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
Despite forecasts indicating rainy, chilly weather to come later this week, spring has officially arrived, and for many people, that means it’s time to do some spring cleaning.
The Town of Herndon will hold its annual spring clean-up on April 21-23, allowing residents to leave out large and bulky items on the curb for pick-up. Eligible items include:
- Appliances with their doors removed
- Vehicle parts and plumbing fixtures up to 50 pounds
- Tires (maximum 2 per household)
- Limited amount of building materials (approximately one cubic yard, lengths not to exceed four feet)
Trash collectors will not pick up loose yard waste, auto parts in excess of 50 pounds, large quantities of building materials, bricks and blocks, electronics (including televisions, stereos, computers & peripheral), or household hazardous waste.
Pick-ups will take place on residents’ regularly scheduled trash collection days.
“Items should be placed curbside by 6am on your trash day only, but no earlier than 24 hours prior to pickup,” the Town of Herndon said in a news release. “Please place items away from containers used for regular trash collection.”
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
COVID-19 has prompted a lot of closures, but there are still certain recreational activities in the Reston area to help people stay healthy while social distancing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people take care of their bodies through tactics like deep breathing, stretching and meditation during the recent outbreak.
Reston Now compiled a list of resources from around the area and websites offering fitness opportunities that support social-isolation.
Parks and Outdoor Activities
The NOVA Parks website said that most parks will remain open for the time being, but with specific changes made to staffing.
Visitors should note that things like the visitor center are closed, but people are free to come and go, according to the website.
While Fairfax County has closed its indoor park facilities and recreation, nature and community centers through March 29, people can still use the county’s outdoor parks and trails.
Lake Fairfax Park in Reston (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) is open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., according to google.
Though the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) is closed, according to its Facebook page, its trails are still open for public use.
The Town of Herndon also created a map of area parks for visitors.
Apps and Fitness Resources
Though it isn’t necessarily a new trend, fitness classes are going digital so that people can still exercise at home.
Core Power Yoga closed its studios but offers digital classes so people can take guided classes on-demand from the comfort of their own home, its website said.
FitOn offers a large variety of fitness classes for clients and there is even a free version that people can take advantage of.
Digital Fitness Assessment on major app stores is yet another option for home fitness. It lets people record their goals and helps keep them on track, according to the app description.
For people feeling isolated, experts also suggest touching base with friends and family using digital tools such as Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts. All these software allow people to video chat and see each other without coming into close proximity.
For mental health issues, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Series Administration has a hotline where people can reach out if they are becoming concerned. People can chat with someone for free at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
The CDC also directly suggests avoiding substances like alcohol and drugs while in self-isolation.
Spring is around the corner and farmers markets around the are preparing to open for the season — offering visitors an array of fresh vegetables, fruits, baked goods and other locally sourced commodities.
Reston Now rounded up a list of markets in the area so shoppers can plan ahead.
The Reston Farmers Market will open for visitors next month, on April 26, according to the Fairfax County website, which added the market will take place Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon at 1609 Washington Plaza N.
For those who drive, the web page said parking will be available along North Shore Drive. A list of vendors from previous years can be found online.
Community Foodworks in Reston, which takes place at St. Johns Neuman Catholic Church (11900 Lawyers Road) is part of a larger network of markets around NoVA, which includes a location in Tysons. The Reston location set to open on April 17 and run through the end of November on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., the website said.
Shoppers can expect roughly 20 various local vendors to check out, each of which offers things ranging from dog treats to fresh pastries, according to the market’s website.
The Herndon Farmers Market will make its debut this year on April 23. It will be open every Thursday from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at 765 Lynn Street until Nov. 5, according to Fairfax County’s website.
The Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Ave) isn’t a traditional farmers market– but is instead a seasonal family-owned and operated business that offers things similar to what someone would expect to find at a weekly farmers market.
The Weinstein family, who owns the market, announced on their website that it will open for the 2020 season this upcoming Monday (March 16).The daily hours of operation will be 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Photo via Anne Preble/Unsplash
Later in April, Herndon residents can get rid of large or unusually shaped items during the annual spring cleaning event.
From April 22-24, Herndon residents will be able to place appliances, furniture, building materials, vehicle parts or tires on their curb for collection, according to a press release, which added that items should be placed outside by 6 a.m. on pickup day.
Collection crews request that the weight of vehicle parts be under 50 pounds and that doors be removed from appliances. People can only put out a maximum of two tires per household.
“Loose yard waste, auto parts in excess of 50 lbs., large quantities of building materials, brick and block, electronics (including televisions, stereos, computers and peripheral) and household hazardous waste will NOT be picked up,” the press release said.
More information on garbage collection and recycling can be found online, through the Town of Herndon’s website.
