When you live in a city like Washington DC, you can often feel a million miles away from rural farmland, the home of fresh and seasonal produce. Luckily, this city has a host of farmer’s markets in and around the city, all of which offer an exciting array of organic fruits and vegetables. You’ll also find homemade breads, hormone-free eggs and dairy and even ready-made food. The markets all sell produce and goods that the vendors themselves have grown, allowing you to purchase food that is local and supports sustainable agriculture. Read on to find out where the most diverse and exciting markets are in the DC area.
225 7th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
A source of great pride to DC residents, Eastern Market is DC’s oldest continually operated farmers market – and one of the most popular. Teeming with couples, families and individuals, this market has an indoor and outdoor area offering goods for every age, palate, gender and culture. Find Amish cheddar cheese from Agora Farms in Pennsylvania; gluten-free, praline-glazed pecans from Sweet Nuthouse; and a variety of fruits and vegetables from Long Meadow Farm in West Virginia and Sunnyside Farm in Maryland. You can also purchase jewelry from all over the world, as well as flowers, wood carvings and other arts and crafts. Unlike most farmer’s markets, this one is open every day except Monday. The hours change every day, so check the website if you plan to make a visit. Head over before work, after work or during your lunch break if you work in the District.
Silver Spring Farmers Market
Ellsworth Drive between Fenton St and Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Run by Fresh Farm Markets, which organizes 11 farmers markets in the area, this one in Silver Spring has been in existence since 2005. The market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. One of the most exciting vendors at this market is Praline Bakery. Serving fresh pastries, including decadent chocolate croissants, it is best to stop here first and purchase some breakfast goods to munch on while perusing the rest of the booths. Honey, seasonal produce like apples, asparagus, ramps and squash, as well as a plethora of herbs can be found in abundance at this market. Feel free to bring your kids and your dogs.
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
3200 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington DC 20010
The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. between the months of May to November. Only vendors from the five neighboring states sell their goods at this Market, which is popular for its abundance of fruits and vegetables. Pears, plums, pumpkins – you name it and you will find it here, along with eggs from cage-free chickens and homemade bread from Atwater’s breads. The best treat at this market is the Pleasant Pops food truck, which makes irresistible, mouth-watering popsicles in unique flavors like avocado lime, pineapple basil and green tea cream.
Palisades Farmers Market
48th Place NW
Washington, DC 20007
All year long, you can be sure to find fresh breads from Maryland, vegetables from Virginia and apple cider from West Virginia at this Palisades Farmers Market. There are also vendors selling fresh flowers, chocolates and delicious pastries and waffles. Be sure to take advantage of the plethora of free samples while being serenaded by DC’s local string band, The Sherier Mountain Boys. The music alone is worth paying a visit. This market is open on Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it a great stop for your weekly, grocery errand in a much more vibrant atmosphere than your typical neighborhood store.
Arlington Farmers Market
3308 S Stafford St
Arlington, VA 22206
Fresh pastas made from scratch are one of the draws to Arlington Farmers Market, as is the fresh mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy and the different cheddar cheeses from Fields Of Grace. You can also purchase heaps of different varieties of mushrooms from Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms, honey from Bees ‘n Blossoms and organic greens and herbs from Endless Summer Harvest. This market is operated year round on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. in the summer, and 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. in the winter.
Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.