and problems. I once saw Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of DC Public Schools, speak on this topic. It nearly brought me, her, and everyone else to tears as she told a story of her mentoring program. One that links up a child with an adult. It is very successful and always in need of more help.

The story she told was of one child who said he would do whatever it took to participate. He offered to ride his bike every morning and evening clear across the city. He begged and cried to be a part. Then when given the opportunity he actually did bike all those miles.

So, I challenge this city and its residents to look beneath the cover of this book. Learn about these kids and talk to them. Support these initiatives and maybe even get involved. They are the future of this city.

Finally, I want to salute the DDOE, District Dept of the Environment, and their team for doing a great, unheralded job with this years Conservation Corps.

A Clean Life Interviews – Dave Cacner

I love being a part of a community with A Clean Life. There are so many people living the way we all can/should. Here is one, Dave Cacner, an avid composter. Read on as Dave shares some of his clean lifestyle with us:

What is the favorite environmental thing you do?
It’s a toss-up between making compost and recycling/reusing what I can.  I’ll take whatever vegetable matter we don’t use in the house and compost it.  I’ve even been known to empty the vacuum cleaner bag or take out the dryer lint and add them to the compost pile.  In terms of recycling, I recycle whatever paper we have down to the paper price tags that come on clothing or even toilet paper rolls.

How close to zero waste are you?
Pretty close.  We don’t subscribe to the twice-weekly garbage service.  First of all it’s way overpriced, and since I live less than 3 miles from the Fairfax County transfer station, it’s really easy to justify not paying $30 a month for garbage/recycling pickup.  I estimate that our family of 3 puts out less than 1 large garbage bag a week, or about 3-4 plastic grocery bags worth of garbage.  The rest is composted or recycled!  Or reused.

How do the other people in your life take to this?
My wife and daughter tolerate my cause and of course recycle the standard fare; i.e. newspapers, junk mail, bottles, cans, etc.  And they also diligently fill up our composter under the sink.  Of course, I have to take it outside whenever it’s overflowing.  As far as my friends and neighbors, I think they are somewhat envious, especially when I tell them my garbage bill is around $6.00 a month.  I haven’t seen anyone give up the “convenience” of having the garbage trucks drive through the neighborhood at 7 AM during the week.

What are the benefits you have found in doing all this?
I feel good about how our family is making a difference by reducing the garbage we produce and even in suburbia I feel connected to the land through my composting.

What are you trying to do next?
Your questions have made me think about starting a garden next year.  Every year I think about it and then it’s too late to plant anything.  I’d also like to start buying more local foods and visit farmers markets as part of our normal grocery-gathering.

Do you compost? Describe your process, bins do you use (inside/out), any problems, has it become habitual?
Yes!  I’ve been composting since we moved into our home back in 1995.  I had been just putting the grass clippings in the woods when my wife came across The Rodale Book of Composting on sale at Borders one weekend.  I highly recommend this for beginners and those who want to understand the history and science behind composting.  It really energized me into composting more than just grass clippings.  I went out and purchased two plastic bins, one green and one black (similar to this photo) through a Montgomery County Maryland subsidization program several years ago.  The county was offering them for only $5 each while Home Depot had them for around $30 each, and I haven’t found anything so reasonable since.  If I could, I’d buy a couple more to put out in the woods.  As you research this, you don’t need fancy bins…and don’t waste your money on those rotating cement mixer-like contraptions offering to turn your garbage into dirt in mere days.  Just make a pile in the corner of your yard and toss your clippings and table scraps in there turning periodically.  You’ll be surprised how easy (and fun) it is.

As it is, if I fill up both bins and seem to have more to compost than can fit neatly into the containers.  I throw grass, hedge trimmings, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, dryer lint, dog hair, fireplace ashes, etc. into the green bin to work awhile.  Then after a few months (with no action on my part) or a few weeks (with periodic turning) I move the semi-composted muck into the black bin to work a little more until it’s ready for screening.  If I did nothing to the piles, in about a year I would have “black gold” or very rich dirt.  If I were to turn the piles more often, adding water and mixing everything up while exposing the bacteria to air, I’d have that rich dirt in a couple of weeks.

When I’m ready to make soil, all I do is take a homemade screen from 2X4’s and galvanized hardware cloth and sift out the twigs, rocks, and other materials that don’t break down so rapidly.  I place the screen over my wheelbarrow, mix in some peat moss, and shovel the resulting soil into used mulch bags.  Earlier this summer I made about 5 cubic yards of soil in about an hour.  The flowers love it!

Really I don’t have any problems with the compost.  Fortunately our HOA allows compost bins and the neighbors don’t mind.  Of course I offer them some of the dirt for their plantings.  We never have to buy dirt or potting soil and whenever we plant any bushes or flowers, I always add a shovelful of my compost to help enrich the clay soil we have in Northern Virginia.

