The D.C. metropolitan area is flooded with Farmers Markets. You can find at least one market every weekend in every neighborhood. These markets accept most forms of public assistance. While Takoma Park Farmers Market and Ward 8 Farmer’s Market accept EBT/SNAP/W.I.C. and senior coupons. Other Fresh Farm markets, including Petworth, Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights accept said forms of assistance as well as SNAP/Matching dollars.
It can be easy to let the convenience of your local market get lost in the sea of “fresh to-go” sections in places like CVS and 711. Even Target, the ultimate stop and shop, has incorporated produce into its floor plan. With such easily accessible produce and a greater social direction toward healthy eating habbits, how can we make choices that benefit our bodies, communities, and our pockets?
What beats natural product right from the source? In an overly mass produced market, artisanal based activity is romanticized. There is a butcher’s section in the grocery store, but the likely hood of finding an independent butcher is slim to non in most communities. We can find everything in one place and in many cases that is the way we like it; impersonal. Farmer’s markets present the opportunity to place faces on your food and return to a “gilded” time of small business for small markets. To become closely interweaved in the process of communal sustainability. By cutting out the middle man(whatever the grocery source may be), you’ve made a conscious decision to become more personal with sustenance for life. Many items we buy packaged and sealed go through checkpoint after checkpoint before they reach us, growing in price but not in value. A simple trip to your local farmer’s market is an affordable way to be engaged in dynamic produce and artisanal options-such as edible flowers or home made bread and cookies.
Buying fresh produce from the Farmer’s market is a way to ensure buying what is in season and therefore cooking and eating more in tune with your immediate environment. For those interested in macrobiotic diets or those simply looking to health up their appetite this is a way to buy what’s in season now without letting those pleasantries of shipped in foods heavily influence your spending and your kitchen. For instance, it is biologically unnatural for a person living in the Chesapeake Bay area to eat watermelon in February. A market in every neighborhood serves a very specific customer and is therefore more easily influenced by its consumers, making your needs more accommodable and fast relay possible.
Some seasonal vegetables are spring onions, red and yellow peppers, kale, chard, bok choi, cucumbers and spinach. apples and pears are the seasonal fruits. Some baked goods depending on the markets may include macaroons, brownies or cookies. Most markets also carry specialty meats and cheeses.