Photo via v2osk on Unsplash
Now that winter is gone, the Town of Herndon has made plans for its annual spring clean-up.
The town-wide spring clean-up week is set to run from Monday, April 8, to Friday, April 12. Residents will be able to discard large or bulky items on the curb for pick-up on their scheduled trash collection day.
Items that will get picked up include:
- appliances without their doors
- vehicle parts and plumbing fixtures under 50 pounds
- some smaller building materials
Residents should not place loose yard waste, auto parts weighing more than 50 pounds, large quantities of building materials, brick, electronics and household hazardous waste outside — those items will not get picked up.
Photo via Google Maps
A handful of Reston’s private residential gardens will be on display for one day during the Reston Chorale’s second “Gardens of Note” tour on June 2.
Ticket-holders will be able to visit five gardens in Reston neighborhoods from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A garden party will follow from 4 to 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit Reston Chorale.
“Early June is the perfect time of the year to enjoy beautiful gardens, and the tour is also an ideal opportunity to connect with our wonderful community,” says tour chair, Kathleen Driscoll. “We received so much positive feedback about the first Gardens of Note tour last year. Visitors were enthused by the landscapes, the music, and spending time with old and new friends while exploring Reston’s neighborhoods.”
As described by organizers, the tour includes the following gardens:
- The Guilfoyle garden in Uplands – Filled with the owner’s well-chosen plantings, seating, and art, the garden has been a magnet for friends, family, and neighbors over the years.
- The Bitzer garden in South Lakes – Designed by its owner to encircle the home with perennials, shrubs, and trees that enhance the enviable views beyond.
- The Gohn garden in Hunters Woods – Swaths of shrubs and perennials and new plantings of native varieties in an established, treed landscape.
- The Mansfield garden in Hunters Woods – A garden of new hardscapes and plantings installed in 2017, curving around the home and complementing a woodland backdrop.
- The Rhoads garden in North Point – Featuring a professionally installed sloping stream and pond, plus a new hardscape to address run-off, along with a multitude of spreading perennials.
Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 on tour day. They can be purchased online or in-person at Mayflowers in Reston Town Center, Long and Foster (2100 Reston Parkway) or Chesapeake Chocolates, Wines Gifts & More in Lake Anne Village Center.
Tours are self-guided and visitors can decide which tour to start with using a map provided by organizers. The garden party following tours will include ensemble performances by members of The Reston Chorale, guided tours of the property and remarks from landscape designers.
Organizers are seeking volunteers for two-hour shifts as garden greeters. Volunteers receive a free ticket for the tour and garden party. Those interested can email [email protected].
Photo via Reston Chorale
The Walker Nature Center’s Spring Festival is back next week, featuring a recycling clown magic show, crafts for kids, and live entertainment.
The free event will be held May 5 from 1-5 p.m. Song Garden, Hickory Grove, and other artists will perform acoustic music live throughout the festival.
There will be $5, half hour canoe and kayak rentals at Lake Audubon, as well as fishing activities, a native plant sale, and information from local environmental groups.
The entertainment schedule is as follows:
- 1:30-2 p.m. — Blue Sky Puppet Theater: The Three Green Pigs
- 2:45-3:30 p.m. — Teddy the Recycling Clown: Magic Show
- 4-4:45 p.m. — Reptiles Alive: Live Animal Show
Parking will be available at Glade and Soapstone Drives as well as at Glade Pool.
Photo courtesy of Reston Association
County officials are cautioning against driving today as the heaviest period of snow sweep through the area this afternoon.
About four inches have piled up in Reston, according to measurements from Reston Now readers. Snow is expected to continue into the evening, with light accumulation expected.
Mass transit is operating at reduced service levels. WMATA is running on a severe snow plan, which means major systemwide delays. Metroraill will operate on a modified schedule, with trains running every 12 to 15 minutes on all lines.
If you’re planning to shovel out before freezing temperatures hit, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Departments encourages individuals to “take it slow.”
“It is important to consider your physical limitations. Wear weather appropriate gear to keep you warm. Only shovel snow if you are physically able to do so. This snow is a wet and heavy type of snow,” the department cautioned.
