Winter Farmers Markets for DC, VA, MD

It’s the end of November and all my favorite markets are closing!

As we say goodbye to our favorite vendors it’s time to prep for Winter. Here is a brand new list of Winter markets, updated from last year, and now including our local coops and organic markets (bottom half of the page).

Also, this is the time of year when Dupont becomes the best market around, less crowds and better vendors, it’s my favorite winter market.

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DC


Sunday

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

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

Eastern Market (outdoor market only) — 7 -4 pm — 225 Seventh St SE

Saturday

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

Sheridan School — 9 -1 pm — 4400 36th Street NW (36th and Alton)

Eastern Market (outdoor market only)  — 225 Seventh St SE

Friday

Horace Mann — 3:30-6:30 pm — 4430 Newark St NW (by American Univ)

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MD


Saturday

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

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

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

Sunday

Bethesda Central — 9 -1 pm — Bethesda Ln between Elm St and Bethesda Ave

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

Wednesday

Twin Springs Fruit at Concord St. Andrew’s Church — 10 -2 pm — Goldsboro/River Rd

Thursday

Twin Springs Fruit at Goddard Space Flight Center — 10 -2 pm

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VA


Saturday

Old Town Alexandria — 5:30 -11 am — 301 King St (City Hall)

Arlington Market — 8 -12pm — North Courthouse Rd and 14th St (courthouse parking lot)

Del Ray Alexandria — 8 -12pm — East Oxford and Mount Vernon

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

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

Oakton — 10 -2 pm — Unity Church of Fairfax, 2854 Hunter Mill Rd

Sunday

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

Wednesday

Clarendon — 3 -7 pm — Wilson Blvd and N. Highland St, Arlington (Clarendon Metro station)

George Mason Univeristy — 11 -2 pm — Southside Plaza

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Coops!

Takoma Park – Silver Spring Coop

Two Locations both open 9am – 9pm everyday

Silver Spring

8309 Grubb Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Takoma Park

201 Ethan Allen Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912

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Bethesda Coop

6500 Seven Locks Rd – Cabin John, MD 20818

8:30am – 9pm (sun open till 8pm)

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Glut Food Coop

4005 34th Street, Mt. Rainier, Md. 20722

Opens at 9am daily, closes at 8pm on Tue-Fri, and 7pm on Sat-Mon

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Maryland Food Collective

B0203 Stamp Student Union, College Park MD 20742

M-F 7:30am – 3pm, Sat 10:30am – 5pm, Sun 12-6pm

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MOM’s Organic Markets

*the only organic markets that commits to buying local and quality*

All stores open 9am -9pm, except Sun 10am – 8pm

Alexandria

3831 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305

Bowie

6824 Race Track Rd, Bowie, MD 20715

Frederick

5273 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick, MD 21703

Jessup

7351 Assateague Dr. #190, Jessup, MD 20794

Rockville

11711 B Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852

College Park

9827 Rhode Island Ave, College Park, MD 20740

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Photo by Andrew Bossi

Silver Diner Offers Local Food, Claims Farm To Table

Silver Diner, a restaurant chain serving Virginia and Maryland, recently decided to offer “fresh and local” food. When I heard this I excitedly ventured out to our closest diner with a group of colleagues. We were ready for some good old fashioned home cooking and jukebox heroes (yes they do have them!). Trouble was not far away though…

The first thing one notices at the new Silver Diner are the advertisements all over the diner for the new local food. The host and server make sure to mention it. The menus is similarly plastered with the words local, fresh, farm. The marketing was a little over the top but at least it got the job done.

The next step was looking into the food. Are they really committing to this or just jumping on the local bandwagon (like Harris Teeter is doing). They appear to be doing both.

The food is local, fresh, and from the farm. They are buying local wine and coffee from a local roaster. These are amazing steps that contribute greatly to local business and can even spur these local industries to greater heights. I think it is important to recognize these steps and even say “thank you”.

