It is farmers market season, and Fairfax County has a plethora of options for anyone looking to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables.
The county operates 10 markets under the Fairfax County Park Authority, but there are also many privately-owned markets, many of which are open year-round.
The county-run markets, however, are strictly seasonal. While they closed for a period of time last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, four of them eventually re-opened.
This weekend, the first of those markets will put out its produce for the 2021 season:
- Burke: VRE parking lot (5671 Roberts Parkway), Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, starting April 1
- McCutcheon/Mount Vernon: Sherwood Regional Library (2501 Sherwood Hall Lane), Wednesdays 8 a.m. to noon, starting April 21
- Old Town Herndon (700 Lynn St.): Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., starting April 22
- Reston: Lake Anne Village Center (1609-A Washington Plaza), Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, starting May 1
- Oak Marr RECenter (3200 Jermantown Rd.): Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon, starting May 5
- Wakefield Park (8100 Braddock Rd.): Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m., starting May 5
- Annandale: Mason District Park (6621 Columbia Pike), Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon, starting May 6
- McLean: Lewinsville Park (1659 Chain Bridge Road), Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon, starting May 7
- Kingstowne Towne Center (5870 Kingstowne Towne Center): Fridays from 3-7 p.m., starting May 7
The county-run markets all run through at least late October, with several continuing into December.
What makes these markets unique is that they’re strictly producer-only, meaning vendors can only sell what they’ve raised, grown, or made on their own farms. All farmers and producers also come from within a 125-mile radius of Fairfax County.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, the county has enacted strict safety protocols.
Visitors can browse markets in “pods” of up to four people, but only one customer can approach a stall at a time. Vendor sampling has been prohibited, and people are being asked not to “linger.” Online sales are strongly encouraged.
If 10 markets aren’t enough, there are plenty of privately-run farmers markets around the county.
FRESHFARM runs about 30 markets across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, including five in Fairfax County:
- Oakton: Unity of Fairfax Church (2854 Hunter Mill Rd.), year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
- Mosaic: The Mosaic District (2910 District Ave.), Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., started April 4
- Reston: St. John Neumann Catholic Church (11900 Lawyers Rd.), Wednesdays from 3-7 p.m., started April 7
- Springfield: Springfield Town Center (6699 Spring Mall Dr.), Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting May 1
- The Boro: 8301 Greensboro Dr., Thursdays from 3-7 p.m., starting May 6
The NOVA Central Farm market in Vienna is also on Sundays and open year-round, though hours shifted slightly on April 1.
The Reston Farm Garden Market is also open year-round and daily on Baron Cameron Avenue. Its two “neighborhood markets” will open this month:
- Springfield: Cardinal Forest Plaza (8316 Old Keene Mill Rd.), open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting April 15
- Herndon: Fox Mill Center (2551 John Milton Dr.), open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting April 20
If you want to cross county lines, there is also a number of farmers markets in Arlington.
Be it sweet strawberries, appetizing apples, lucious lettuce that you may desire, there are plenty of options in Fairfax County for community members to get their fill of fresh food and support local farmers.
Photo via Sven Scheuermeier/Unsplash