Some markets close at Thanksgiving, others at Christmas, others play by rules that aren't so simple! I've updated the Farm Calendar to help simplify this, but here's the details just in case! We'll cover the easy ones first!
FRESHFARM Markets Silver Spring - EVERY Saturday! April-December hours: 9-1pm, Jan-March 10-1pm
Kenilworth Farmers Market in Towson, MD - every Tuesday from Mother's Day to Thanksgiving 3:30-6:30pm
Columbia Heights Community Marketplace - every Saturday 9-1pm until December 13th (last market day)
Greenbelt Farmers Market - Every Sunday 10-2pm from May to Thanksgiving, plus the following:
12/7 Holiday Market
1/18 - Winter Buyer's Club Delivery, 10am
2/15 - Winter Buyer's Club Delivery, 10am
3/15 - Winter Buyer's Club Delivery, 10am
4/19 - Winter Buyer's Club Delivery, 10am
Headhouse Farmers Market, Philadelphia:
11/23 Headhouse Farmers Market 10-2pm
11/26 Headhouse Open, 3Springs not attending
12/7 Headhouse Farmers Market
12/14 Headhouse Farmers Market
12/21 Headhouse Farmers Market
2/7 Headhouse Febrary Buyer's Club, Saturday at noon
3/7 Headhouse March Buyer's Club, Saturday at noon
4/4 Headhouse April Buyer's Club, Saturday at noon
Farmers On The Square - Carlisle - every Wednesday in December at Project S.H.A.R.E. 3-7pm, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday (except Holidays) 3-7pm, Project S.H.A.R.E. Jan-Apr
Farmers On Walnut - Every 1st and 3rd Thursday at Camp Hill Presbyterian Church 3-6pm
Happy New Year, everybody!
During the last few weeks of your favorite farmers market, you may have heard about our Winter Buyers Club - a new venture aimed at keeping our awesome and worthy customers satisfied with delicious apples (and other stuff) during the cold winter months when we're not at market. Many of you signed up to get email notification of when these orders will be delivered in your home town (click here, choose option "BC - "Your City/area"). We wanted this info out sooner, but we needed to update our online store with more selections and safe, secure authorize.net credit card authentication! We've also partnered with other farmers so you can pick up multiple things in one stop! Those emails are going out at present, but here's what to expect:
PHILADELPHIA - Jan. 28th, 12:00 - 12:30, at Headhouse Shambles, 2nd & Lombard
Every fourth Saturday between the hours of 12:00 noon and 12:30, we'll be delivering your online orders. Plus, we'll be right beside our regular neighbors at Hillacres Pride, who will be taking your orders for all your favorite meats, cheeses, dairy products, and milk on their website! One stop shopping for a month's worth of farm-fresh, sustainably raised, high quality fruits, veggies, proteins, cheeses, raw milk, and eggs! For a discount on your first buyers club purchase, just complete our short survey and click "submit" at the end.
GREENBELT AND SILVERSPRING - Jan. 15th, 10:00am (Greenbelt - GFM parking lot nearest New Deal Cafe), 11:00am (Silver Spring - location TBD)
Every third Sunday through the offseason, we'll be delivering orders for Greenbelters to the GFM parking lot nearest to New Deal Cafe between 10:00am and 10:30am. We're partnering with Two Oceans True Food, Greenbelt Farmers Markets' sustainable seafood vendor who will bring your seafood orders during the same time. We'll make the quick trip over to Silver Spring afterwards and deliver to the fine folks of that community in the same trip at a location to be determined. For a discount on your first buyers club purchase, just complete our short survey and click "submit" at the end.
Towson And Baltimore
I'm still trying to piece this drop off together. Please complete this quick survey on your Buyer's Club preferences and you'll be hearing from us soon. Thanks!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don't forget to click to the end and click "submit" to finish the survey and submit your answers!
Folks, it's only under rare and unusual circumstances that I would even consider what I'm about to announce, but I hope folks will understand that these are the very circumstances with which we are faced.
Three Springs will not be attending Sunday's Headhouse Farmers Market or Greenbelt Farmers Market 8/28 in light of the expected landfall of Hurricane Irene.
Philadelphia customers are encouraged to find your favorite Three Springs peaches and apples at any/all of the following fine retailers: Weaver's Way Coop, Sue's Produce in Rittenhouse, GreensGrow Farms, Green Aisle Grocery, and Harvest Local Foods. Please note, an announcement regarding the status of Sunday's Headhouse Market in general from The Food Trust is forthcoming. The market itself could remain open - please check their Facebook, Twitter, and mailing lists for up to the minute details.