Thank you Silver Diner for committing to local, fresh, and farm to table.

With that being said here are some points to improve upon. Transparency is sorely lacking. The menu is more marketing than information. I was forced to ask the server for more details (which she barely knew). Of the two farms listed both were in Pennsylvania, which seems not local at all since farms and cooperatives exist in Virginia and Maryland offering meat, eggs, and dairy. The farms they do mention have only basic websites and do not even list certifications like organic or certified naturally grown.

I was forced to google for information and found that one of them was linked to being a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation). I didn’t want to believe that Silver Diner could have overlooked this huge problem but found that the farm in question lists on its website a herd of 2,000 cows in a gigantic indoor facility, a sort of half-CAFO. Without more information and more transparency, what am I to think of this?

Further, the main reason I would continue coming back is for the vegetables and fruits. The menu and the website only state “produce from local farms”. A method to fix this, since produce is perishable and seasonal, is to list the farms that you regularly buy from or an extra menu listing farm, season, and offerings (provided upon request).

Another issue is standards. Just what are you committing to? The local roaster, Arlington based Greenberry, does not seem to believe in Fair Trade, which is a way to ensure that coffee farmers are not being exploited as cheap labor. If you’re going to offer hormone free meat, then why no offer antibiotic free as well? Also, no mention is made of organic or certified naturally grown, or any other standard that covers pesticide use?

Overall I am impressed by the moves Silver Diner has made. They are good first steps and probably necessary to build local food relationships. It does takes time to establish the operations of delivery and scheduling in bulk quantities. If they can continue their new efforts and build on them I will definitely be a frequent customer.

Seasonal Eating Guide to DC, Baltimore, Arlington

A seasonal food guide for the Capitol Foodshed which includes DC, Baltimore, Arlington, and Northern Virginia. A full list (pdf) is available from FreshFarm Markets.

Vegetables

Spring

Asparagus, Beets, Greens (Collard, Spinach, Chard, Kale), Mushrooms, Onions, Radishes/Turnips, Squash

Summer

Artichokes, Green/Lima Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Greens (Collard, Chard, Kale, Spinach), Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic/Onions, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes/Turnips, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

Autumn

Artichokes, Green/Lima Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Greens (Collard, Chard, Kale, Spinach), Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic/Onions, Mushrooms, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes/Turnips, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

Winter

Greens (Kale, Spinach), Squash – Dec Only: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Greens (Collard), Garlic, Peppers, Radishes/Turnips

Fruits

Spring

Apples, Strawberries

Summer

Jun: Cherries, Berries (rasp, straw), Tomatoes
Jul: Cherries, Apricots, Berries (black, blue, rasp, straw), Figs, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, Tomatoes
Aug: Apples, Berries (black, blue, rasp), Figs, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Tomatoes

Autumn

Apples, Melons, Pears, Tomatoes – Sep Only: Blueberries, Peaches

Winter

Apples, Tomatoes

Herbs

Spring

Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Sage, Sorrel — **None in Mar

Summer

Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Mint, Parsley, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme

Autumn

Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Mint, Parsely, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme

WinterDec Only

Basil, Mint, Parsely, Sage, Sorrel, Thyme — **None in Jun/Feb

The Case for Local Food

Here is a food claim may shock you.

Farmers markets offer food that is three times better for you than supermarkets.

A study published in September 2007 by the Organic Center discovered this startling fact after looking into our modern food system. They had a theory that food has changed since the 1950s, before the industrial food revolution. To test this they gathered seeds from the 1950s and today, grew them to harvest, and compared their nutrient values.

In nearly every category our modern food was lacking. The study gets complicated and covers many areas, so an easy way to sum it up is this. Industrial food producers grow crops for quantity. They want to grow more every year and have increased their production by incredible amounts (400x!). The unfortunate consequence of this massive growth is their food quality has dropped.

The quality vs quantity difference is on average 3x.