What has been the hardest part about your composting?
Not having time to get out and work the piles.  It really helps to turn the piles as the more air you introduce the faster it turns into soil.

What are you growing in your garden?
Sadly nothing.  One of my projects this summer will be to build some boxes that I can attach to my deck…something along the lines of this.

Where do you get your food from? Farmers Markets? Hardcore locavore?
Mostly Wegmans.  I’m working on the Farmers Markets 🙂

What kind of trash bins does your city provide to you?
N/A.  We have some recycling bins and a wheeled garbage can that the previous owners left us.  I have two bins for recycling newspapers and other paper products including the paperboard boxes such as cereal comes in as well as the traditional junk mail.  I also have 3 bins for aluminum, plastic (1 & 2), and glass.  I really wish the county would start taking some of the other types of plastic…I really feel guilty throwing out the butter dishes and non-1&2 type PET.

Summer Celebration At Eastwinds

Summer Party at Eastwinds

We are throwing a party!

Come on over to Eastwinds for some food, friends, music, and good times. This event is going to be an exciting fun filled evening with music, door prizes, raffle giveaways and more. It’s the perfect way to spend your Sunday evening.

This is a charity event with a donation of $25. Your donation is tax deductible and gets free food, door prizes, and wine. The food will be some of the most popular dishes in Orange County created by Ned Sheng owner of EastWinds:

  • Twin Season Shrimp
  • Avocado Wontons
  • Mongolian Beef
  • Egg Foo Young

Ned will also be offering drink specials on some of his best drinks like the

  • Pink Geisha
  • Plum Sake
  • East Winds Iced Tea
  • Hawaiian Sake Punch
  • Chocolate Buttercup
  • Sake Sling


The party will be at Eastwinds Asian Cuisine in Huntington Beach on Sunday July 12 from 5-8pm. Reservations are required.


  • 7114 Edinger Avenue – Huntington Beach, CA 92647 (google maps)
  • From LA: take the 405 to exit 18 for Golden W St/Bolsa Ave – go 2 blocks – turn left just past Edinger
  • From SD: take the 405 – exit onto Beach Blvd/CA-39 – turn right on Edinger – go two blocks – turn into the shopping center


  • Door Prizes/Raffle
  • Local Recycled Art on Display
  • Free Asian Fusion Food
  • Amazing Drink Specials
  • Friends, Family and Good Times!


To reserve your spot please RSVP using PayPal below. The charity event is $25 per person. This includes food, drink specials, door prizes, and a tax deductible donation.


We are looking for sponsors for our event to contribute at the Green ($100) and Super Green ($250) levels. To donate please contact us at ( (202-683-8675).

Guest List & Sponsors

  1. Ned ShengTitleHeader
  2. Scott McKimmey
  3. Jessica Liston
  4. Ian Hornstein
  5. Matt Johnston
  6. Steven J. Mandzik
  7. Shawn MandzikPicture 1
  8. Steven A. Mandzik
  9. Eric Zuercher
  10. Amy Senger
  11. Krystal Burnett
  12. Elliott Ho
  13. Daniel Morgan
  14. Sarah Ward
  15. Daniel Queiroz
  16. Nick Calvert
  17. Melissa Calvert
  18. Erica Liston
  19. Scott Freyman
  20. Nicky Lundstrom
  21. Chris Powell
  22. Spencer Mandzik
  23. Susan Mandzik

This Week in Links – Greenerize

Since I began down this path to become the ultimate Trashman I am getting so many links from friends and family. They are amazing and perfect discussion starters, so thanks everyone! Keep em coming.

Valley Farm, West Wratting
Valley Farm, West Wratting

Rather than read them and realize all this ultimate knowledge myself I decided to share them with the world. Here they are, enjoy.

And, finally an amazing slideshow about bottled water from Scott McKimmey:

Share Your Trash Habits

Every couple of Sundays I put out a question for my friends on twitter. I ask them to update me on their trash habits and what they do for the environment. Below is my query from June 7 and here is one from May 10

The Query


The Answers

bindr we always use our made-from-recycled-material bags for grocery shopping so we don’t use disposable packaging #acleanlife

kttobin @robotchampion I refilled my water bottle at the baseball game, rather than use a new plastic one. #acleanlife

cheeky_geeky @robotchampion I kept myself isolated from the world so as no to do it harm. #acleanlife #opentointerpretation

lizdanzer @robotchampion #acleanlife I stopped buying cds and now instead use itunes to buy all my music! All that unnecessary plastic is saved.

