Great Falls The Great Falls Farmers Market has kicked off its spring season, welcoming vendors returning and new with fruits, vegetables and other products. Three vegetable vendors are currently at the market, offering early spring crops.
"It’s been a cool year so far, so we’ve got asparagus and a lot of greens available. In the next few weeks we’ll start seeing more turnips, radishes, strawberries, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, and later in the season we’ll be getting in squash and melons," said Sergio Izaguirre of Crazy Farms in Warsaw, Va. "Right now we also have a lot of potted herbs for people to buy, it’s the perfect time to start putting them in and making a herb garden."
A NEW ADDITION this year is Dimitri Olive Farms. Coming from a 100-year-old family farm in Southern Greece, they sell extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and a weekly rotation of fresh olives.
"My husband’s family owns the orchard in Southern Greece and they’re harvested four months out of the year. The day the olives are picked, they go to my husband’s uncle, who presses them on his neighboring farm," said Cinthia Giannakos, who was at Saturday’s market. "The olives we feature every week are made from the farm, and cured in olive oil and herbs, like rosemary and oregano, that come from the same farm."
Returning to the market is High View Farms from Berryville, Va., with their line of Berkshire pork products and eggs. This year they will also be carrying grass-fed beef and lamb, as well as milk, yogurt, butter and cheese from Trickling Springs Creamery.
Market Master Kathleen Murphy said that Potomac Vegetable Farms, an ecorganic farm in Vienna, will be coming to the market after their harvests, starting in mid-June.
"We’ve been in contact with the co-ops that provide us with produce about using fungicides and pesticides, and they’re working on accommodating our needs," Murphy said. "It’s been a cold year so far, so there hasn’t been any need for spraying yet, but our suppliers have been very open about getting us produce that meets our standards."
For visitors that might be interested in growing their own produce, but aren’t interested in the hassle of setup, My Great Garden has a booth at the market.
"We’re here to make vegetable or flower gardens, raised beds, with whatever people want planted. We like to say that you just have to water and harvest the crops once we’re done," said Robin Jenks Vanderlip of My Great Garden. "A lot of people don’t have the time or the knowledge to start a garden, but they’re interested in the produce, some for juicing or canning, and that’s what we’re here for."
OTHER PRODUCTS that mesh with the philosophy of the market are also available on a weekly basis. Kaila Barker runs I Am Naturals, an Oakton-based children’s clothier.
"As the mother of children that are 10, 9 and 3, I quickly saw the need for clothes that would fit them longer," Barker said. "So our clothes are made from organic fabrics, are adjustable for four sizes and are reversible. Kids like to pick out their own clothes, so they have fun picking out which side they like, without parents having to buy piles of clothes."
Barker started her business in January 2012, after years of making homemade clothes that drew compliments. Now I Am Naturals carries clothing for babies and every age up through 12-year-old children.
Also at the farmers market is Backyard Eden, which produces local honey, Amalthea Ridge with its line of goat’s milk-based beauty and hygiene products, Baguette Republic with pastries, cookies, cakes and bread and more.
There will also be live music every week, and Murphy says they are encouraging local bands that might be interested in playing.
The Great Falls Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Great Falls Village Centre. More information on incoming vendors can be found at www.greatfallsfarmersmarket.org.