Kathy Reid, owner of Reid’s Orchard, got up early Saturday morning and made the two-hour drive from the orchard, in Buchanan, Pa., to Vienna. By 8 a.m. Reid had set up her booth behind Town Hall, and was ready to sell apples. Several other booths, hawking everything from baked goods to fresh produce, were also in place behind Town Hall for the opening day of the Vienna Farmers Market.
There are several weekly farmers markets throughout Northern Virginia, and a lot of vendors make the rounds from market to market. Reid said she doesn’t mind the long drive because selling is her favorite part of the produce business.
"I get people every year who say, ‘I want real apples, I’m so glad you came back,’" Reid said. "It’s like a homecoming. It’s what makes the drudgery of farming worth it."
Joe Donahue, from Vienna, brought his son William and his daughter Cathleen to the Vienna Farmers Market. They headed straight for the kettle corn booth where a pair of men, wearing tri-corner hats and heavy, revolutionary-era clothing, were popping sugar-covered popcorn in a large, black cauldron. Donahue said his children were excited about the caramelized treat.
"As soon as they heard [the farmers market] was open, they said, ‘Let’s get some kettle corn,’" Donahue said.
The Vienna Farmers Market will be open every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon, throughout the summer. There is also another farmers market, organized by Fairfax County, that takes place every Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Nottoway Park. The Wednesday market will also run throughout the summer.
Lois Allensworth, who owns Lois’s produce, said there weren’t too many booths at last Saturday’s market because a lot of produce has not come into season. As the market continues, though, she said more vendors will start arriving. Allensworth grows mainly vegetables, and sells vegetables to Clyde’s Restaurants, but last Saturday she was only selling herbs and strawberries. But that served Vienna resident Sandy Goedecke fine.
"I bought some herbs," Goedecke said. "I’m getting ready to start an herb garden."