cacner Srsly @robotchampion I make my own potting soil from compost & peat moss. Made ~5 cu yd and still have more compost #acleanlife

robotchampion #acleanlife – i spent hours this week removing the tape from my mailed home packages so i could recycle the paper

blairDC skipping out on rooftop parties @beaconskybar & donovan house. #lazybones but making enviro contribution by not driving #acleanlife :-p

robotchampion #acleanlife – strange but true, for the environment im asking everyone in my household to call it the landfill bin, not trash bin…

krazykriz Brought my own bags to the grocery store. #acleanlife (@robotchampion)

mcpaige @robotchampion Ive not bought water bottles still. #plastic

kstreetkate@robotchampion 1 thing I do for the environment? I handle green collar jobs for DC Dept of Employment Services… that’s a ton!!

j3@robotchampion weird one for you: I only write on unlined paper. Fit more, use less, more creative & flexible.

mrmerlot@acleanlife @robotchampion found a new way to conserve, a vitamix blender: throw in full fruits, veggies, blends to perfection! yum!

how to build community

Share Your Trash Habits

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: Broken rocking chair from curb+hay bale twine=the fourth R, relaxation by K.Muncie on Flickr.

On Sunday, May 10, I put out a call for my friends on twitter. I asked them to share their trash habits and what they do for the environment. Here are the results:

The Query

robotchampion: Friends, I’m interested in ur trash habits, share one thing u do for environment..reduce-reuse-recycle. Send responses w/ #acleanlife tag

The Answers

robotchampion: ive made a bigger effort to recycle all paper in my life, including carrying stuff around and from work to recycle bin at home

kmallwein: still more to do but traditional trash recycling + turn stuff & magazines into art

selil: i only have one computer for work and home thereby keeping my stuff in one place and removing need to print stuff.

selil: In a family of seven we combine loads of a laundry so every load is a full load. saves a ton of water.

kufflink: my wife washes ziplock freezer bags.

kmallwein: when the weather’s nice I dry clothes outside – nice fresh smell and saves electricity

robotchampion – I removed my trash can at work to see of I can reduce my worked and now I’m trying it in my bedroom at home

blairDC: i use a 100% recyclable/reusable bag for groceries (it replaces 50 plastic bags!)

j3: Clean Currents 100% windpower for our house, only about 8% more than regular Pepco Coal.

kmallwein: Electric lawnmower dead (+10yrs old) – have to dig out the push mower that I just bought to go totally green

kmallwein: My new push mower is very green but it doesn’t do weeds very well which is mostly what my yard consists of right now #conundrum

robotchampion: 4 mothers day instead of mailing card, saved paper/CO2, wrote a post and asked siblings to comment –

deyarrison: I only purchase products with recyclable packaging. I give Kleen Kanteens and tote bags as gifts to help others reduce too.

Founders Note

For the very first post of this blog, which is also the mouthpiece for the nonprofit, A Clean Life, I thought it would be nice to write a little note about why I am doing this.

As an introduction…my name is Steven Mandzik and I want to be a trashman.  I am here with a simple vision:

Stretch your horizons, my son, for it is a big world of possibilities open to you, by Kreyten on Flickr
Stretch your horizons, my son, for it is a big world of possibilities open to you, by Kreyten on Flickr

I want to change the way America deals with trash.

I believe we have a true opportunity to effect change over the next few years. I pledge myself to this vision. Further, I believe in transparency, local communities, and using capitalism to lead to sustainability.

In the most succinct way that is what A Clean Life is about.

Why am I here?

Let’s switch gears now. A brief bit about me to explain why I’m here.

As those who know me can testify I’m somewhat restless by nature. This agitation has led me down many roads and many career paths. Each one seemingly more opposite from the previous one. I have worked in several fields (gaming, education, intelligence, technology, website production) and nurtured multiple educational interests (psychology, teaching, law).

Each one of those started out as a hobby of mine that grew into a career goal. I do love turning my passions into productive endeavors.

Now, I’m onto my next hobby, very personal one, trash.


You know I can’t always explain where my hobbies come from. I mean of all things for someone to latch onto, why trash?

I dunno, but, I do have a ringing memory. One of those that just keeps coming back into my vision and guides/haunts me.

The memory is from the autumn of 2001. I had just graduated from UCLA and was searching for my “true calling”. Failing miserably, of course, but I happened into the library one day. I left with nothing except a silly brochure on recycling. Or so I thought.

On the way home I read that brochure and it struck a chord with me. I hung it on my wall and I distinctly remember thinking to myself “this is where I start doing something”. Funny, because I had no idea what that meant, just felt it important to do.

That is where this hobby of mine all started. Everyday I would see that brochure as I left my room. It talked about the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). I spent the next 8 years of my life systematically progressing through each stage (I will save those developments for another post).


Well…here I am then. A self proclaimed trashman with a ringing memory. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of these posts. You can keep up with me more directly on twitter as @robotchampion.