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

Podcast: NPR’s Intelligence Squared, Is Organic Hype?

“Six debaters, three against three, will be debating this motion: Organic Food is Marketing Hype”

“Now this is a debate, it is not panel discussion or seminar. It is a debate, someone will win and someone will lose.”

That is the intro to the latest debate from NPR’s Intelligence Squared.

I love these debates after picking one up on who is to blame for the Mexican Drug War. They are fun and fascinating, and also heavily liberal.

I do love how they present multiple points of view. They stick to the debate format which includes opening statements, closing ones, and an open question and argue period.

Check out the video and lower on the page are the briefs, audio versions, and an iTunes link.

More Info

photo by Melanie Defazio

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.

Certified Naturally Grown vs. Organic

All of this content comes to us from a comment on a previous post. Tom Hedrick (his farm) said it perfectly and so no need for my commentary.

Certified Naturally Grown vs. Organic

Another topic I think lots of us would be interested in is the significant difference between “Certified Naturally Grown” and “Organic”. Organic certification is really a barrier to entry for most small farmers. From the Wikipedia article, “To be Certified Organic (as opposed to Certified Naturally Grown) in the US, a grower must keep detailed records of planting, cultivation, fertilization, harvest, and storage, and must pay for both organization membership and periodic inspection. This process works well for large-scale commercial growers, but becomes onerous for small mixed-agriculture farms. Since only certified seeds may be used, the varieties available to be grown are limited, and sustainable practices such as seed-saving is not permitted, unless the farmer also applies to be certified as a seed supplier.

Certified Naturally Grown farmers follow the USDA standards of the National Organic Program, but the record keeping and inspection process is tailored to accommodate the needs of small-scale mixed-agriculture farmers, and are not normally permitted to use the word “organic”. Farmers commit to act as inspectors. Farmer-Inspectors are uniquely qualified to observe and note whether their neighbors are sticking to the standards, and are encouraged to provide helpful feedback, which helps foster a sense of community and sharing. Inspection forms are posted on the Internet for anytime public access, and all farms are subject to random pesticide residue testing. All in all, the CNG procedure requires significantly less paperwork, yet arguably results in more transparency and fostering of better farming practices, than the Certified Organic process, which primarily depends on farmer declarations backed by copious paperwork, and which inspects the paperwork rather than the farm.”

Support biodiversity, encourage the use of open pollinated seeds for seed saving and sharing. Remember nothing tastes better or is better for you than an heirloom fruit or vegetable!

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On CSA’s – Community Supported Agriculture

Steven,
Regarding getting ultra-fresh food, there is one thing that I haven’t seen you mention and that is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). It alleviates much of the very valid concerns that Kelcy brought up. For instance, when you go to the local farmer’s market, you have no idea how their produce is grown. Do they use herbicides and pesticides and tons of water soluble fertilizers? Did they raise their livestock on free range grasses chock full of Omega-3’s or was it just a small-scale version of the high production farms? Were those animals slaughtered in a humane manner? CSA’s give the consumer an opportunity to truly develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown; annual or even more frequent farm visits are encouraged. Check out this link, plug in your zip and find a CSA near you:

Local Harvest

Another great read is the late John Seymour’s book, A Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It.

It doesn’t get any fresher than if you grow it yourself. Doesn’t even require much space and you can put that compost to great use even if it is just a container garden on a city balcony.

Also there was a question above of what to eat in the winter when local farms are not producing. Community farmers throughout the US even in northernmost states are noticing a great return on minimum investment by using High Tunnels (cheap plastic cold frames that greatly extend the growing season).

High Tunnels

keep up the good work

tom