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To those of us who care about local food and sustainable agriculture, there are few things as heartwarming as hearing elementary school students exclaim, “Kale, yummy!” and “I love worms!” Through the FRESHFARM FoodPrints education program, kids in schools across D.C. have the opportunity to grow, harvest, prepare, and cook healthy, nutritious foods right in their classrooms. Students work and learn in their school gardens and get to cook and eat the fruits (and vegetables) of their labors, and these lessons are seamlessly integrated into their science, math, social studies, and language arts curriculum.

This year, we piloted a farmer-in-residence component to the FoodPrints program to connect kids to real-life farmers. Over the course of the year, farmers Zach Lester of Tree and Leaf Farm and Becky Seward of Prickly Pear Produce visited students in their schools and gardens to teach them about growing healthy, nutritious food.

Last week, Becky Seward, who worked with Watkins Elementary,  invited students to visit Prickly Pear Produce, her two-acre sustainable farm located in the Potomac River watershed in Maryland. The farm specializes in vegetables, fruits, herbs, and cut flowers, and the visit gave students a chance to see the farm for themselves and watch Becky in her element.

During the day at the farm, Farmer Becky discussed her focus on sustainable growing, noting that being so close to the Potomac River makes it especially critical to grow food with attention to protecting local waterways. She explained the principles of organic agriculture to the students, such as the importance of crop rotation, using cover crops to protect the soil and prevent soil erosion, and weeding fields by hand and hoe to avoid using herbicides. The kids had the chance to dig in the soil, examining the creatures and organic matter they found; observe a variety of heritage breed free-range chickens and discuss how they help the farm; and plant seeds in the field. They were full of questions and enthusiasm and clearly enjoyed spending a day on a working farm. In addition to working with FoodPrints students, Farmer Becky can be found at the FRESHFARM Ballston market on Thursday afternoons.

We were so pleased to pilot this program this year, but we need your help to continue the farmer-in-residence! To support the work of FoodPrints and help expand our reach to more students in the DC area, you can donate here.

Like what you’ve read? Share it on social media using the hashtags #morethanmarkets and #foodprintsdc.  As always, thank you and see you at market!

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Photo courtesy of DC Greens

Produce Plus is BACK and better than ever! This year, our friends at DC Greens are administering the program in partnership with the DC Department of Health. Any DC resident who participates in EBT/SNAP, WIC, Senior Grocery Plus, Medicaid, TANF, or SSI Disability, is eligible for $10 in FREE fruits and vegetables every week! The Produce Plus Program is a win-win, putting more fresh food on the table for local families, and more money in local farmers’ pockets.

The Produce Plus Program will have several major improvements in 2016:

  • Much more funding! Don’t worry about markets running out of checks.
  • Longer season! The Program will run from June 1 – November 30, a two month extension.
  • New technology! Volunteers will register customers for the checks using a mobile app on a tablet. No more paper registers! Even better: customers will receive membership cards so they don’t have to bring their documents every time. Simply register once, then bring your photo ID and membership card to any participating farmers market to get checks.
  • Stay connected!Customers can sign up to receive text or email alerts about important news and updates regarding the program. Enter your email or phone number during a transaction, or you can or call (202) 888-4VEG to sign up for alerts. You can also follow @ProducePlusDC on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date!

If you’re interested in volunteering to help your neighbors access fresh, local, healthy foods grown by local farmers, sign up for the DC Greens Volunteer Brigade! Volunteers are essential to providing a great experience for customers.

FRESHFARM will have Produce Plus checks available at all 8 of our DC farmers markets starting June 1st. Please note that we only distribute checks during official market hours, and since there is plenty of funding this year, you don’t need to worry about us running out. Processing transactions will also be much faster this year, using the mobile devices. No more long lines!

For more information about the program, including a map of all participating farmers markets, visit the DC Greens website. You can also find a printable list of all markets here in English and aquí en español.

Please spread the word to friends, family, and neighbors who could benefit from the Produce Plus Program! We can’t wait to see you at market.

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For nearly 20 years, FRESHFARM has been connecting local farmers and their fresh, seasonal produce with the nearly 9.5 million residents in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  And, with the recent passing of the Made in D.C. Program Establishment Act, D.C. residents will now be able to shop for and purchase local food, goods, and products made in the District with greater ease and information.  What better way to celebrate all things “Made in D.C.” than with FRESHFARM’s First Annual Makers Event?

