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20 Years, Farmers Market Keeps Growing

Fruits, vegetables, flowers attract committed crowd.

For the 20th year in a row, Tuesday mornings in Mount Vernon District just got healthier again.

Mount Vernon Farmers Market, at the intersection of Sherwood Hall Lane and Parkers Lane, opened for business from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Sherwood Hall Regional Library. It will remain open until Nov. 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

"We are the longest operating Farmers Market in the area except for Alexandria which is year round," said manager Gilbert S. McCutcheon. He has overseen market operations since it began in 1985.

"We have had as many as 15 booths. But, this year we're down to 13. At least at this time. We might get it back up," McCutcheon said.

Its 13 vendors, who come from as far away as Pennsylvania and Richmond, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, plants and an array of other items.

"I've been here since day one and really enjoy it," said Marie Bowie of Oak Grove, Va. Her specialty is fresh vegetables.

Jeremiah Vingsness hails from outside Gettysburg, Pa., where he operates Twin Springs Fruit Farm. He also is one of the originals offering not only fruit and vegetables but also that Keystone State staple, fresh apple cider.

Mildred Rudolph of Pleasant Field Farm in Hanover, Va., changes her product line as the spring/summer season progresses. At Tuesday's opening she was featuring a variety of flowering plants in both pots and hanging baskets. "We start with flowers and then change to vegetables," she said.

For the "Green Thumb" challenged, Fairfax County Extension Service maintains a booth at the market. They offer advice, from master gardeners, and literature on subjects from flower gardens to vegetable gardens and everything horticultural in between.