By Amanda Eamich, Director of New Media
Crowds drew near as Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined FRESHFARM Markets co-directors Ann Yonkers, Bernadine Prince and Chef Jose Andres for the grand re-opening of the 2010 season. At 3 PM, Merrigan and others raised their cowbells high and signaled that the market is open for business.
Behind the procession of local officials, chefs and market owners, Chef Andres’ team prepared the eight-foot copper pan to prepare giant paella for visitors and passersby.
After the opening march, market co-director Ann Yonkers introduced Merrigan to this season’s farmers and purveyors offering seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats, artisan cheeses, seafood, baked goods, flowers and more. Award winning cheeses, refreshing gelato and sausage samples filled the air with rich aroma.
At each vendor, Merrigan wished vendors a happy season and personal thanks for their support of the local market.
The FRESHFARM Market provides double dollars for food assistance recipients through a public-private partnership. This is a great example of building upon federal programs with private assistance. USDA provides grant opportunities and resources to farmer’s markets nationwide.
Today’s opening is a reminder of the Department’s efforts to update the Farmers Market Directory. If you participate or know of a market that isn’t listed, help us by completing the survey by May 14!
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan opens the Freshfarm Market on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D.C., near the White House on Thursday, May 6, 2010. (L to R Chef at Potenza Jason Mayle, Farmfresh volunteer, Chef at Ici Urban Bistro Olivier Perret, Superstar Chef Jose Andres, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Farmfresh Director Ann Yonkers, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Farmfresh volunteer, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Rayne Pegg, Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, Farmfresh volunteer, Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 2B Mike Silverstein, and Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director Richard Bradley).
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan wishes a vendor at the Freshfarm Market on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D. C., by the White House good luck on his sales.