Ripe juicy peaches, freshly baked bread, fragrant basil and flowers in bloom are only some of the products found at the Burke Farmers Market Every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., some from as far away as West Virginia, come to sell their baked goods, fresh fruit and vegetables to hundreds of customers in the Burke VRE parking lot.
“It’s a family affair. I have customers who come in week after week,” said Susan Yamamoto of Fairfax who sells handmade cookies under the name, Susie’s Handmade Cookies. Yamamoto, who has been selling cookies at the Burke Farmers Market for more than five years, said that most of her recipes came from her grandmother who emigrated from Sweden. “It’s not about the recipes, but the quality of the ingredients, she said. She is only one of the sellers who offer treats with a smile.
Need a beautiful bouquet for any occasion? Andrea Gagnon of Gainesville appears at the Burke Farmers Market weekly to sell her flowers. “We’re an eighth generation farm that does weddings and catering,” said Gagnon, who has been selling at farmer’s markets for four years.
Walking around the market, one will see many things on the stands, including roma tomatoes shaped like peppers from Laurel Grove Farms, more than 10 different kinds of cheeses from Blue Ridge Dairy, intricate fruit tarts from Bread Ovens at Quail Creek, and eggplants from Red Rake Farms that are so vividly purple one can’t help but buy one even if it is simply for decoration.
“I love the beautiful produce, being able to buy organic and supporting small farms and businesses,” said customer Loretta Troen of Springfield.
With the current interest in eating locally grown foods, farmers markets have become increasingly popular. The one in Burke is no exception. By 10 a.m., the parking lot is nearly filled with cars and the market is crowded with shoppers carrying recyclable grocery bags. It is best to come early to be able to purchase the ripest and freshest goods.
The Burke Farmers Market runs from May 1 through Nov. 20 and is supervised by the Fairfax County Park Authority through the Community Horticulture office.