Friday question of the day

Great news. I have been contacted by the woman behind the Bloomingdale, Mt. Pleasant and U Street farmers market. I’d like to plan on meeting with her sometime next week.

She wrote:

“I am the Director of the Mount Pleasant, 14 & U and
Bloomingdale Farmers’ Markets. I would be glad to come to a meeting
in Petworth and talk about how we started the farmers’ market in
Bloomingdale — and what it would take to start one in Petworth….”

So what do you think, do we want a Farmers Market in Petworth? Do we know why the efforts by the owner of Domku were unsuccessful? I remember signing a petition a while back. Should we involve Muriel Bowser in this effort? By the by, any opinion on how we think our Councilmember has represented so far? But most importantly are we going to make a real effort for a farmers market?

16 Comment

  • There used to be a farmers market across from the metro and I kept going every weekend hoping it would suck a little less than the week before. This year I signed up for a CSA program and a farm drops fresh produce on my front porch once a week now. I think the problem with a farmer market in Petworth is a lack of demand for good fresh fruits and vegetables. People may NEED them, but they don’t WANT them.

  • I think that Kiera from Domku said that the group she contacted could only open a certain number of markets (2 or 3?) this year and they had 5 or 6(?) applicants. And it sounded like the market/demand in Petworth just wasn’t as strong as they others who applied, but they did say maybe next year. (Sorry for the sketchy info/memory).

    But I would LOVE to have a farmer’s market in Petworth and would be happy to help with the organizing.

  • From what I remember, the farmers market we had across from the metro was successful. It closed because the empty lot was bought by developers and fenced off. Kera was working on bringing in a farmers market to 9th street.

  • My understanding from old posts on PetworthNews is that the farmers market by the metro closed because the guy who ran it moved to MD. (It takes a lot to run a market, and I think it would be tough to find another person willing to get up early every Sat. and do it for free.) FreshFarm Markets, the group to which to owner of Domku applied, would have provided a coordinator for the market. But unfortunately, the Petworth application was not accepted.

    PoP, as I read the email you received, she is willing to come to a community meeting in Petworth. Perhaps it makes sense to organize something larger than a meeting with you as an individual, since there are a lot of us in the neighborhood who would like to get involved.

    Ed, which CSA do you use? I’m interested in joining one but don’t know which one to try.

  • We absolutely should get Muriel Bowser involved. She’s up for reelection in 2008; remember, it’s a short term b/c she filled a vacated seat. For that reason alone I think she’d be very interested in working on this issue with residents.

  • Alright, I’ll try and set up a meeting at Domku or Temperance and I’ll post time and date when I speak to the organizer.

  • I also have fruits and vegetables delivered once a week by Washington Green Grocer ( I love that, but if a good farmer’s market was in my neighborhood, I would cancel delivery. If I need to supplement, I currently go to Eastern Market. I’d rather walk through my neighborhood and say hello to my neighbors in the process.

  • If this woman is willing to try another farmer’s market in the Petworth area, then by all means I say go for it. What didn’t work before doesn’t mean it won’t work again. The neighborhood has changed so much (especially in the last two years) that it can probably support such a market. Plus, anything to meet your neighbors is a good thing.

  • I would come to a meeting and be interested in helping run the market (not being in charge mind you!).

    I walk down to Mt. Pleasant every Saturday morning, and while it’s sometimes a nice walk, recently the weather has made it a rather hellish slog back up the hill with 30 lbs of produce.

  • Anonymous: 30 lbs of veggies? Do you have a herd of Shetland ponies in your backyard?

  • I wish I had a herd of shetlands.

    Actually its not just produce, its usually also some dairy products, meats etc. In the summer I buy all of my food for the week from the farmers, so it is a pretty heavy load.

  • Domku’s efforts failed because Domku sucks.

  • “Domku sucks” is a bit harsh. I’d say the better statement is “Kiera’s lack of enthusiasm for patrons and their concerns can be pretty sucky”. I recognize that I can be a bit picky sometimes, but let’s just say that Kiera is mighty lucky she’s such a good cook because her skills as a host are… none too skillful. The wait times and dismissive attitude might be understandable when you are working out the kinks with a new place, but Domku has been open for a while. Right now Domku is the only game in Petworth, but that might not be the case once those condos open. It would be smart to get a “front-of-the-house” manager to work out the service issues and allow Kiera to stay in the kitchen where she really shines anyway. Our last experience included excessive waits for drinks and food, the wrong entree, and one completely forgotten side dish. All of this was surely due in part to the green wait staff, but when Kiera comes out of the kitchen does she gush apologies and comp the food? Forget it. Kiera’s lack of industry management experience is pretty obvious on the service side. We are not visiting Kiera’s house for brunch, we are PAYING customers. Every good restaurant needs a kitchen general and a floor general and very rarely can one person handle both effectively. It’s no personal knock on Kiera, I wouldn’t want to be a floor manager either, but she definitely needs one. It will probably be hard for her to let go of some of the authority (and the cash to pay someone to take on running the floor), but it will make Domku a serious restaurant instead of an unprofessional, outgrown hobby — which is what it seems like when things get busy.

    As far as the farmer’s market goes, Lil’ Gal wants in on any organizin’ (she says).

  • AFAIK, Kiera is not the chef in Domku. I actually find her quite friendly under her icy exterior.

  • Anonymous: It appeared that Kiera was at the grill at least two out the last three times I’ve been there (she didn’t appear at all one time). The time I mentioned in above comment she came out of the kitchen with the late entrees, after the waitress had told us she had to wait for Kiera to finish cooking another item before she could get a missing item for us, so I think it’s a fair assumption she was, at least, running the kitchen — or perhaps she was just hiding in the cooler.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, one of those long-wait times was a weekend brunch where they “ran out” of hollandaise sauce about 11:00am and, because we didn’t get a waitress’ attention for 25 minutes, we had to then wait another ten minutes before we ordered our second choices.

    Whether it is true or not, Kiera’s “icy” disposition only adds to the impression that she really could care less about the often abominable service.

    What’s most frustrating about these service issues is that they are unnecessary and simply a result of disorganization and not having a floor manager (or even a glorified hostess) to take care of some of these very basic issues, like filling glasses, helping waiters in the weeds, and communicating with the patrons.

  • A who dem a call, stop calling people names AS, you are better than that
    Anonymous Says:

    July 22nd, 2007 at 1:26 am
    Domku’s efforts failed because Domku sucks.

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