Commentary: The Reston Farmers Market and More in Reston

Commentary: The Reston Farmers Market and More in Reston

Reston is at its peak of fall finery. As we walk along the paths around Lake Anne, we often see artists with their brushes and pencils and photographers trying to capture one fascinating vista after another. I think this is my favorite time of the year, and it is certainly the time I missed most in the years we served in tropical climes around the world.

Fall also signals the winding down of the 18th season of the Reston Farmers Market sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority at the Lake Anne Village Center. We are a producer only, locally grown and produced foods market, and the local (within a 125-mile radius of here) fresh veggies and fruits are pretty much at the end of their weather window for 2015. Saturday, Nov. 14, will mark the end of this season. We will celebrate with our traditional customer appreciation day to thank the thousands of people who make the market the successful and fun place that it is. Complimentary market baked goodies and treats along with coffee, hot chocolate and cider will be the order of the day for all.

The Reston Farmers Market has enjoyed another terrific year. There seemed to be more people than ever this year, from our 8 a.m. traditional opening bell to our noon closing time--even on 3 or 4 Saturdays when there was a strange moisture in the air. (We never speak the 4-letter R word during the market). One delightful characteristic of the market is that it is a place where people come to see and talk with their friends, neighbors and favorite vendors while they shop. Some spend an hour or more filling modest shopping bags with a sampling of the awesome variety of meats, seafood, cheeses, baked goods, honey, ice cream, pickles, as well as the hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables offered by our 30 farmer-vendors. Volunteer musicians, master gardeners, and Cornerstones volunteers gleaning food leftovers and providing supplemental nutrition tokens for low-income neighbors in our community make.

Reston Farmers Market a special place. Here’s some good news if you didn’t already know it. Once we close, there will be another farmers market in the parking lot at Lake Anne Village Center from Saturday, Nov. 21 through Saturday, Dec. 19. It will include eleven farmer/vendors from the Reston Farmers Market plus an additional dozen who will bring an interesting array of quality products not necessarily allowed in the fresh, local foods market. For example, this market, called the Lake Anne Fall Farmers Market, will also feature prepared foods, such as barbecued meats and empanadas, and exotic offerings such as teas, coffees, spices and olive oils.

The Fall Market is sponsored by the Lake Anne Condo Association and managed by Keith Strange, who also volunteers at the Reston Farmers Market. The Fall Market will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 21 through Dec. 19. We’ll be shopping there and hope to see you, too!

And, not to forget that there is one more farmers market in Reston. That is the Smart Market which has 18 vendors and is open Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 7 p.m. on the plaza at the Wiehle Metro Station. Parking is only $1 for 60 minutes if you come and leave during market hours, I understand. They have some specialty vendors we certainly like. For more info, Google Smart Markets-Reston.