FRESHFARM Markets


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER GLEANING
Iona Seniors Indoor Market

By Brian Callahan, volunteer at the Ballston and Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Markets

In “Let’s Glean!” the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes how 100 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year, despite there being 49 million people who are going hungry in our country. The process of gleaning serves to counteract that imbalance by redistributing food, which would otherwise go to waste, back to people in need. In support of local gleaning, FRESHFARM Markets partners with food kitchens and other programs organized by nonprofit organizations throughout the greater metro Washington, D.C. area to give surplus food from farmers markets back to the community.

The Iona Active Wellness Program at St. Albans is one of the programs FRESHFARM Markets works with in Washington, D.C. Every week, members of the Iona community may go to a mini farmers market in the St. Albans Episcopal Church. This indoor farmers market provides people access to the latest seasonal produce and makes it easier for senior citizens to get the nutrients they need to maintain healthy diets.

On August 18, 2014, the mini farmer’s market at St. Albans featured a variety of fruits and vegetables that were donated by growers from the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market: green beans, potatoes, lettuce, parsley, eggplant, Swiss chard, beets, yellow squash, artisan breads, bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and chives. A sign on a nearby table displayed the recipe of the week, which was a Mediterranean salad, along with other information meant to foster awareness in the community on food topics such as cooking, nutrition, and recipes.

By the time I arrived at the mini market with FRESHFARM Markets Manger and Volunteer Coordinator, Sam Giffin, several of the produce items were already gone, which, along with the enthusiasm of the people who were there selecting their own food, spoke to the popularity of the market. I could tell how special this event is for the members of Iona’s Active Wellness program, how it plays an important role in their community on a regular basis, and how it supports the positive effects of gleaning in an incalculable manner.

A special thanks to Rose Clifford and Ashley Steiner for providing me insight on the market on a busy Monday morning. For more information on Iona’s Active Wellness program, click here.

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Chef + Doctor + Farmer = A Revolution
Chef Doctor Farmer Moderator Graphic

Join FRESHFARM Markets for a ground-breaking conversation between three fresh-thinking experts, who are rarely at the same table, who just might change the way we think about cooking, medicine, and farming. The panel entitled “Chef + Doctor + Farmer = A Revolution” includes Spike Gjerde, local food advocate and chef/owner of the renowned Woodberry Kitchen; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, author, professor, oncologist, and an architect of the Affordable Care Act; and Zach Lester, owner of Virginia’s Tree and Leaf Farm and food visionary. They will discuss how innovative (and age-old) farm-to-body practices are transforming the future of eating, healing, and growing food. Corby Kummer, senior food editor for The Atlantic magazine will moderate the discussion. Dr. Katherine Alley, medical director emeritus of Suburban Hospital Breast Cancer Center, will introduce the panel.  The panel is the first for a new FRESHFARM Markets project called “FFM FEED Series.”

“I’m excited to present this panel which brings together three professions – chef, doctor and farmer – who never share a stage together, but whose interaction is guaranteed to produce a revolution around the key issues of health, food and farming,” said Ann Yonkers, FRESHFARM Markets co-founder and co-executive director

The event will take place on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ at 945 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001. Tickets are $20. Go here to purchase tickets.

To find out more about other exciting events that FRESHFARM Markets is holding this September, including An Exceptional Evening with Philip Glass and Tim Fain on Sunday, September 21, go here.

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PREGNANT IN THE SUMMER AT FFM
Baklava Couture

We didn’t know when the time would finally come, but when we found out in March that we’d be expecting our first child, one of the first few thoughts that immediately came to mind was “Oh, no…I’ll be pregnant in a DC hot, humid summer.”

You see, I’m not quite in the AC for my job. When I’m not running around in the oven-warmed kitchen, I’m running my outdoor farmer’s market booth – covered in pollen and sticky temperatures. I dreaded being pregnant in the summer and thought it would be difficult for me and baby, but instead, I am finding it to be wonderful. Never did I think about all the fresh picked, plucked and harvested goods my baby would be exposed to.

