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It's the Last Week for the Smart Markets Farmers' Market

It's the last week of the season for the farmers' market, but you can join us at our Oakton market on Saturdays all winter long.

This Week at Our Reston Market
Wednesday 3–6 p.m.
12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.

Happy Holidays! We will be open this week for the last market of the year, but we will be open for your shopping pleasure all winter, including the last two Saturdays in December, at our Oakton market just down the road on Hunter Mill Road in the Unity Church parking lot. See our website for details.

This week we will have a full complement of vendors, so come to buy local for your holiday dining and giving and pick up everything from turkey sausage to snowman cake pops. If you are not looking forward to losing Chef Eloy’s Salsa, let Esther know. I’ve been trying to convince them to join us at Oakton for the winter.

Celtic Pasties will have Beef & Guinness, Cottage Pie Style, British and American Xmas Dinners, Breakfast, Mango Chicken, Sweet Potato & Apple, Spinach & Feta, and Cheese & Onion.

Medhi also is planning to join us in Oakton with Cavanna Pasta at least every other week starting in late January. Stock up now to get you through the next month. I will have to remember to do that, too.

We are looking forward to returning to our new location at Reston Corner; we are fitting in nicely and receiving great support from Cassidy Turley, the property-management company.

We are looking forward to more space for vendors, more space for shopper parking and a lovely fountain to cool us off in the heat of summer. We hope to open around mid-April, but that will depend on the weather and what is ready for picking; you will hear from us via this newsletter when we make that decision.

Thank all of you for a wonderful season — we look forward to serving you through December next year, too. Along with all of the vendors and our market manager, Diane Blust, I wish you a pleasant and invigorating New Year.

From the Market Master

Earlier this month I received an email from the Farmers Market Coalition that highlighted the value of local food for our urban and suburban communities, especially during the aftermath of a natural disaster. Check it out and think about what that meant to those folks who had no other way to get food.

We had our own similar experience this past summer. One Saturday morning in June I was on my way to our Springfield market and Oakton Market Manager Diane Blust was opening the Oakton market. After a early-morning phone conversation about what was going on, we lost contact and each of us went to market where in both cases we opened as normal. We were not even aware at that time of the extent of the power outage caused by the derecho that had passed through the previous evening.

Several days later we discussed that we were the only enterprises open anywhere around us. We had milk for the babies, meats for the grill, wine for the weary, and freshly picked fruits and vegetables for all those families who could not open their refrigerators.

Those of you who are planning for a future where we may depend even more on locally produced food and energy could have used that day after the derecho as a prime example for your arguments. But in the real world right then, we demonstrated that you can count on your local farmers to show up and the markets to operate when all around us the retail businesses were at the mercy of an ever-unreliable electrical grid. Farmers don’t need electricity to farm, though obviously it helps with plowing the field and planting seeds. We don’t need electricity to sell at a market, and you don’t need it to buy at a market, either.

Please think about that in the new year as you plan your grocery shopping each week. Our local farmers from Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland need your support all year long. Here in Northern Virginia, we have the population to support hundreds of local farmers with our buying power. Shopping regularly at your nearest year-round market will encourage them to do what it takes on the farm to extend the growing season for the benefit of all, which will lead to even more variety in your winter markets in the future.

Keep those farmers in mind over the winter and continue to show your support for farmers’ markets, even when there is not so much to purchase over the next few months. We can use that show of support to save the farms and farmers we have and maybe even inspire new ones to plow a field or build a hoop house. And then when you need them, no matter the time of year, they will be there for you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tony Chang December 19, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Might want to fix your Google Maps link -- it's still for 11890 Sunrise Valley...
Jean Janssen December 20, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Whoops, we'll fix that. Thanks for the catch!

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