It’s a seminal piece of work, or has the potential to be. It could explain our obesity epidemic since we are eating three times more food than we used to. It could explain why so many people dislike healthy food in favor of fast food. It could even explain why healthy food cost more.

Imagine our obesity epidemic if we all ate 1/3 less.

Imagine how different vegetables would taste if they are three times as rich.

Imagine if you had to purchase 1/3 less food. Most folks say that healthy food costs twice as much. Do the math and if you’re buying 1/3 less and spending twice as much it is still cheaper.

Combine these three and you have the perfect solution. A diet that is cheap, tasty, and healthy. If this is true it also supports local economies, small business, and drastically reduces our environmental waste.

Here is the kicker. In America we do not subsidize fruits and vegetables, but we do subsidize fast food. Imagine how this whole equation could change if we made fast food more expensive and fruits and vegetables cheaper.

This is the case for local food.

Try It Out

No more imagining. Test this study out in real life. Find the quality food. See if it fills you up, gives you energy, and saves you money. It has for me and hundreds of my friends.

Here are a few recommendations to help you find quality food:

Fruits/Vegetables – farmers markets. They offer items that are picked at their peak. Grown in ideal conditions. Sold at their freshest. Every other place, including supermarkets, offer declining levels of quality.

Grains/Beans/Nuts – only buy from the bulk sections at Whole Foods and other health food stores. Sometimes also sold at farmers markets.

Meat/Seafood/Dairy – sold at farmers markets and Whole Foods (health stores). The key is to buy items that are raised cleanly and sold fresh.

DC Farmers Markets

We love our DC farmers markets. We love our VA farmers markets.

Here in the DC metro area we have an incredible amount of markets (among highest in people/markets ratio). There are multiple markets every day (except Monday) and they are open during your lunch break or in the evenings.

To help you find all these markets A Clean Life offers a brochure (link below) listing them by day/hour/metro.

Lower on the page you will find a comprehensive list of all markets in the DC metro region.

Untitled 2pdf of brochure for download —-  high res screenshot

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DC Farmers Markets

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Fridays

USDA People’s Garden – 10-2pm – Jun to Oct
12th/Independence Ave – Smithsonian Metro

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Saturdays

Eastern Market – 7-6pm – Year Round
225 7th ST, SE – Eastern Market Metro

14th & U St – 9-1pm – May to Nov
14th/U St – U St/Cardozo Metro

Adams Morgan – 8-1pm – Apr to Dec
18th/Columbia, NW

Silver Spring – 9-1pm – Apr to Dec
951 Ellsworth Dr – Silver Spring Metro

H Street – 9-12pm – May to Nov
625 H St, NE – Union Station Metro, (5 blocks away)

Chevy Chase – 9-1pm – Apr to Nov
Broad Branch Rd/N Hampton St, NW

Bethesda – 9-1pm – Jun to Oct
Norfolk Ave at Veteran’s Park, Bethesda Station Metro

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Sundays

Dupont - 9-1pm – Year Round
1500 20th St – Dupont Metro

Eastern Market – 9-5pm – Year Round
225 7th ST, SE – Eastern Market Metro

Bloomingdale – 10-2pm – May to Nov
1st/R St, NW – Shaw/NY Metro

Takoma Park – 10-2pm – Year Round
Carroll/Laurel Ave – Takoma Park Metro

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Mondays

None

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Tuesdays

New Morning – 4-8pm – Jun to Sep
36th/Alton Place – Sheridan School

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Wednesdays

Foggy Bottom – 2:30-7pm – Apr to Nov
Foggy Bottom Metro – 2400 I St/New Hampshire

Health and Human Services – 2:30-6:30pm – Jun to Oct
200 Independence Ave, SW – Federal Center Metro

Crossroads – 3-7pm – Jun to Oct
Holton Lane/New Hampshire (Takoma Park)

