Thanks to the locavore movement, farmers markets are booming and have become more than just a place to pick up a few salad items. They’re neighborhood gathering spots where families can brunch, meet local farmers, socialize, and enjoy live music and other events. Farmers markets in the DC area carry seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other products from farms in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Fall brings everything from the obligatory pumpkins and other gourds to kohlrabi, grapes, kale, and beets. Of course, the fresh finds go beyond produce. Stock your fridge with fish, poultry, grass-fed beef, eggs, and goat’s milk cheese and yogurt. Prepared foods make the trip extra worthwhile, as some of the region’s best-loved bakeries, delis, and cafes sell their treats all in one place. Pair the food with locally made apple cider, beer, wine, and spirits. Many markets also carry products made by local entrepreneurs, including candles, bath products, and jewelry. Head out to these 12 DC area farmers markets this October.
1. Arlington Farmers Market
Arlington, VA 22201
Some products sold here have traveled a bit farther than your average farmers market find. A Virginia fisherman sells salmon, halibut, and other fish he catches in Alaska, while the olives are picked from a Baltimore company’s family farm in Greece. Fall flavors are on full display with the drink and food selections, including apple cider doughnuts and switchel, a beverage made with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Head to the market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
2. Glover Park-Burleith Farmers Market
Washington, DC 20007
Families will enjoy this decade-old farmers market, which offers face painting, coloring, and other kids activities in the Hardy Middle School parking lot. Find free-range eggs and goat milk along with locally made apple butter and apple cider on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3. FRESHFARM Foggy Bottom Market
Washington, DC 20052
The pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha earn rave reviews, as do the crab cakes, flatbreads, and Greek phyllo pastries at this market near George Washington University. Cucumbers, green beans, carrots, and winter squash are some of the produce visitors will find. Stop here on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m.
4. FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market
Washington, DC 20036
The Dupont Circle farmers market, one of the area’s most popular, offers something for everyone. Stop at one of the numerous farm stands to pick up herbs, vegetables, fruit, and free-range eggs. Several local creameries sell sheep and goat’s milk cheese and yogurt. Vegan soup, pancakes, wood-fired pizza, and bagels from a celebrated local deli make it a good bet for lunch. Beverage makers sell locally made cider, beer, liqueurs, and spirits during market hours, Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
5. Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
Washington, DC 20010
Live music, book sales, and a bike clinic animate this Mt. Pleasant market, open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Farmers, bakers, and pickle makers from the mid-Atlantic sell everything from baby greens to grass-fed beef, kimchi, mint, and basil.
6. Columbia Heights Farmers Market
Washington, DC 20010
Handmade pasta, plant-based sausages, microgreens, and Eastern Shore mushrooms make this market a favorite among vegetarians. The market hosts 20 farmers and food producers Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the colorful Civic Plaza.
7. Silver Spring Farmers Market
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Meat and dairy lovers will enjoy this farmers market, which sells pasture-raised meat, poultry, and eggs, as well as goat, cow, and sheep’s milk cheeses and yogurts. Beets, kale, and kohlrabi are among the featured produce. After food shopping, pick up some beeswax candles, soaps, and lotions and sip some apple and hard cider, or Maryland-produced wine and beer. It’s open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
8. FRESHFARM Penn Quarter Market
Washington, DC 20004
Located next to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the market features wood-fired pizza from Timber Pizza, scones and brownies from Rare Opportunity Farm and Bakehouse, and other mouthwatering fare. Fall produce finds include spring onions, radishes, broccoli, and fresh herbs like parsley, sage, and thyme. Get these items and more on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m.
9. Ward 8 Farmers Market
Washington, DC 20032
Buy arugula, Swiss chard, and other seasonal vegetables from a farm in the Appalachian foothills in Pennsylvania. Grab some jollof rice and fish patties, hot dogs and burgers, or Maryland blue crabs for lunch at this farmers market located at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. It’s open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
10. Eastern Market
Washington, DC 20003
A flea market, food hall, and arts and crafts fair rolled into one, this 136-year-old market is one of the city’s largest and oldest. The Capitol Hill attraction is the place to go for the ripest tomatoes, fresh flowers, seafood, meat, and cheeses. Afterwards, grab a crepe or some shrimp and grits. On weekends, visitors can pick up pottery, jewelry, or bath products in the outdoor market. Eastern Market is open Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
11. Brookland Monroe St. Farmers Market
Washington, DC 20017
Small businesses in the DMV sell their premium ice cream, organic sourdough bread, fine teas, and fair-trade coffee at this Brookland market, a stop on the local Arts Walk. Visitors can also pick up some onions, spinach, grapes, and other fresh produce from Maryland and Virginia farms. Check the calendar to find yoga, live music, and other events during market hours, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
12. FRESHFARM H Street NE Market
Washington, DC 20002
This farmers market is as vibrant as the H Street neighborhood itself. Delectable delights include Egyptian-style pita and dips and breakfast sandwiches made with bacon from a Virginia farm. Shoppers can also find Richfield Farms’ squash, pumpkins, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts while Pennsylvania’s Quaker Valley Orchards sells the fall classics — honeycrisp apple sauce and butter and jams made from seasonal fruit. It’s open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
SOURCE: D.C. Eater