It’s officially summer and the USDA Farmers Market is back in full swing. An increasingly popular destination for Washington, D.C., residents and visitors of the National Mall, the market regularly attracts hundreds of customers each Friday during the summer and early fall. Come see some of your favorite vendors and USDA staff during the 2012 outdoor season.
This year’s theme, Grow Healthy, Eat Healthy and Be Healthy, is part of USDA’s commitment to encourage everyone to incorporate these ideas into their daily lives. We believe that farmers markets are a key foundation to upholding these principles and that there’s no better place to showcase this than at our own market. In addition to the great products offered by our vendors, the 2012 market schedule includes gardening tips from People’s Garden employees, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, great music, and much more.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently kicked off this year’s market season with a star-studded ceremony. The opening festivities included a visit from Washington Redskins player and NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 representative Reed Doughty and a musical performance and exercise tips from Hip Hop Public Health. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan also reminded market visitors of the importance of fresh produce in a healthy diet and expressed her appreciation for the local producers who bring the many products we enjoy at the market on a weekly basis.
To help improve and expand on the already great market experience, we made a few additions to this year’s offerings. Customers can now enjoy products from a certified organic vendor, use our brand new ATM, wash up at our new hand washing station, and request a sign language interpreter. There also will be more ready to eat items to choose from. Regulars will be glad to know that they can still purchase fan favorites like kettle popcorn and fresh, seasonal produce.
To top it all off, we have an amazing lineup of events that can only be appreciated in person. Some of the upcoming market events include celebrating National Pollinator Week at this Friday’s market, where we will be hosting our own honey tasting. We also will be participating in this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. As a co-sponsor of this popular event, USDA will be well-represented with our farmers market and People’s Garden teams leading the way.
We look forward to seeing you this and every Friday at the USDA Farmers Market at 12th and Independence Ave., S.W., from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.