Illegal Farmers Market?

by Prince Of Petworth May 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm 27 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user sophiagrrl

I was pretty surprised to see the following note on the MPD 4D listserv:

“Does anyone have any suggestions as to whom to call about the illegal farmers market in the parking lot of Mayor Fenty s campaign hq? The police won t do anything despite complaints to uniformed officers, 911 and 311. They are selling stolen merchandise and handling food without gloves. There no permits displayed anywhere and they are open 7 days a week. Is this operation a part of Mr. Fenty s campaign? If not, why is it allowed to operate? If it is, should he be selling stolen merchandise? So, can someone tell me to whom I can complain that will lead to action?”

Lots of people asked how the complaintant could know if the goods were stolen.

MPD Chief Dianne Groomes replied:

“Good evening Sir – I have sent an inquiry to DCRA to see if there is a permit for the below Farmers Market that has operated for months …and operated for years on the weekends….they can also send an inspector out for the handling of food items… . MPD can check on the stolen goods you are referring to but please advise what table (merchandise) to inspect for most tables have fruit and food items for sale .. (I will have 4d email you direct for further information on the stolen goods and your statement/evidence of such)”

Another resident writes:

“I have found out that it is not illegal because they are on private property and therefore do not need permits.”

Pretty wild, has anyone ever heard of an illegal Farmers Market before? It’s funny because I only think of positive connotations when I hear ‘Farmers Markets’. Stealing cows used to be punishable by death back in the day…


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