2011 DC Farmers Markets

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

The DC metro area has an incredible amount of markets and has one of the highest people/markets ratios. This means their plenty of them available to you every day (except Monday) and they are open in the mornings, during your lunch break, or in the evenings.

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

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

Glover Park – 9-1pm – May to Oct
Hardy Middle School – Wisconsin/34th St

Ward 8 – 9-2pm – Jun to Nov
THEARC – 1901 Mississippi Ave SE

Adams Morgan – 9-1pm – Apr to Dec
18th/Columbia, NW

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

H Street – 9-12pm – Apr 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 – May to Oct
Norfolk Ave at Veteran’s Park, Bethesda Station Metro

Eastern Market – 7-6pm – all year
225 7th ST, SE – Eastern Market Metro

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Sundays

Dupont - 8:30-1pm – all year
1500 20th St – Dupont Metro

Eastern Market – 9-5pm – all year
225 7th ST, SE – Eastern Market Metro

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

Takoma Park – 10-2pm – all year
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 – 3-7pm – Apr to Nov
Foggy Bottom Metro – 2400 I St/New Hampshire

Health and Human Services – 11-2pm – May to Oct
200 Independence Ave, SW – Federal Center Metro

Crossroads – 3-7pm – May to Oct
7676 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Takoma Park

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Thursdays

Penn Quarter – 3-7pm – Mar to Dec
8th St, NW, between D/E St – Chinatown Metro

White House – 3-7pm – May to Oct
810 Vermont Ave, NW – McPherson Sq 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 – all year
Courthouse Metro (1 block south)

Old Town Alexandria – 5-11am – all year
Market Square/City Hall, 301 King St
*(free parking in Market Sq garage during market)

Del Ray Alexandria – 8-12pm – all year
East Oxford & Mount Vernon Ave

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

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Sundays

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

Columbia Pike – 9-1pm – all year
Pike Park in front of Rite Aid, South Walter Reed/Columbia Pike

Mondays

None

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Tuesdays

Crystal City – 3-7pm – May to Nov
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 – 3-7pm – all year
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

**photo by Clara S.**

Michael Pollan on the Rising Food Movement in the NY Review of Books

“The First Lady has effectively shifted the conversation about diet from the industry’s preferred ground of “personal responsibility” and exercise to a frank discussion of the way food is produced and marketed. “We need you not just to tweak around the edges,” she told the assembled food makers, “but to entirely rethink the products that you’re offering, the information that you provide about these products, and how you market those products to our children.”

In his latest essay, The Food Movement, Rising, Michael Pollan chronicles the rise of the Food Movement. It’s a 5,400 word piece in the New York Review of Books that moves from the roots of the movements, to challenging today’s leaders, and, as always, encouraging us to join in.

A striking point comes when he calls out Al Gore for missing the critical role that agriculture plays in global warming. Citing his book/movie/presentation, An Inconvenient Truth,  for making “scant mention of food or agriculture”. Even though our food system makes up one-fifth of American fossil fuel use. Further, it emits an incredible amount of greenhouse gas even thought “(it) is the one human system that should be able to substantially rely on photosynthesis” (i.e. solar energy).

The health industry is also in the center of his piece, citing that 3/4 of all health care spending treats diet related diseases (heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and at least a third of all cancers).

“The health care crisis probably cannot be addressed without addressing the catastrophe of the American diet, and that diet is the direct (even if unintended) result of the way that our agriculture and food industries have been organized.”

Oddly, the good news portion of his essay comes from the government. The FDA is “cracking down on deceptive marketing”, the DOJ is “avowing” to “pursue antitrust” issues, and even the conservative USDA is getting involved. Most importantly, though, is Michelle Obama’s work. As the cited above her direct statements and in-the-field work seem to be having the greatest impact.

“Mrs. Obama explicitly rejected the conventional argument that the food industry is merely giving people the sugary, fatty, and salty foods they want, contending that the industry “doesn’t just respond to people’s natural inclinations—it also actually helps to shape them,” through the ways it creates products and markets them.”

My favorite part about Michael Pollan’s writing are always his euphoric references to our food future. Yes, there are problems and people are suffering, but the light at the end of the tunnel is awe inspiring.

“The food movement is also about community, identity, pleasure…”

I love how he interweaves politics and beliefs into the piece (conservative libertarianism, comunitarian?). Then moves to explore the backlash against consumerism, “an attempt to redefine, or escape, the traditional role of consumer has become an important aspiration of the food movement”.

Finally, a solid reference to our beloved Farmers Markets:

…an activity that a great many people enjoy…(someone) is playing music. Children are everywhere, sampling fresh produce, talking to farmers. Friends and acquaintances stop to chat. One sociologist calculated that people have ten times as many conversations at the farmers’ market than they do in the supermarket.

The piece is well worth reading: The Food Movement, Rising by Michael Pollan

The USDA Wants You To “Know Your Farmer”

This morning I was fortunate to attend new media press event with Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. A small group of us took a short trip outside of Washing DC to Tree and Leaf Farm. Which is exactly 47 miles away from the Dupont Farmers Market in the city, according to co-owner Georgia O’Neal.