On Monday, May 23, join us at Mess Hall for an evening of local eats, drinks, and much more!  Our friends at Chaia and Cava Grill will show you how to create vegetarian feasts for your next party, and market partner and baker extraordinaire Cheryl Strasser will help you create the ultimate ice-cream sandwich, pairing cookies from Cowbell Kitchen with Dolcezza gelato, also a market partner. Firefly Creamery will be on hand to walk you through constructing delectable goat cheese crostini.  Green Hat Distillery will show you how to make a better gin and tonic with Mess Hall maker True Syrup & Garnishes and  Right Proper Brewing Company will be pouring craft beers.  Music will be curated by D.C. man-about-town, Joe Pheeny.

Space is limited – purchase your tickets here before they sell out! Tickets are $75 per person ($50 is tax deductible).

Proceeds from the event will support FRESHFARM’s charitable mission to promote sustainable agriculture and improve food access and equity in the Mid-Atlantic Region. We do this by operating producer-only farmers markets that provide vital economic opportunities to local farmers and food producers and through innovative outreach programs that educate the public about food and related environmental issues.

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NEW IN 2016!
2016 Blog Pic

Finally the official beginning of the 2016 season starts this weekend, so bust out your reusable bags and hit a market, or several – you have six to choose from! In no particular order, here is a run down of the new farmers and producers you’ll find at a FRESHFARM Market near you.
FRESHFARM Downtown Silver Spring Market Starting this Saturday April 2nd Downtown Silver Spring will be open every Saturday from 9am to 1:00pm rain or shine, until December. Our big news is that this market is expanding east of Fenton Street to Veteran’s Plaza! Along with returning farmers and producers we adding some newbies.

  • Audia’s Farm North offers starters, vegetables, and jam.
  • Barajas Produce grows field vegetables in the Northern Neck of VA.
  • Shepherd’s Whey Creamery replaces Firefly Farms with farmstead goat cheeses and goatgurt.
  • Lindera Farms Vinegars  (Monthly at starting April 30) is a foodie-insider favorite that makes small batches using ingredients sourced entirely from “beyond organic” producers in Virginia.
  • She Peppers is small woman-owned business that grows peppers, herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers and transform them into artisan hot sauces, pepper sauces, bbq sauces, chili pastes, seasoning blends, and pickles.

FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market Starting this Sunday, April 3rd, our hours from 8:30am to 1:30pm until December. We are excited to welcome back our seasonal farmers and producers including: Anchor Nursery, Floradise Orchids, Four Seasons Nursery, Harmony Creek Farm, Next Step Produce,  S & S Maple Camp, The Farm at Sunnyside, and Wollam Gardens. Certified organic Chicano Sol Farm (Blaine, PA) will be filling in for New Morning Farm until they return in May. Tree and Leaf Farm will make a triumphant return mid-April. Here’s what new at market.

  • Cavanna Pasta (Weekly) offers traditional, homemade fresh pasta using the freshest local ingredients available. We love their selection of fresh cut pasta, stuffed raviolis and sauces and their lasagna is not to be missed!
  • Lindera Farms Vinegars (starting April 24) will join market market monthly.
  • Shepherd’s Manor Creamery is Maryland’s first sheep-milking dairy farm and joins us on a bi-weekly basis, alternating weeks with Fresh Crunch Pickles, starting this Sunday.
  • Zeke’s Coffee (Weekly) makes history as our first coffee producer ever to join us full time for our regular season.

FRESHFARM Crystal City Market Opening day is Tuesday April 5th (3pm to 7pm). Stop by early and pick-up a free upcycled Crystal City banner bag from the market’s information table (while supplies last). This market has it all; organic and conventional produce, pastured meats, poultry and eggs, farmstead cheese and creamline milk, baked goods,  pasta, pickles, plants and more. Joining the line up are She Peppers (see above) and Commonwealth Joe with locally roasted beans and brewed coffee.

FRESHFARM Foggy Bottom Market This bustling market is back Wednesday, April 6th (3pm to 7pm) with some exciting editions!

