Post-Halloween Sweets

If you’re looking to maintain your Halloween sugar high, look no further than Westover Farmers Market this Sunday.  Three new vendors have joined to offer variations on sweet, guaranteed to warm your tummy with the weather turning chilly.  Bees ‘n Blossoms will be offering hand-crafted honeys and related items. Cafe Delice sells French and American pastries.  And Papillon Chocolate Studio purveys fine chocolates with spices from around the world.  See you at the market!

Apples for Feds

We’re taught that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But lemons do not grow within 125 miles of Arlington, except perhaps within the halls of Congress. So local fruit growers who sell at the Westover Farmers Market have agreed to donate apples to federal workers living in the area. “In some parts of the country there seems to be little respect for federal employees,” notes Rob Swennes, WFM’s market manager. “But here, near the center of U.S. government, we know better and have great respect for our friends and neighbors who work for Uncle Sam.”

This Sunday, Oct. 6 farmers market volunteers will hand out apples to anyone (essential or not) who shows their federal I.D. or a federal agency business card. “It’s part of American lore that school kids will bring an apple to a favorite teacher,” said Lisa DiConsiglio, a regular market volunteer. “At this time, when so many civil servants are being forced to stay home without pay, or to work with no pay, we want to stand up and acknowledge the many ways these people keep our country running.”  Our local farmers, who operate as small businesses, are also affected by the shutdown as they rely heavily on the regular traffic of government employees and restaurants orders.

So, if you are a federal worker, stop by this Sunday at the WFM booth for your free apples. You deserve it!

Kiwi pie?

No, not the green fruit, rather the good folks from New Zealand.  This Sunday we welcome Kiwi Kuisine to the WFM.  They will be offering their finest and most delicious, flakiest, moist-in-the-center and heartiest meat pies around.  With the Yorktown HS marching band for accompaniment (starting at 10), come on down and enjoy the market on a lovely late summer morning.

Popcorn and Prose

Two special events will take place on the plaza area of the Westover Farmers Market this coming Sunday. Capitol Kettle Corn will arrive as a new market vendor, providing several varieties of popcorn for those who love a good salty/sweet treat. Nearby, in front of the Westover Library entrance, the Westover librarian (Shari Henry) along with the librarian from the Aurora Hills branch library (Sarah Daviau) will highlight special library initiatives. One  is Lit Up, a new effort to create  outreach opportunities for “metro renters” (often people in their 20s and 30s) to increase their use of the library. The librarians will be on hand with Lit Up coasters and more information. They will also have available gardening and nutrition books for market customers to check out. For those of you who haven’t joined the library yet, they will also have on-site registration library cards. Popcorn and a few good books to read: doesn’t get much better.  See you Sunday.

August Doldrums

Need some adventure to spice up your August?  We need a few volunteers this weekend to spread the good word about Westover Farmers Market and to help run this Sunday’s raffle.  If you can spare a few hours, please contact us at volunteer@westoverfarmersmarket.org.

Farm to Party

Jill, one of our regular market patrons, shared an interesting idea worth passing on: Farm to Party.  Jill writes:

For my birthday I’ve invited friends to celebrate with me at what I’m calling Farm to Party. I will be sourcing the food and drinks locally. Many items will be coming from vendors at the Westover Farmers Market. This party is a way to let my friends know how important I believe it is to eat fresh local natural foods. We’ll have a great time because the food will be fresh and delicious and I’ll have the evening to talk about how much I’ve enjoyed planning the party, in part from getting to know many of the farmers and vendors better. I see this party having a positive impact on my friends, the market vendors, and more. I’m not only educating my friends and supporting my community, I’m also raising funds for a good cause.

In lieu of birthday gifts, my guests can make a donation to the Farmer-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. The FTCLDF (http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/) protects the rights of the nation’s family farms, artisan food producers, consumers and affiliate communities to engage in direct commerce free of interference from federal, state and local government. It protects the rights of farmers and artisan producers to make their products available and the rights of consumers to access the foods of their choice from the source of their choice. I’m excited about my Farm to Party event and the positive impact it will have on others. Everyone should do what they can to support the local farming community and the farmers markets they depend upon.

Thanks Jill!

Have ideas about other ways to tie the farmers market to a party or other event you’re throwing?  Feel free to drop us a line to share your thoughts.

WFM in WaPo

In case you missed it, the Washington Post ran a very nice article about the Westover neighborhood as part of its “where we live” series – available here.  The piece had very nice coverage of the Westover Farmers Market, which has become an important selling point for the neighborhood, along with several of the other local attractions that make Westover a unique and fabulous place to call home.

Farmers market book signing July 14

Westover Farmers Market and the Westover Library are pleased to sponsor a book signing this Sunday, July 14, by Forrest Pritchard, Northern Virginia farmer, farmers market vendor, and author. He recently published Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm. Copies of his book will be available for sale at the market, and Mr. Pritchard will be there to sign them from 9 a.m. till noon. The signing station will likely be in front of the Westover Library.

From the book flyer: “Gaining Ground” is Pritchard’s humorous, poetic, heartwarming – and very timely – memoir of his efforts to save his family’s farm, Smith Meadows. What ensues—through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters—is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard’s biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son’s career choice and eschews organic foods for sugary mainstream fare. But just when the farm starts to turn heads at local markets, his father’s health takes a turn for the worse. “Gaining Ground” has been named a Top Ten Book for Summer 2013 by Publishers Weekly

Forrest Pritchard is a professional farmer, writer and public speaker. He has been published in national magazines (Mid American Review, New Delta Review, Acres USA, etc.), and his farm, Smith Meadows, has been featured on NPR and the Washington Post. One of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, Smith Meadows has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for fifteen years.

So come down Sunday morning, support your local vendors, and meet and greet Forrest Pritchard.

Raffle Raffle

Exciting times tomorrow at Westover Farmers Market: a raffle!  Here’s how it works: spend $5 for goods at any of the excellent vendors.  In return, you will receive a raffle ticket.  Fill out said ticket with your name and phone number, drop it in the jar at the farmer’s market booth, and wait breathlessly by the phone for our call after drawings are held at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Winners will receive a basket of goodies donated by vendors.  Come, shop, hang, raffle.