The reason for this farm adventure was to launch a very special program for the USDA, called Know Your Farmer Know Your Food. The details of which are still coming out. DepSec Merrigan did clue us in on the plan which includes a weeklong series of programs, announcements, and events. With the culminating event being the official opening of a farmers market one block away from the White HouseThough for new media fans, on Friday Kathleen Merrigan will be entertaining a live facebook chat.

I am betting that for the rest of the country the white house farmers market will be the big hit. It’s an easily condensible byte of news and I expect it to hit all the major networks this Thursday and throughout the weekend. The news for farmers should be a big hit as well since it announces many new plans for grants, guides, and programs. All in support of the campaign promises of Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s idea of “wealth creation” in rural communities.

Tree and Leaf

Tree and Leaf Farm

News aside, it was quite refreshing to visit one of DC’s regional farms the Tree and Leaf. The farm is run by Zach Lester and Georgia O’Neal who offer their bounty on Saturday’s at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market and on Sunday at the Dupont Market. They have 5 acres of land and according to Zach produce a wide variety of crops.

They are definitely into the Organic movement, though I would say they better align with Joel Salatin’s credo of “beyond organic”. Even in our short time Zach dropped into biodynamics, the five folds of nature, the importance of compost, and more.

Their story gets more interesting as you dig into it. Their farm operations include several employees and one farm manager who helps with the direct marketing (getting the food sold), on only five acres of land!

Georgia and Zach

The land is is rented on a year-to-year lease. This is causing them some hardship since Organic farming requires a few years investment to get into place and not having a multi-year deal means they may expend money and sweat for no reason. It also deters them from making infrastructure improvements to increase their food quality, type, and length (growing in deep season, winter).

Their food is sold in markets and CSA’s in DC, but rarely in their own county. Both lamented the fact that the new Loudon County residents rarely get out of their cars to participate in the community. They are locked into the same problem the rest of the country has, trucking their food outside of their community while others simultaneously truck in low quality, unhealthy food for supermarkets.

The farm was truly a beautiful place to be. Zach’s landscaping skills make it a beautiful scene. Both he and Georgia make quite a team on the farm and their little boy, who I really thought looks like Conan the Barbarian in training.

Politics as NOT Usual

It seems that the politics of food has changed. It is now okay to talk about the inequities in our food system. It is even okay to till your own organic garden, start a farmers market, and even shop at one. This is reflected in the seemingly out of nowhere White House push for organic gardening and a farmers market.

Still the vast majority of Americans are lost in these markets which means we have a long way to go. A large amount of education is needed to bring back proper eating into the consciousness of the public. Hopefully, this new USDA program and high profile maneuvers from the White House will start the awareness. Like my Mom always reminds me, its a process, and we can’t erase bad habits overnight.

photo (2)
From Zach: "the structure is a rebar bean tunnel with swiss chard growing underneath"

Keep an eye out for more news as the week rolls on. Check out fellow foodie and blogger Obama Foodorama who also joined us on the farm trip.

City farming becomes a social cause (and other news)

“A lot of us didn’t set out to farm for a living, to have that be what we did all day,” said Greg Strella, 24, who came to MICA to become a sculptor and graduated a farmer. “I certainly didn’t feel that way even 12 months ago.”

But there he is, under a straw hat, atop a tractor, managing Great Kids Farm, a 33-acre organic spread owned by Baltimore’s school system.

More young people are turning up at seminars on sustainable agriculture, said Jeff Schahczenski…he credits the Food Network for promoting foodie culture and movies like Food, Inc. for criticizing industrial agriculture.

via City farming becomes a social cause — baltimoresun.com.

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today encouraged consumers to visit their local farmers markets in honor of National Farmers Market Week, which will take place from August 2-8.

“One of the Obama Administration’s top priorities is to make sure that all Americans – especially children – have access to fresh, nutritious food, and USDA’s ongoing support of farmers markets is important to reaching that goal,” Secretary Vilsack said. “At the same time, farmers markets help support small family farms, help revitalize rural communities, and often promote sustainable agricultural practices.”

Currently, nearly 4,900 farmers markets operate nationwide, up from 4,685 in 2008.

my comment – nearly a 5% increase in recession!

via Release No. 0360.09.

By the Secretary of Agriculture of the USA

A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS more than 4,400 farmers markets across the country offer consumers farm-fresh affordable, convenient, and healthful products such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, herbs, fish, flowers, baked goods, meat and much more; and

WHEREAS farmers markets serve as integral links among urban, suburban, and rural communities, affording farmers and consumers the opportunity to interact; and

WHEREAS the popularity of farmers markets continues to rise as more and more consumers discover the joys of shopping…

WHEREAS farmers markets support local anti-hunger initiatives through donations…

WHEREAS our Nation’s farmers are among the best steward of our land; and

WHEREAS the USDA strongly supports and promotes the development, operation, and expansions of farmers markets and other direct to consumer activities…

I, Edward T. Schafer, Secretary of the US Dept of Agriculture, do hereby proclaim the week of August 3-9 as National Farmers Market Week.

I encourage the people of the US to celebrate the benefits of farmers markets and the bountiful production of our Nation’s farmers…this 15th day of July 2008.

my comment – found this one through google but the link is busted so i just copied it here