BY SYDNEY CANO, STAFF WRITER
Fairfax County has 11 different farmers markets to choose from. All the food sold at these markets must be grown from the vendor’s farm or made from scratch, so everything is fresh and natural. Some market locations include Lorton, McLean, Fairfax, Annandale, Alexandria and Burke. The farmers markets offer different vendors and take place on different days, so there’s time to visit them all! Here’s a little on a few of the markets:
The McLean Farmers Market happens every Friday starting May 6 and ending Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Some of the vendors include Cocina Al Volo, Grace’s Pastries and Reid’s Orchard & Winery. Cocina Al Volo offers fresh Italian pasta and sauces that are made with fresh, organic ingredients. They recently opened a restaurant in Washington, D.C., called Osteria Al Volo, so if you can’t make it to the market you can check out their restaurant. Grace’s Pastries has been around for over 25 years and sells fresh treats including bread, cake and scones. Like Cocina Al Volo, Grace’s Pastries has a storefront in Herndon that also sells their fresh baked goods. Reid’s Orchard & Winery is a Pennsylvania-based family farm winery. The company came about in 1976 and sells its wines all over the DMV area. Along with selling at farmers markets, they also have two winery tasting rooms in Gettysburg, PA. You can attend the McLean Farmers Market easily via metro. Take the Mason Metro shuttle to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Station and then ride the orange line to the East Falls Church stop. At East Falls Church, transfer to the Silver Line to the McLean Metro stop. It’s approximately a one-mile walk from the metro station to the market. An Uber from Mason to the McLean Farmers would cost approximately $20. If you drive, it will take about 25 minutes via I-495 N.
The Burke Farmers Market happens every Saturday starting May 7 and runs until Dec. 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Some of the vendors that the Burke Farmers Market offers are Honeycomb Heroes, Mt. Olympus Farm and Fresh Crunch. Honeycomb Heroes is a Falls Church-based company that produces raw honey and beeswax products. The company was started by veterans, hence the name. They own more than 200 hives and sell lip balm, pure beeswax, lotion and a variety of flavored honeys. Mt. Olympus Farms is a family farm that is located between Richmond and Fredericksburg. While you can go to their farm and pick your own produce, they also sell a variety of fruit and vegetables at the farmers market, including strawberries, pumpkins, blackberries and blueberries. Fresh Crunch sells a range of pickled products. They sell the classic pickle, pickled carrots, pickled beets and even a wasabi green bean. In regards to transportation, there are a variety of ways to get there. If you want to bus there, hop on the 17A towards the Pentagon. Get off at Burke Road and Ashbourn Drive, transfer to the 17L towards Burke and get off at the Burke VRE parking lot. Then the farmers market is less than half a mile’s walk from there. An Uber would cost around $11. If you drive it will take about 9 minutes via Roberts Road.
The McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market happens every Wednesday starting May 4 and running until Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Some of the vendors that the McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market offers are Great Harvest Bread Company, BorekG, and The Jammerie. Harvest Bread Company is a Burke-based bread company that sells fresh bread and baked goods. They offer a variety of fresh, homemade goods including granola, grain bread, mixes and cookies. BorekG is a vendor that sells homemade Turkish food, including baklava, hummus, baked eggplant, and borek. The Jammerie is an Alexandria-based company that produces jams, jellies, chutneys, syrups and more. They aim to have versatile, delicious products that can be used with toast, for meats and even for salad dressings. Along with the other vendors, the McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market offers Grace’s Pastries and Honeycomb Heroes as well. The public transportation routes to get to this farmers market are a bit lengthy, so it would be best to drive or take an Uber. An Uber would cost around $25 to $30. By driving you could get there in about 30 minutes via I-495 S.
Something to take note of is that the farmers markets are not able to accommodate pets that aren’t service animals, so it’s best to leave your dog at home.
Kristen Dalton, a senior majoring in communication, has attended a Fairfax County Farmers Market. Dalton said that she loves them, as they have a great ambiance and are very inclusive. “It’s like a little family, everyone knows another and they give out free samples. It’s like going to your favorite yoga class,” Dalton said. Most of the farmers markets do end in November or have ended in October, so go to the open ones and get fresh food while you can!