The calendar says that Spring 2023 has arrived. On April 29, we’ll certify Spring is in fact here by opening the one and only, original Reston Farmers Market still number one in Northern Virginia, for its 26th season. We’re already deluged with folks calling to see if the Market has opened yet. That always happens after the first few warm days of the year! We would be open, except that our local farmers (all within 125 miles of here) have to grow their fresh fruits and vegetables before they can sell them. At this point, I can assure you that lots of things have been planted and to date the weather has been good to them. Our meat, seafood, baked goods, flower, prepared food, and other specialty vendors are also chafing at the bit to offer you the freshest and best products you can imagine. Just another few days!
More good news. With the Covid pandemic restrictions behind us, we are able to move stands back closer together to create space for more vendors. In fact we’ll have five new vendors this year for a total of 34, tying Reston with Burke for the title of largest farmers market in Fairfax County sponsored by the Park Authority. (Go to www.restonfarmersmarket.com for details about the vendors and a map of the market.) In addition, the Park Authority has contracted with one of our farmers, Future Acres Urban Farming, to provide a composting service.
All but one of your favorite vendors from last year are returning. They’ll be joined by newcomers whom we worked hard to recruit in the off season. The newcomers are: Bites By Sam, a well-known local baker offering delicious sweet and savory pies; Cocoi’s, a baker offering Philippine specialty donuts and scrumptious cakes; Coulter Farms, a fully certified family-owned, organic dairy farm filling a gap we’ve been trying to fill for years; Pho From Home, homemade, frozen Vietnamese style soups; and Poppi’s Hot Sauces, another family-owned business which brings the hottest and tastiest gourmet sauces and rubs.
This new all-star lineup will join our returning cast of ten of the best produce farms and orchards within 125 miles of us. Other favorite returnees include: three meat vendors, three top-notch bakers, seafood, pasta, mushrooms, flowers, microgreens, kettle corn, a unique local maple syrup producer, and several other specialty, value-added vendors. To see the entire list, read about each vendor and get your map of the market, go to the website mentioned above.
What makes the Reston Farmers Market the best, you might ask. Obviously, at the top of the list are the terrific vendors, most of whom have been with us for many years. Right behind them, and no doubt attending each Saturday because of them, are hundreds of wonderful, incredibly loyal shoppers and friends of the RFM. Among these there are some who stand out. One is Virginia Del. Ken Plum who stood with Reston Founder Robert Simon and I on the day we inaugurated the Market in May 1998. From that day to the present, Ken has come to nearly every single market session whenever he was in Reston. Del. Plum recently announced he would no longer stand for election. We hope retirement means that there will be even more Saturday mornings when he’ll be with us.
We also thank the Fairfax County Park Authority, sponsor of the Reston Farmers Market, and our hosts at Lake Anne the Lake Anne Condominium Association and Mr. Robert Smoot.
Lastly, our all-volunteer team managing the Market has grown since I founded the Market back in the Spring of 1998. There are four co-Managers now: Fran and I, and Keith and Anne Strange. And, we are most fortunate to be joined by young volunteers Kory Wills and Kaitlyn Pineros to better serve you.