A few weeks ago I wrote about a couple of the grocery options in Mount Pleasant. I love that I live in a neighborhood that’s got some flavor and one where I have more options than Giant and Whole Foods. However, there has been more than one occasion when I was in need of some produce in a pinch and the selection at Bestway or International Progresso was looking a little less than fresh. That’s why I get a little giddy come spring when the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market opens up just a stone’s throw from home. May 3 was the first official day of the season and they’ll be open every Saturday right in the heart of Mount Pleasant (at 17th, Lamont and Mt. Pleasant Streets) from 9am -1pm until November 22.
I haven’t been to too many of the other area Farmers’ Markets, but I do like that this one is not only closer to home, but also that it seems to be a bit more intimate than the markets in Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter. It seems that the “neighborhood-y” vibe Mount Pleasant’s got going on spills over into the market as well. Everyone’s just happily milling about (sometimes to the sounds of live music), soaking up the sun, and checking out the goods. And goods there are!
The great thing about the Farmers’ Market is that it changes just a little each week. Through November there will be a revolving door of fresh seasonal items including apples, eggs, plants, organic meats, berries, squash, cider, baked goods, bread, honey, jams, tomatoes and much much more. This week I picked myself up a couple jars of preserves from Kathy Audia of Audia’s Farm in Howard County, MD. I’ve yet to tap into the Bumble-Berry, but the Persimmon-Peach was superb! Story continues after the jump with lots more photos.
Everything available at the market is raised, grown, or made by the person selling it. And it’s all local and regional – which, according to the market website, means it comes from the five states whose farmland and waterways serve the DC metro region. That’s Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. I’d recommend getting there early and bringing cash, but some of the vendors do take credit cards, and a new feature for 2008 is the Farmers’ Market ATM where you can use your debit card. They also accept WIC and Farmers’ Market coupons. And the humanitarian in you can rest easy knowing the Market supports and donates produce to Miriam’s Kitchen, a program that provides food and social services to the homeless in DC.
This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to talk to Rebbie Higgins, the Market Manager, who was overseeing the morning events, along with her husband and two little ones. They live over in Brookland, but Rebbie found her way into this role through a friendship with the Plank family, who run the Market. This is her first year as Market Manager and so far so good. Business has been good and they’ve got some additional vendors lined up; Keswick Creamery (you may know them from the Dupont or Takoma Park Markets) is coming in June, and next week she is expecting strawberries!!! One thing the Market is lacking though is a beef or lamb vendor. If you know anyone, send them her way. You can find Rebbie’s contact information, along with info about who’s selling, what’s available and more at www.mtpfm.org.