Greenbelt customers are encouraged to visit us this Saturday at Silver Spring Farmers Market, as well as next Saturday at Silver Spring Farmers Market between Fenton and Georgia Avenues on Ellsworth Drive, downtown Silver Spring. The Greenbelt Farmers Market does not operate the day before labor day. Please be aware also, an official decision regarding the status of the Greenbelt Farmers Market in general is also forthcoming and I encourage everyone to await offical word from their Facebook, Twitter, and email correspondence regarding whether or not the market proper will be open this Sunday.
I felt like I had to be proactive in regards to making a decision for our farm in advance of these official decisions regarding weather cancellations because I needed to devote the extra attention to getting the most out of our Saturday markets as a result. I also feel strongly that these markets will not be open, having seen the updated path of the Hurricane.
I don't need to explain to folks that, with the additional cancellation of our Wednesday Health and Human Services market due to after effects of the earthquake, that having four markets in one week rather than seven at the heighth of our season is certainly a step in the wrong direction. Furthermore, the winds and weather resulting from this Hurricane are likely to affect the quality and supply of everything we grow on our farm including, notably, our Honeycrisp and Gala apple crops, the lion's share of which remains unharvested as of right now and is likely to become "windfalls" - an unmarketable product.
Keep smiling, folks. It's bound to get better. We've endured freaky weather before.
PS, if someone is willing to make the jump from "plague of locusts" to stinkbugs... plus the weather we're having... nah, just a coincidence!
See, smilin' already!
- Farmer Ben
The year 2010 was one for the books! It had its ups and downs and tested our mettle in a lot of ways, but we're all the better for it. There was plenty doing on the farm, where a new building project, drought conditions, lightning strikes, and stink bugs kept us manically occupied. Market wise, we tried new market endeavors at Silver Spring, H&HS building, Crossroads, Greensgrow Farms, and, briefly, The Piazza at Schmidts (was that all?). In other news, our apples were eaten by the President of the United States of America and we became our local industry's first Food Alliance certified fruit farm. Relive all this and more in our Blog Highlights 2010, farm photos, and press clippings from 2010. We'll also update you on our offseason and have a peek ahead into what to expect in 2011. Enjoy!
The Year in Blog!
The History of the much-malligned Red Delicious <check out a commenter from Spain!>
The Year in Pictures
- Yfrog acct twitter photos - I see concerts in the offseason!
- plixi pics including apple anomolies and the famous US-15 northbound Zebra!
- PASA's slideshow of our Field Day
- H&HS Market open slideshow from H&HS - Ben meets Sect. Sebelius
- Several plugs on All We Can Eat farmers market report in Washington Post - great for DC foodies
- FarmPlate had a nice write-up on Headhouse Farmers Market
- Our Food Alliance press release gets picked up by Food CEO and Philly Food Feed
- Metro Philly on Offseason Activities
- Talkin' Social Media with Greensgrow on Farm to Table
Offseason review: Nov. '10 - April '11
We take offseason education very seriously around here, as this story suggests. This year, I wanted to spend some time quantifying that fact. Below is a listing of all the leadership meetings and educations meetings we attended this offseason between Thanksgiving and the first Silver Spring Market.
- Haygrove High Tunnels Mtg, Dec (Lancaster)
- Future Harvest CASA, Reisterstown (presenter)
- PA Farm Show (54 man hours - Harrisburg)
- 3 Vendors Meetings for Farmers Markets
- FarmCredit Ag Business Class - Webinar, 3 meetings
- State Horticultural Assoc. of PA - 5 meetings combined
- Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention (Hershey - 3 days, presenter)
- Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (State College, 2 days, presenter)
- Adams County Fruit Growers Association Ann'l Meeting
- County Ag Summit
- half day meeting with our tree fruit extension educators (stink bug preparedness)
- Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Board (2 mtgs)
- Wholesale Marketing Seminar (Syria, VA)
We spend a lot of time fixing equipment as well, in addition to long term business planning (including planting plans) and getting our signs ready for market season - all those details. There's all kinds of training and permits to achieve before markets start as well. We do have time for leisure as well including events like Fair Food Philly's "Brewer's Plate" and the occasional music performance in the area. I like to play a little music too - I crammed over 20 performances into this little offseason window and visited some out of town friends.
Looking Ahead to 2011
A formal announcement of our market schedule for 2011 is forthcoming, but I'm willing to get the details out to those folks brave enough to keep reading this far down! We were doing too much last year, so there are a few changes. Here's the preliminary plan:
- FRESHFarm's Silver Spring Market - back starting April 2nd (at the Panera location) and staying every week 'till Christmas
- Headhouse Farmers Market - back and better than ever! Market starts May 1.
