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Farmers Market Takes Festival Holiday and Lake Anne Down

Independent Progressive

What a marvelous season 2013 has been at the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne! And there is much more to come after a one-day break for Multicultural Festival day this Saturday, Sept. 28.

Not only will the full complement, Park Authority-sponsored market continue through Saturday, Nov. 2, but this year, thanks to the Lake Anne Condo Association, it will be followed by an extended market (Nov. 9 through Dec. 21) with an interesting array of farmers and home-made food vendors. Don’t let the one-day closing on Sept. 28 fool you. When we re-open Oct. 5, there will be a farmers market for 2 and 1/2 more months at Lake Anne!

What accounts for the Reston Farmers Market having its best year ever in 2013? We think there are three factors: First—three dynamite new vendors recruited this year: our first USDA-certified organic farm, The Farm at Sunnyside, with its diverse offering of fresh veggies, fruits and meats to go with its organic niche appeal; a terrific fresh milk and ice cream vendor, Moo Thru, with its own dairy herd; and, the first seafood vendor in a county market, Arnest Seafood. This guy is a real, honest-to-goodness waterman with a scrumptious array of shell and fine fish.

Second—magnificent weather; and, third—the continued magic of word of mouth that keeps bringing people from all over to the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne. In fact, Virginia Living Magazine says it’s No. 1 in NoVA in 2013.

Beautiful Lake Anne has had a pretty good summer, too—until the rains, which had been so consistent through July into early August virtually halted in mid-August, and have been meager since. Now, the lake level is down about two feet! Why such a huge drop in just a few weeks? Evaporation is part of it, but for the most part it is caused by a 6-inch diameter pipe sucking out the water just about every day to water the Hidden Creek Golf Course and fill its ponds to overflowing. Boats all around the lake are stranded in mud—just look along the shoreline. Worse, the RELAC (Reston Lake Anne Air Conditioning) is impacted because it draws water from the lake near its cooling plant for the first stage of heat transfer. The water it is now drawing is likely 12-18” deep, not very cool. It would, of course, be worse if this had occurred in the hotter weather. But, I can tell you it has made a serious difference on the few hot days. Why should a for-profit, private golf course be allowed to draw seemingly unlimited amounts of water from a public lake and not pay a dime for it? To say the club’s owners are not very good neighbors would be a massive understatement. They could limit the amount they draw and buy water from Fairfax County like the rest of us. In fact, past managers have reached understandings with our Reston Association, the steward of the lakes, in the past to do exactly that, including doing so last year. It is time for RA to speak up again for the community, and to let the community know exactly what the deal is with Hidden Creek and its management.