The first Vienna Farmers Market is here, I cannot believe it’s been six months since we’ve seen everyone — customers and vendors alike.
On Saturday, May 5 in the caboose parking lot on Church Street NE, the volunteers of the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna will shake hands and welcome everyone back to the market. We've been busy wrapping up the last minute preparations for the market and while doing so the mind tends to wander happily to the wonderful things that you miss about during the somewhat cold winter months.
Greeting new and old friends and welcoming back all of the farmers and vendors comes to mind, of course, but I’ve also been thinking about the simple joys of fresh foods from the market: A spinach salad made with fresh strawberries sprinkled with goat cheese. Asparagus so fresh and crisp that it snaps in your fingers—you remember that sound don’t you? -- and that luscious green color that you can only get at a farmers market? And the rhubarb and fresh horseradish, oh and the wonderful apples which smell and taste like heaven? Sampling those luscious fresh strawberries, the juices trickling down off your fingers. The vegetables all so fresh, new and dewy.
Years ago, while on a business trip, I remember traveling to Newport, Rhode Island and happening upon one of the first supermarkets that was misting its vegetables. I was so offended even then that there was a need to do this to wonderful vegetables. I couldn’t help but wonder how far these vegetables had traveled to have to be misted every 10 minutes so that they would look fresh and new. I can’t wait for our fresh vegetables tomorrow -- Our vendors travel no more than 125 miles.
Recently, my better half and I started eating poultry again after a vegetarian lifestyle for 25 years. We’re grateful for Smith Family Farms at our market, who offer Pasture-fed poultry and pork as well grass-fed beef. You might want to know where your meat comes from too – that those animals were never fed any by products or were treated with steroids. The Smith Family also does wonderful tours of their farm each year and they live very close in Gainesville near the Manassas Battlefield. Check them out very soon at our market! Their slogan is "Our animals don’t do drugs."
The Vienna Farmers Market is open every Saturday through October 27 (except for Viva!Vienna! weekend and Oktoberfest) and offers special events at the market the first Saturday of each month, including featured local nonprofits, TJ the balloon man and free giveaways. Other events will be announced in advance.
Lot parking for the market is available at Assembly of God Church (Ayr Hill and Center Streets NE) a one and a half block walk down the W&OD path.
Note that this year we are offering lots of new Mexican breakfast foods by popular demand at the Crepes at the Market stand-- including tamales, burritos and tacos just in time for a mini-Cinco de Mayo celebration. See you soon at the market and next week on this blog!
FarmerSJ helps run the Vienna Farmers Market through the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna. She'll write about the market every week in this blog. For more on the market, click here.