- Kenilworth Farmers Market - back at a new, larger area of the same parking lot! Come "down the hill" from Stebbins to shop with us starting May 3rd!
- Greenbelt Farmers Market - back in our corner stand again in 2011! Opening week is May 8th!
- FRESHFarm's Health & Human Services Market - back with new times! Join us every Wednesday from 11am to 2pm over your lunch break under our new, shady tent! Market starts May 18th!
We made the decision not to return to Crossroads Farmers Market and Greensgrow Farmers Market in 2011. We like those markets a lot and we especially like the people operating them who are top notch and true, geniune local food advocates. It was a hard decision for us to make, but we felt we were over-extended and needing to cut back on our markets for this year. PLEASE, if you were a customer there, please continue to patronize these markets because they are terrific and run by some pretty special people. There are a couple other options we are considering for markets in 2011, but what you see could be what you get for us this year.
And with that, we're only 12 days away from the first Silver Spring market of 2011! It's about that time, folks!
I've never been known as one who has a propensity for stirring the pot or being a malcontent. However, when things I'm passionate about are sullied and bastardized by folks with no real credibility in the realm of the things I care about...
This story really starts two years ago when I was trying to find a good mid-week market for our farm. We'd made a lot of great new friends in Greenbelt at our Sunday market there and many of them expressed an interest in buying our products during the week. With this in mind, I searched for and found a market that both suited our needs (nearby to Greenbelt, middle of the week) and showed an interest in having us as a vendor. While this market had another fruit vendor, the specialty vegetables and the wide range of tree fruit we offer was going to fill a significant void, we were told. It seemed like a great fit and I was told to expect confirmation of our spot once the board met and approved us.
Just a few weeks later, I get an email from the manager of this market apologizing profusely, explaining that the board ruled that we could not enter the market because our farm was in Pennsylvania. At this time, there was already a vendor from Pennsylvania attending this market - a vendor whose farm was three times the distance from market as ours. What's more, a few of the Maryland growers were traveling twice as far to that market as I was. No matter. Local is defined in whatever way best suits those who are defining it and I'd better look somewhere else for a farmers market. Frustrating as this was, this was a private market and they were free to create whatever nonsensical "rules" they'd like, even at the expense of their own market, in this case. This market continues to have vendors from other states - we have not be asked back.
When I was in college, I spoke to several grocery store produce managers who told me local produce is defined as anything that get to the store on a truck in one day or less. Pressing further, these managers couldn't tell me if one day meant one day's travel, one 24 hour period, or 24 "truck hours" (as truckers cannot drive 24 hours straight legally). Their definition had to maintain plausible deniability and be elastic enough to suit their needs. The conversation ended... abruptly.
But fear not, locavores! The Maryland Department of Agriculture is being proactive, issuing new regulations to define local. Admittedly, at the time, I had a feeling that my State Department of Agriculture missed a real opportunity to step up and provide a great model other states could follow. All the same, it was a breath of fresh air that this selective, self-applied definition of local was going to be really challenged, by my estimation, for the first time!
And, as has happened so many times as a young adult in the business of local agriculture, my faith and anticipation was quickly proven to be poorly guided.
Two years removed from the market fiasco and I'm still trying to market our products to folks in Maryland who are clamoring for them. After having missed the event last year, I acted quickly to insure I'd attend the 3rd Annual Maryland Buyer/Grower Meeting after having a positive experience at the Innaugural Event. Today, I was informed that I would not be able to attend the event this year based solely on the fact that my farm is in Pennsylvania. When pressed for an explanation of this policy change, I was told by Mark Powell, Chief of Marketing (email) that the buyers at this meeting were there to buy locally from Maryland farmers and my inclusion might "confuse" them. That is to say, the Ag Department believes that Maryland is more local than Pennsylvania. If my fruit travels 70 miles and an Eastern Shore grower travels 120, then I'm trying to confuse you - tricking you into buying something that isn't local by traveling over state lines.
For me, local should be defined by the consumer. If you're reading this and you want to by your food locally, you get to decide! What's local to you doesn't have to be local for your neighbor. If you've tried products from 50 miles away and the ones from 100 miles away are better, you're free to make that choice. We do not need to start playing the more-local-than-thou game, it's going to make things ugly for everyone. In a perfect world, every person purchasing local farm products gets to assign the value they see fit without a journalist-turned-ag marketer placed between you and I to prevent it from happening. At the end of the day, if you want a local product and you think 70 miles is closer to your home than 120 miles, I think you should be able to make your mind up for yourself whether the government thinks that's confusing or not!
And if you're looking for an organization built on local food facilitation, not obstruction, learn more about Future Harvest CASA.