You might think that the crazy-cold polar vortex that recently swept through the District was enough to drive any remaining farmer’s market produce into hibernation. But lucky for us, our neighboring farmers and their goods are a hearty bunch that didn’t let a little sub-zero wind chill action ruin their produce parade. Read on to learn more about some of the best winter markets to snag spectacular winter fruits, veggies, meat, dairy and more.
Columbia Pike Farmer’s Market
Here’s a little history lesson for you: This year-round market has the distinction of being smack dab in the middle of the original route that has been shuttling fresh produce from the western farms of Virginia to the Nation’s Capital since the 1800s. And just like the markets of yesteryear, you’ll find tables chock-full of veggies and fruit, plus local grass-fed, free-range meat poultry, eggs, and milk—even during the high season of winter. In between doing your grocery shopping, let kiddo rock out (and warm up) to music that is performed by area artists on most Sundays.
When: Sundays, 9 am-1 pm
S. Walter Reed Dr. at Columbia Pike (Arlington, Va)
Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market
Each week during the winter months, vendors at this popular market hawk the makings for a cozy brunch—fresh eggs, spinach, mushrooms, breakfast sausage, bacon, and muffins. Come early and take your goods home where the kids can help you whip up a tasty meal. If you don’t feel like getting in the kitchen, scope out Chaya (http://www.chayadc.com), a seasonally-inspired pop-up restaurant that sporadically serves up breakfast veggie tacos that little ones love (look for them at the market on Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23, and Mar. 9).
When: Sundays, 10 am-1 pm
20th St. NW, between Massachusetts Ave. and Connecticut Ave. (Dupont Circle)
Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market
Leave your mittens in the car! This local indoor/outdoor market is year-round with parking around the exterior of the building. Outside you’ll find winter produce and flowers. Mosey inside for amazing baguettes and crafts. If it’s particularly brisk, make sure to grab a hot chocolate or tea from one of the indoor vendors. After leaving the market, head two blocks south to Be With Me Playseum, where kids can burn some extra energy.
When: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 8 am to 4 pm
Where: 7155 Wisconsin Ave. (Bethesda Md)
Head up the hill to this grower’s only market, where goods come direct from the farm (no pit stops allowed). Specializing in low-impact and sustainable produce, you can be sure that your brood is getting the best winter produce—from beets and parsnips to leeks and kale—around. You’ll also find local meats, dairy, eggs and apple croissants from Bonaparte Bakery (that kids can’t get enough of). For an easy shop-and-go trip, park in the CVS lot on U Street or in the lot near the Palisades Branch Library.
When: Sundays, 9 am-1 pm
48th Pl., NW at Macarthur Blvd (Palisades)
Takoma Park Farmer’s Market
This was the D.C. area’s first Sunday market and an early pioneer in the “producers-only” movement. It also just so happens to be one of the best places to score fresh beef, chicken and pork for your little carnivore. Add to that a side of potatoes or winter squash from the market, and you have a meal fit for a king (or a hungry little prince).
When: Sundays, 10 am to 2 pm
Laurel Ave. at Carroll St. (Takoma Park, Md)
Where do you score yummy winter produce? Tell us in the comments section below.
Photo courtesy of Sasha Ray-Ray via Flickr