So I have to admit, I really do not love the outdoor farmer’s market at Eastern Market on the weekends. I’m not talking about the flea market with all the mirrors, animal hats and necklaces, I’m talking about the food part. Maybe I’m spoiled, but I don’t think repackaged baby carrots or oranges and bananas (clearly not grown in the Mid-Atlantic region) count as a farmer’s market. See, in the picture above, you see strawberries right next to apples. If you’re growing locally, the strawberries would happen for a few glorious short weeks in early spring and the apples arrive much later in fall.
When I go to a market, I want 100% local. And I want fresh, as in, vine to me in less than 24 hours. And sadly, I don’t see a ton of that at Eastern Market normally. But all this might change today with the announcement of the new “Fresh Tuesdays” farmer’s market at Eastern Market.
The new market Tuesday afternoon/evening market boasts vendors with names like Shyla and Steven “Heirloom” Kennedy and Ben Hertzler, “The Watermelon King”, so I’m super hopeful that we’re in for some true local-grown, organic produce. I did a bit of Google-stalking some of the market newcomers and found Groff’s Content Farm in Maryland, whose website explains they sell pasture-raised, grass-finished beef, lamb, pork, goat, eggs, broiler chickens, turkeys, and duck. New vendor Walnut Hill Farm from Virginia seems to be equally as thoughtful about their products. Returning weekend vendors such as Ashton Farms seem to grow conventionally (or at least the website makes no organic claims), but look to have a big variety ranging from peaches to corn. And from West Virginia, sometimes buying local can outweigh buying organic if you’re focused on environmental impact.
Now we’re talking. I can’t wait to grab a tote and check out the newest addition to DC’s farmer’s market scene. The new Tuesday market run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. beginning today, July 10.