Since sharing the news with friends and family in May, I have been super thankful for the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available by my farmer friends! I remember telling Winn of Quaker Valley Orchards that I ate five pints of his perfectly ripe strawberries in just two days!! Craving?  I don’t know, but those jewels were so damn delicious I couldn’t pop them in fast enough.

I don’t suffer from allergies the way my husband does, but how lucky have we been to enjoy all the fresh, early harvest honey that is collected within 15 miles of where we live in Silver Spring. Our honey supplier (Banner Bee) has kept my husband free of any “my allergies are killing me” excuses to get things done around the house – plus 1 for me and baby!

As the seasons began to change and the DC summer was upon us, I focused baby’s nutrients around all the different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, squash and green beans, crisp asparagus, dark leafy greens and lots of buttery lettuce. Making a bunch of salads in the beginning of the week for a quick grab-n-go lunch has really been the key to sustaining my energy and this little life growing inside of me. In the last few weeks, I have never enjoyed so many stone fruits, berries and super antioxidant currants (the pink are my favorite!).

My favorite weekly cool-down meal at market has been Soupergirl’s Beet Gazpacho – perfectly seasoned and cold, it really helps keep me hydrated! I think my only true craving thus far has been BBQ and no one does it better than Three Little Pigs.  I usually skip the bun and enjoy the BBQ mixed with their house made slaw for an easy, ready meal.

We are about to close our second trimester and while my belly is beginning to resemble a large melon, I am really looking forward to the variety of melons coming in to keep me cool this August. Watermelon-Mint Granita, anyone? I’ll have my stash in the freezer for a hot, summer night’s treat that’s for sure!

Thank you FRESHFARM Markets for getting us all together and allowing for a happy, healthy and locally sourced pregnancy experience! I feel truly blessed to have this bounty surround me at markets four days a week.

Written by Katerina V. Georgallas, owner of Baklava Couture.

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FARM VISIT FRIDAY
Quaker Valley Farm and Orchard

Every Friday we post #farmvisitfriday pictures on our Instagram account. All of the photos we post are from farms in the FRESHFARM Markets network. One of our volunteers recently got the opportunity to go on farm visits with FRESHFARM staff, here is her story.

My name is Nina, and some of you may recognize me from the CSA tent at the Foggy Bottom and Penn Quarter farmers markets. I recently graduated from The George Washington University, where I became increasingly involved in various organizations that advocate for sustainable food practices within the community. After graduation I started interning with the FRESHFARM Markets CSA program, where I help order, plan and pack the CSA shares. While there has been lots of learning along the way, a few weeks ago I experienced a lot of firsts.

When I told my friends I was going with to visit a real, live farm for the first time, most of them replied, “You’ve never been to a farm? But you love vegetables!” Interesting. But nonetheless, I was invited to tag along with market managers Sam and Genna and volunteers Elaine and Mariah to visit a few of the FRESHFARM Markets farmers. With the five of us piled into a Zipcar, we made our way towards Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to visit three very different farms.

We first went to tour Kathy’s Kiwi Berries, new to the FRESHFARM family, where Kathy Glahn has invested in the “decade fruit.” Nestled under Little Round Top Mountain, she has grown an orchard of these unique berries that take seven years to start producing fruit. Even after last season’s freeze out, Kathy’s vines will produce a harvest of about 2,000 pounds come September. If, like me, you had never heard of kiwi berries, be sure visit Kathy at our Downtown Silver Spring FRESHFARM Market in September for a new fall fruit experience!

Next we drove to nearby Biglerville, where Winn and Fredi Schulteis own and operate Quaker Valley Orchards. After being greeted by their son JC and two very excited dogs, we wandered through just a fraction of their 240 acres.

We had heard rumors around market that our unreasonably cold winter and a late frost would shorten the season and possibly raise prices for some fruit. According to Winn, the most challenging part was that while we usually have some warmer days to break the frost, it stayed consistently cold this year. This did not seem to hurt his apples, but cherries, he said, are the most sensitive to cold weather. And while that is sad, he explained that this is an exceptionally good year for plums (whose season is just starting)!

After eating a delicious cobbler made by JC of the freshest fruit, we went on our way to Keswick Creamery at Carrock Farm. There Melanie showed us from start to finish how farmstead cheese is made, starting with their 45 rotationally grazed Jersey cows to ending in my personal favorite, the aging room, where we were surrounded floor to ceiling by cheeses.

