In a city full of politicians, lobbyists and lawyers, farmers are not commonplace in Foggy Bottom. But for the second season, area farmers are bringing their ripe selections to the neighborhood’s Freshfarm Market.
On I Street directly behind the Foggy Bottom Metro, the market runs Wednesdays from mid-April through mid-November and sells a variety of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats and breads, all produced by local farmers.
The market prides itself on being a producer-only market, where farmers show up to sell only what they produce on their own to make sure that the money spent at the market goes directly to the farmers. The goal of the market is to promote the local food movement of the Chesapeake Bay region.
Mary Ellen Taylor, the owner of Endless Summer Harvest, a high-tech farm in Purcellville, Va. said at last Wednesday’s market that she thrives on business she receives from consumers, including students and residents in the neighborhood.
“The Foggy Bottom Market brings good consumers, who are smart people and very supportive,” she said. She added that her farm cannot survive without the markets and said she encourages shoppers to look out for her yellow tent and yellow tablecloths, which she uses to attract customers.
The Freshfarm Market’s Foggy Bottom location is one of six markets hosted by the group in the D.C. region. The markets have been operating since 1997 but only came to Foggy Bottom starting last spring.
Michael Akin, GW’s director of Foggy Bottom/West End Affairs, said that the Foggy Bottom market is an asset to the community. Without a large-scale, full-service grocery store in the neighborhood, its basic function of providing healthy food is of much value, he said.
Akin added that aside from drawing primarily from the resident and student population at GW, the market also appeals to many hospital workers, tourists and anyone who passes through the Metro.
Several students and District residents at Wednesday’s market, however, said they had never heard of the Freshfarm Market before and stumbled on it by mistake.
“It is a great idea and would be even more successful if it were advertised,” senior Rebecca Schumer said as she shopped for produce. “Students would definitely come to purchase fruit and they could even consider accepting GWorld.”
Others said that since it’s only the start of the produce season, they can’t wait to come once more types of fruits and vegetables are ripe.
“The farmer’s market is really nice to have and I look forward to even more variety as the season progresses,” Adams Morgan resident Eileen Keefe, who was passing through the area, said at Wednesday’s market.
Some Foggy Bottom residents said that they were weary of the idea of the market near the residential area of the community because of potential garbage issues. Dixie Woordard, a five-year resident of New Hampshire Avenue who lives two houses down from the market, said that the vendors have done an excellent job cleaning up.
Woordard added that she enjoys “the happy feeling the market conveys.” She said that she “loves to see the students and the diverse members of our community come together.”
Akin said that the University fully supports the market in Foggy Bottom and hopes that it will continue for seasons to come.
He said, “The market will hopefully continue to be successful and could potentially expand to an even larger area, a move that the University would definitely support.”