FRESHFARM Markets, a non-profit organization, was created 15 years ago to educate the public about food and environmental issues and to provide economic opportunities to local farmers and artisanal producers. In that time FRESHFARM Markets has become the leading voice for farmers markets in the Washington, DC area and a national leader in the local food movement. The producer-only farmers markets have made a difference by helping farmers survive economically, inspiring the next generation of farmers, and ensuring that farmers see a future in farming. Since 1997, over a million Washingtonians have shopped at their markets, befriended our farmers and producers and played a vital role in creating a community passionate about local food.
FRESHFARM Markets has grown to 11 producer-only farmers markets in DC, Maryland and Virginia, the largest network of farmers markets in the Chesapeake region. It has grown from 15 â€˜founding farmersâ€™ at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market in July 1997 to 150 farmers and producers from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Additionally, the organizationsâ€™ program activities and events have expanded to include:
Nutrition Assistance â€“ FRESHFARM Markets was the first farmers market in DC to offer SNAP/EBT (Food Stamps) and Matching Dollars which helps make food at the farmers markets more affordable for low income shoppers. The program helps families in need purchase fresh, healthy food and it increases farmer sales. Their farmers also accept WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons (Senior FMNP) benefits at our markets in DC and Maryland.
Chef at Market program includes tastings, demonstrations, market tours and book signings. To date, 1,500 chef cooking demonstrations have taken place with the likes of Jose Andres, Cathal Armstrong, Anthony Bourdain, Giada de Laurentis, Jacques Pepin, Todd Gray, Michael Pollan, Nora Pouillon and others. The website has 15 years of recipes from our chefs and home cooks at markets!
FoodPrints Food Lab â€“ Uses an edible garden and a classroom project-based curriculum to teach math, science, language arts and more. Last year, thanks to over 450 donors and a generous donation from Jose Andresâ€™ Think Food Group, FFM raised $60,000 to transform a classroom into a Food Lab which is used for classroom instruction, growing plant seedlings and kids preparing and eating seasonal foods from their garden.
Gleaning â€“ FRESHFARM Marketsâ€™ farmers and producers have donated 400,000 pounds of food to 15 gleaning partners including DC Central Kitchen, Miriamâ€™s Kitchen, Thrive DC and others since the inception of the program.
Jean Wallace Douglas Farmer Fund scholarship fund was created in 2009 to support continuing education for young farmers. It has awarded nearly $20,000 in scholarships since its inception.
Farmland Feast â€“ Recognized as the â€œlocavore event of the yearâ€ by DC magazine, the Farmland Feast is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year on November. The Feast features some of the areaâ€™s most renowned chefs, including Cathal Armstrong, whom are driving the appetite for local food, regional wines specially selected by a team of DCâ€™s most accomplished sommeliers to complement the eveningâ€™s offerings, and a custom blended seasonal cocktail from Mixologist Todd Thrasher. Farm and chef-centric experiences curated especially by FRESHFARM Market farmers, producers and neighborhood partners make up the lively live auction and silent auction.
To celebrate the anniversary, and to honor the farmers and producers as well as the customers and communities who have helped transform how Washingtonians eat and shop, a series of FRESHFARM Marketsâ€™ inspired and hosted events are taking place throughout July. Celebrations will take place all month long at DC area restaurants and bars, at all 11 FRESHFARM Markets the week of July 10 â€“ 15, and will culminate with a 15th Anniversary Birthday Bash at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market from 4pm â€“ 7pm on Sunday, July 15th, which has been proclaimed FRESHFARM Markets Day by Mayor Vincent Gray.
Reflecting the close connection between FRESHFARM Markets and the culinary community in the nationâ€™s capital, 21 DC-area chefs, restaurants and mixologists will celebrate FRESHFARM Markets happy anniversary with special farmers market inspired menu and cocktail offerings, with many donating a portion of their proceeds to FRESHFARM Markets. Highlighting the connection between FRESHFARM Markets and each of its market communities, all 11 FRESHFARM Markets will host special activities July 10 â€“ 15 including cooking demonstrations and market basket giveaways. The grand finale will be the 15th Anniversary Birthday Bash at Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market on Sunday, July 15 bringing together live music, great local food and kids activities.
Click here for more details http://freshfarmmarkets.org/events/15th_anniversary_celebrations.php.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.