I came home from Farm Visit Friday buzzing with new information. I learned what a kiwi berry is; I learned that red and black raspberries cannot be planted next to each other, and I met a cow calf for the first time. But most importantly, through volunteering at FRESHFARM Markets this season I have been able to learn and taste how fresh the meat, cheese, and produce is, and on Friday I understood firsthand why that is. As Melanie from Kewsick summed up for us, “You can make cheese out of any kind of milk. But you just can’t make good cheese out of bad milk.”

Written by CSA Volunteer Nina Waysdorf. Interested in volunteering with FRESHFARM Markets? Email samgiffin@freshfarmmarkets.org.

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PRODUCE PLUS MAKES FRESH FOODS ACCESSIBLE
Produce Plus_FarmersMarkets

 

Thanks to the District of Columbia, shoppers who use their nutritional benefits at DC farmers markets – including 8 FRESHFARM Markets – can eat more fresh fruits and vegetables this market season.

Produce Plus is a new nutrition benefit made possible by the DC Department of Health to increase people’s access to fruits and vegetables. Every week, eligible shoppers at 28 DC farmers markets receive Produce Plus checks worth $10. The checks can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables from any participating farmer. To be eligible, shoppers must be a DC resident and participate in any of the following programs: SNAP, WIC, SFMNP, CSFP, Medicaid, and TANF. The District of Columbia is providing $130,000 in Produce Plus checks to be distributed through September 2014.

FRESHFARM Markets has also expanded its network of farmers markets by adding two new DC markets – CityCenterDC and Mount Vernon Triangle – where SNAP (EBT/Food Stamps), WIC, and Senior Coupons are all accepted. At all 8 FRESHFARM Markets in DC, FRESHFARM gives up to $15 in Matching Dollar tokens to any SNAP, WIC, and Senior Coupon customers each market day to spend on fresh, healthy foods.

In the first month of Produce Plus benefits, FRESHFARM Markets has given out over $5,700. Our FRESHFARM Markets staff has seen some very happy shoppers buying more fruits and vegetables every week! Here is what they are saying:

“The government is only giving me $9 a day to eat on, but by coming to FRESHFARM Markets I am getting plenty of good food to eat.” ~ Adrian, Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market shopper

“Produce Plus has helped me have a healthy summer diet this year. I recently read a study that said that people who eat healthy, exercise and don’t drink or smoke live longer, so that’s what I am trying to do. Thanks to Produce Plus I’ve reduced my consumption of chips, cookies, and ice cream.” ~ Lee, shopper at CityCenterDC, Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter, and Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Markets.

“Last summer I wasn’t able to eat local fruit because I wasn’t able to afford it. I was mostly just getting bananas from Trader Joe’s and some food from Food & Friends, but the quality isn’t the same. Now for breakfast I’m eating yogurt with fresh peaches and a little drizzle of honey – all from the farmers markets.” ~ Learlie, Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market shopper.

FRESHFARM Markets believes that everyone in our farmers market communities should have access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food. To find out more about nutrition benefits at our farmers markets and our Matching Dollars program, please go here or contact Juliet Glass at 202.362.8889 or Juliet(at)freshfarmmarket.org.

~ Bernie Prince, FRESHFARM Markets Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director

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SHARE YOUR OPINION IN OUR SHOPPER SURVEY
Take Our Survey

We here at FRESHFARM Markets want to hear from you, which is why we are happy to announce our new shopper survey. As one of the largest organizers of farmers markets in our region, your opinion and experience is very important to us. We plan to take the results of this survey and use them to evaluate our farmers market operations and services, as well as our various programs. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and your participation is completely voluntary. All participants who finish the survey will be entered in a drawing where we will select 12 winners to receive $100 in FRESHFARM Market tokens. You can spend the tokens on anything at any of our 13 farmers markets and the tokens to do not expire.

If you love seasonal, fresh, summer foods than take our survey today! Have any questions? Contact us directly and we will be sure to follow up with you personally.

Sincerely,
FRESHFARM Markets Staff
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