Farmers Markets Celebrate Successful National Farmers Market Week

basketNational Farmers Market Week is a celebration acknowledging our local farmers who ultimately are responsible for bringing fresh ingredients into our homes. The 2015 Fairfax County celebration which just concluded included lots of activities for families. An environmental education booth provided extensive information on the ways our market vendors help restore and protect the environment and their farmland. At each market a gift basket including vendor products, coupons, an Arcadia seasonal cookbook and a reusable tote was offered as a door prize. Recipients were thrilled and looking to return to market for more.

20688560416_ba83d35a48_kChildren enjoyed hula hoops and sidewalk chalk at each market, and they left the pavement decorated with multi-colored fruits, vegetables, and jumbled scribbles. The Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Master Food volunteers delighted kids and adults alike with a food quiz wheel. After answering a trivia question correctly, winners were offered stickers and recipes for cooking fresh produce. At the Herndon market, children gathered for a watermelon seed spitting competition. With fresh watermelons from vendor Mount Olympus, a volunteer gave each of the kids a watermelon slice and carefully marked the farthest ejected seed.

A cooking demo by Virginia Cooperative Extension’s intern Miriam Eackloff filled the market with mouth-watering aromas. One recipe featured cheesy kale and brown rice, a healthy and inexpensive item using seasonal ingredients. Her French toast with peach sauce was the perfect recipe for early morning market attendees. The free samples she offered disappeared in no time.

MarketVendors were especially pleased with the increased foot traffic and festive atmosphere at each market. Bob Baldwin, Market Master at McLean, said National Farmers Market week brought the market some “new energy” in an educational and fun way.

At the Farmers Market Week tent, customers completed a quick seven question survey to win a free “Buy Fresh Buy Local” reusable shopping bag. These surveys will provide valuable information that the Fairfax County Park Authority will use to improve the quality of all 11 markets. National Farmers Market Week at the FCPA Farmers Markets was a local success! Whether you are a seasoned market attendee or a newcomer, the market always offers a little something for everyone.

 

Author Emma Hansen is the Farmers Market Program Assistant. She is based at Green Spring Gardens, which coordinates 11 markets in the Fairfax County Farmers Market system. Please visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/wp-farm-mkt.htm or call 703-642-0128 for more information

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

HISTORY: • On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. • To date, 11 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2008. Another Park Bond Referendum will be held in November 2012. Today, the Park Authority has 420 parks on approximately 23,168 acres of land. We offer 371 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park System is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: o Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist. o Eight golf courses including Laurel Hill, our newest, upscale course and clubhouse located in Southern Fairfax County o Five nature and visitor centers. Also seven Off-Leash Dog Activity areas o Several lakes including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax o The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter o Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel o An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter o Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel o Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent o A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly o A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale o Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community o Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center o Provides 274 athletic fields, including 30 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 500 school athletic fields PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: • A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. %

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