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Thursdays

Penn Quarter – 3-7pm – Apr to Dec
450 8th St, NW – Chinatown/Archives Metro

White House – 3-7pm – May to Nov
810 Vermont Ave, NW – McPherson Square Metro

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VA Farmers Markets

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Fridays

McLean - 8-12pm – May to Nov
1659 Chain Bridge Rd – Lewinsville Pk

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Saturdays

Arlington Market at Courthouse – 8-12pm – Year Round
Courthouse Metro (1 block south)

Old Town Alexandria – 5-10:30am – all year
Market Square/City Hall, 301 King Street

Del Ray Alexandria – 8-12pm – till dec
East Oxford & Mount Vernon Ave

Vienna – 8-12pm – May to Oct
131 Church St NE

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Sundays

West End Alexandria – 9-1pm – May to Nov
4800 Brenman Park Drive

Columbia Pike – 9-1pm – Year Round
S. Walter Reed Dr at Columbia Pike

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Mondays

None

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Tuesdays

Crystal City – 3-7pm – May to Oct
Crystal Drive – 18 to 20th St

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Wednesdays

King Street Alexandria – 3-7pm – May to Oct
1806 King Street, King St Metro

Clarendon – 2-7pm – Year Round
Clarendon Metro

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Thursdays

Rosslyn – 11-3pm – May to Oct
Wilson Blvd/N. Oak St- Rosslyn Metro

Ballston – 3-7pm – May to Oct
Wellburn Square, 9th/N. Stuart, 1 block south Ballston Metro

Dining Out: A Clean Life-style

I’m proud to announce a new feature!

With Washington, DC’s burgeoning local food movement, more and more restaurants are offering seasonal fare from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and yeah, sometimes West Virginia.

While local offerings at becoming increasingly popular, there are still hurdles. Wine is a foregone conclusion (there are local wines?), asking where food comes from is considered rude (it’s a just a carrot, ok!), and trying to leave without a piece of styrofoam…good luck with that.

It is such an incredible experience that Amy and I are hooked. We’ll be visiting all the sustainable establishments in the region and reporting back to you.

In a new feature called, Dining Out: A Clean Life-Style, Amy will be writing reviews of our dining adventures, chef interviews, and even stories of the dirty underbelly of the local food scene.

As a writer and critic, Amy is quite talented: she has earned the respect of the best local chefs, has a keen eye for vibe and atmosphere, a deep understanding of local food, farmers, and sustainability, and, of course, she has a great way with words (including a new screenplay coming out soon).

Check out her first review of the newest restaurant on the scene, Eola!

Fresh Food is Not Expensive!

My baby girl challenged me to post my spending habits. Below are all of my purchases for as far back as I can grab. It reflects money spent on only fresh local food since June 1, 2009. Before that it is a mix of grocery stores, whole foods, 7 Eleven, and others.

The point of this is to show that fresh local food is not expensive. I even find it less expensive!

Should you want to try this too remember, like anything in life, it is a process. It’s taken me years to get to this point and become comfortable with the new lifestyle. But, what an amazing lifestyle it is.

After one month completely on the fresh food diet I am tempted to call it the Perfect Diet. My cravings are gone, I don’t think about food anymore, I workout less, I’m losing more weight, and frankly I’m in the best shape of my life. Further, I have shown this lifestyle to other folks ranging from girls, guys, seniors, 20 somethings and all are raving about it.

*These purchases are mostly for 1-2 people, though I do cook for lots of people, so its more of a mix.

DeMystifying the Costs of Fresh Food

July 2009

  • Farmers Markets – $16.00

June 2009

  • Whole Foods – $134.41
  • Other Grocery Stores – $9.06

May 2009

  • Whole Foods – $100.17
  • 7 Eleven – $8.23
  • Other grocery stores – $21.84

April 2009

  • Whole Foods – $114.64

March 2009

  • Whole Foods – $219.64
  • 7 Eleven – $10.99
  • Other grocery stores – $19.73

February 2009

  • Whole Foods – $170.00

January 2009

  • Whole Foods – $242.44
  • Safeway – $64.54

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.

Memories

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).

Conclusion

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.