Bloomingdale Farmers Market

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

You know that feeling? That feeling you have when you look around and all is right with the world. That’s what I had sitting inside the Big Bear, sipping an ice tea, looking out the big open windows and watching business at the new farmer’s market buzz along.
When I got there it was midday and apparently there was a rush and some producers sold out. I heard tale of a big crowd of people waiting on the sidewalk, curving around the corner waiting for the market to open at 10. Then this crowd bought a bunch of stuff, leaving just flowers, lamb, plants and berries to the after church crowd. Really, at noon there wasn’t a lot to choose from, you early people bought everything!
I wound up buying strawberries, cherries, the last head of lettuce from one vendor, and some frozen lamb chops. The lamb was a bit pricey for me, so I probably won’t be buying it on a regular basis. But the cherries were just right and very sweet.
Sitting with some friends I noted how the market and the cafe fed off each other. The Big Bear was a bit crowded inside with every table taken lucky us a couch had just freed up. People wandered from the cafe to the market and from the market to the cafe. This was the best location for both.
Some of you may remember there was an attempt of a farmer’s market a few years ago that failed. It had several problems. I went maybe once and it was a hot dusty parking lot at Florida and North Capitol with a sprinkling of vendors. The produce was pitiful looking, Mary Ann Wilmner mentioned she bought strawberries from the failed market and the berries were rotten below the surface. The poor fellow who representing the non-profit running that market got reamed at the BACA meeting by the citizenry. This market is a far cry from that sad memory.
According to the fliers I have, there will be more vendors next week. Considering I wasn’t at the market during the rush, I guess Sunnyside Farms was there with the eggs and the veggies. I guess the people selling the cherries was Reid’s Orchard and the ones selling all the flowers Dragonfly farm. Next week Truck Patch Farms, producing salads, greens, and pasteurized pork. And at some date not mentioned there will be a cheese vendor and a baker. Another flier lists a laundry list of herbs, fruits, veggies, flowers and meats that will be at the market.
This market and this coffee shop seems to be just the thing that the area needed. It has been wonderful to run into friends and neighbors at the Bear over the past few days. Mary Ann said that it was nice for the community to come and meet at some place other than a BACA meeting. Where if you’ve been to a BACA meeting, much bitching takes place. Then she or someone else also threw around the idea of starting up a neighborhood knitting group. Beautiful.

9 thoughts on “Bloomingdale Farmers Market”

  1. You got me. I’m in one of your pics. I didn’t see you there with the camera. You’re so incognito.


  2. What a great kickoff for the Farmer’s Market! I loved having the funk band, DOS, play to liven up the mood. And I’m excited to see more tasty delights offered. Lovely flowers and herb plants. And WOW! what YUMMY cherries! Super sweet and ripe.

    Stuart and Lana have done a wonderful job with both Big Bear Cafe and organizing the Farmer’s Market. I’ll certainly be back. It had a terrific very un-DC mood… I almost felt like I was in California, very SF!

    Totally enjoyed sitting outside underneath the sunbrellas hanging with my friends, babies, doggies, and sipping my iced americano.

  3. What a wonderful market! We enjoyed it as well and are glad we made it early to get good picks of produce.

    Two observations…

    1. We’re central-Shaw neighbors from the stretch of that falls outside of any of the sub-hoods (Logan, Mt. Vernon Sq., French St., TC, etc.) and didn’t see any of our neighbors there. Wonder if everyone new about it – how could they not with all the blogging going on?

    2. That little triangle park between, R, 1st and Florida is really nice to lounge around in. Sunday was the first time I’ve ever seen people making good use of it, which is great.

  4. I was very impressed with the turnout but couldn’t help but notice that the crowd was at least 90% white when I was there (10:30). Hope this changed as it got later, this neighborhood will only truly succeed if we can bridge our racial divide and not segregate ourselves.

    The Crispus Attucks yard sale was, to me, a model of the sort of diversity that our community needs.

    This comment should not detract from the efforts of all involved in the market; it was amazing and a really great start that I hope will continue to grow.

    2nd st

  5. your reno pics are so cool. I saw a stair rail, baseboards and my excitement is growing. YAY!! I love the colors you chose for upstairs. Good luck with completing the bathroom.

  6. The crowd was diverse when I showed up. But I count the people in the coffee shop as the crowd. One one table near where I was sitting, were some students from Howard (yeah, I shouldn’t evesdrop) adn some other folks.

  7. ML,

    We have not finished with our canvassing for the Bloomingdale Farmers market. Would you like some of our market postcards to give to your neighbors in central shaw? You can pick up as many as you want at the Big Bear Cafe or email me


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