  • Conklin Farms join us with certified organic produce, chicken, pork, and eggs at the end of April.
  • Cucina al Volo comes with handmade pastas and traditional sauces using local and organic ingredients.
  • Greenheart Juice Shop is offering unpasteurized, cold-pressed juices, handmade nut milks, and gluten free granola.
  • Ruby Scoops Ice Cream & Sweets makes small batch ice creams, sorbets, sherbets, and desserts.
  • Zayt & Za’ater is offering Mediterranean flat-breads seasoned with a traditional za’ater spice blend.

FRESHFARM White House Market This popular lunch time market opens Thursday April 7th (11am to 2pm). Joining the already stellar line-up is Qualia Coffee with locally roasted beans and freshly brewed coffee and Kuhn’s Orchard (replacing Tiogo Orchard). Our dear friends, Chaia Tacos are gone (you can still get them at their Georgetown shop!), but in their spot you’ll find plant-based Indian fare from Yoga in a Bowl.

FRESHFARM Penn Quarter Market Our quintessential downtown market is back Thursday April 7th (3pm to 7pm) with some fun additions.

  • Little Wild Things Farm (Washington D.C.) is a multi-location urban farm produces specialty microgreens, vegetables, flowers, and herbs on less than a fourth of an acre in the Bloomingdale and Edgewood neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. The farm uses organic practices and biologically intensive agriculture principles to sustainably achieve high yields from a very small growing space, and never uses any chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Rare Opportunity Farm (Westminster, MD.) comes with sweet baked goods and jams.
  • Rock Hill Honeybee Farm (Stafford, VA) is a veteran own apiary produce high quality honey.
  • Truck Patch Farms (new Windsor, MD) has vegetables, pork, eggs, and poultry.
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Save the dates! FRESHFARM farmers markets near you are opening soon! Our markets take SNAP/EBT, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits and offer Matching Dollars unless otherwise noted. Help us to spread the word! Know someone who is a famers market fan? Forward them this email so they have the inside scoop, or share the info about your favorite market’s opening day on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We are on social media too, so be sure to tag us!

Downtown Silver Spring

Regular season begins Saturday, April 2nd 9am – 1pm

Dupont Circle

Regular season begins Sunday, April 3rd 8:30am – 1:30pm

Crystal City

Opens Tuesday, April 5th 3pm – 7pm

Foggy Bottom

Opens Wednesday, April 6th 3pm – 7pm

By the White House

Opens Thursday, April 7th 11am – 2pm

Penn Quarter

Opens Thursday, April 7th 3pm – 7pm


Opens Thursday, April 14th 3pm – 7pm

H Street NE

Opens Saturday, April 16th NEW HOURS! 9am – 12:30pm

St. Michaels*

*this market does not accept benefits or offer Matching Dollars at this time

Opens Saturday, April 16th 8:30am – 11:30am


Opens Sunday, May 1st 8:00am – 12:00pm


Opens Tuesday, May 3rd 11am – 2pm

Mt. Vernon Triangle Farm Stand

Opens Saturday, May 7th 10am – 1pm

Union Market Farm Stand

Opens Sunday, May 8th NEW HOURS! 11:30am – 3pm

For questions, comments or press inquiries, please email

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FoodPrints is an educational program of FRESHFARM Markets that integrates gardening, cooking, and nutrition education into the curriculum at six DC Public Schools. Utilizing organic vegetable gardens, healthy and delicious recipes, and hands-on projects, our expert educators get elementary school students excited about growing, preparing, and enjoying real food. Using fresh produce from our markets and from the school gardens, we teach children to create delectable meals from nutritious ingredients. We build on DCPS and Common Core standards, bringing math, science and social studies to life with an engaging curriculum.

By teaching children where their food comes from and how it’s produced, and by emphasizing local and seasonal eating, we get kids invested in their food choices. “FoodPrints” is a take-off on “carbon footprint”. Through the FoodPrints program, children learn about the impact their choices make on their personal health and the health of our planet. Using project-based learning and hands-on experiences with gardening and cooking, we empower children to lead healthy lives and to be stewards of the environment.

FoodPrints started small in 2005, bringing farmers into the classroom and taking classes on farm field trips. Rudolph Elementary School was our first partner school until it closed in 2008. In 2009, we launched our flagship program at Watkins Elementary School and have since expanded to five additional schools, now reaching over 2,100 students! We have a robust partnership at each school, and we could not do the work we do without the support of the administration, teachers, staff, and families that make each school community thrive.

Learn more about our program and it’s impact in this video!

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