Here’s more from social media:
Stay home if you can. The roads are very slippery and driving conditions are bad. To those on the road for work reasons, we are with you and here if you need us! pic.twitter.com/3KdBfAOOni
— Fairfax County Police (@fairfaxpolice) March 21, 2018
VSP Troopers have responded to 250 crashes across #Virginia since midnight. Delay travel or end up like this driver…stuck on I-66 in Fairfax Co in #NorthernVA. https://t.co/oUYbn0cLC8 for road conditions. @VaDOTNOVA pic.twitter.com/J2FoktpULZ
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) March 21, 2018
Help #FCFRD Access Nearest Fire Hydrant In An Emergency! All residents, who are physically able to do so, are asked to keep the nearest fire hydrant accessible and free of snow and ice. More: https://t.co/y6qPPeWQi4 #ffxstorm #adoptahydrant pic.twitter.com/MBcjAsyV2a
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) March 21, 2018
Photos submitted by Michael Piper, Robbie Nolan, Betty Bley, Angelika Stadel and Douglass Errett
Possibly Rabid Fox Bites Woman, Cat — Animal Protection Police officers responded Tuesday to two different scenes in Great Falls where a fox had gone on the attack. A 71-year-old woman suffered serious injuries after being bitten “multiple times” around 3 p.m. in the 600 block of Ad Hoc Road; about an hour later and about three miles away, a 54-year-old woman fought off a fox that had bitten her cat. The fox believed to have been involved in both incidents was euthanized and is being tested for rabies. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Metro Station Work to Affect Toll Road Traffic — Eastbound traffic on the Dulles Airport Access Highway will be diverted onto the Toll Road on Saturday night into Sunday morning. The detours will be to allow workers to set large precast concrete elements for the future Herndon and Reston Town Center Metro stations. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]
Reston-Based Soccer Academy Gets Leader — Tom Torres has been named the head of the Washington Spirit’s U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, which is scheduled to start play in Reston this fall. Torres has been a coach with the D.C. United’s academy for the past 10 years. [Black and Red United]
With Spring Showers Comes Flooding — With the start of spring less than two weeks away, county officials are reminding residents of tips to keep themselves and their homes safe from potential flooding. [Fairfax County]
Yes, it’s nearly mid April and it may snow a little this weekend. It will certainly be cold enough.
The Capital Weather Gang says “a lobe of the polar vortex will dive into the Northeast by Saturday and push temperatures 20 to 25 degrees below average. On Friday night, overnight lows will fall into the mid to upper 30s as a clipper low pressure system surges down from the Midwest. Snow showers and flurries are possible early Saturday morning.”
Saturday may also see winds from 40 to 55 mph, forecasters say.
CWG says the cold front will bring even colder temps, falling to the mid 20s in Fairfax County late Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch from late Saturday night to Sunday morning. It is reminding Northern Virginia to protect tender plants from the cold.
“For many, these temperatures could rank among the coldest on record so late in the season,” reports the CWG.
If Dulles International Airport drops to 23 degrees or lower it will be one of the top-5 coldest mornings there so late in the season. Below 25 degreeswould rank in the top 10, says the CWG.
The coldest temperature on record this late in the month was 19 degrees on April 10, 1985.
The forecast is calling for a 40-degree temperature drop, as well as just maybe a few flakes of snow.
Between late afternoon Monday and Tuesday, we’ll go from temperatures near 80 to the 40s. Tuesday afternoon’s cold rain could even transition to mixed precipitation before ending at night. Many parts of the area see temperatures drop below freezing early Wednesday morning and some then struggle to escape the 40s Wednesday afternoon.
…Temperatures continue to fall through the 40s during Tuesday evening, into the 30s by around dark in some of our colder suburbs and closer to 10 or 11 p.m. inside the Beltway. This may allow rain — if it lingers long enough — to mix with and change to sleet and/or snow before ending (20-30 percent chance, highest western areas). As usual, the best chance of any wintry precipitation is in our colder suburbs to the northwest. Little or no accumulation is expected and it’s completely possible the rain shuts off before it’s cold enough for frozen precipitation.
To review: April 15. Wintry Mix.
Fun fact: The National Weather service says the latest measurable snow recorded in D.C. was April 28, 1998 (0.5 inch). At Dulles, the latest measurable snow was April 12, 1973, when an inch was recorded.
Reston remains under a winter weather advisory until 8 p.m. Tuesday. Snow began falling about 8 a.m. and has steadily continued throughout the day.
While the spring storm covered grassy areas, roads were generally clear.
About 1.4 inches had fallen at Dulles International Airport as of early afternoon. That gives Dulles 50.4″ of snow for the season. That’s third most on record (since 1963), passing the snowy winter of 2002-’03 on the list, according to the Capital Weather Gang.
Fairfax County Public Schools plan regular dismissals Tuesday afternoon.
From the National Weather Service:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 2 TO 4 INCHES.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY EVENING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED LATE THIS MORNING INTO THE MID AFTERNOON.
* TEMPERATURES… AROUND 30 THIS MORNING… RISING INTO THE LOWER TO MID 30S THIS AFTERNOON.
* WINDS… SOUTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH… BECOMING NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY IN SOME AREAS THIS MORNING. MOST SURFACES WILL BECOME WET AND SLUSHY THIS AFTERNOON WITH TEMPERATURES RISING ABOVE FREEZING.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Photo by Tina C. via Twitter.