Photo: How do you like them snowy apples? From the Dec 5, 2009, farmers market in downtown Silver Spring. Credit: J. Deseo/SSP.

Photo: How do you like them snowy apples? From the Dec 5, 2009, farmers market in downtown Silver Spring. Credit: J. Deseo/SSP.

Resolved to eat more fruits and veggies in the new year? Silver Spring’s farmers market can hook you up starting this weekend. Want some cool tchotchkes for your crib? The Fenton Street Market hits you with that in the spring.

On Saturday, FreshFarm holds its first installation of a year-round farmers market in the Downtown Silver Spring shopping center. Expect the locally grown goods to hit Ellsworth Drive at 10:00 a.m., one hour later than usual, a market spokesperson told The Penguin.

FreshFarm considered a year-round market last summer, when it surveyed local shoppers with an informal “pin the dot” poll. Most respondents seemed to dig the idea of 12 months of markets, though a few felt cold weather would make shit out of the experience, according to The Penguin’s unofficial tally of survey results.

Some of that wintry weather already made its presence known to market patrons on Dec 5, 2009, when a relatively small snowpocalypse dropped four inches of slush on apples and greens. The weather that day drew fewer shoppers than usual onto Ellsworth, despite a concurrent crafts fair on that street.

Survey participants also believed that winter meant slim pickings in the fruit and veggie selection. However, many farmers keep greenhouses going in the winter, FreshFarm spokesperson Janna Howley said in July. That means spinach, frou-frou salad greens and even a few tomatoes will be available this month. And produce like root vegetables, winter squash and apples keep well in storage after the fall harvest, she added.

Vendors in winter were also likely to sell homemade jellies, apple butter and pies made from fruit grown over the summer. And vendors who hustle bread, granola, cookies and lavender-infused rice crispy treats would likely continue their thang regardless of the season, Howley explained.

Photo: A vendor spins yarn at Septembers Fenton Street Market. Credit: J. Deseo.

Photo: A vendor spins wool at September's Fenton Street Market. Credit: J. Deseo.

Once spring rolls around, downtown’s other outdoor gig — the Fenton Street Market — becomes a weekly thang, according to its blog. ”This little patch signals big developments for the market: a commitment to running weekly starting next spring, a decision to go nonprofit, and the support of some very generous sponsors,” it declared.

The combination crafts fair and yard sale got its start last September, when about 40 vendors set up shop in a paved parking lot on Fenton and Silver Spring Avenue. Many sold beaded jewelry, scarves and wool yarn, while others peddled paintings and photographs. A few offered used tchotchkes, Hawaiian shirts and VHS tapes.

Another market followed in October, but it was unclear at the time whether more events were in the works. The market’s blog now pins Saturday, Apr 17, 2010, for its first weekly event of the season.

It’s not known whether the Fenton Street Market will explore year-round sales like the farmers market.

6 Responses to “New year brings extended calendar to downtown’s outdoor markets”

  1. Terry in Silver Spring says:

    This Saturday? Yay, I’m there! Any indication of which of the merchants will be there? Baked goods, meat, and cheeses, mainly?

  2. Kira says:

    Unrelated (sorry) but is there a program similar like this in Silver Spring?
    http://dcist.com/2010/01/put_out_your_christmas_tree_by_jan.php

  3. Thanks for your queries.

    Regarding the farmers market, Terry’s guess is probably on the mark, though there may be some veggies in the mix. As stated in the story:

    “[M]any farmers keep greenhouses going in the winter, FreshFarm spokesperson Janna Howley said in July. That means spinach, frou-frou salad greens and even a few tomatoes will be available this month. And produce like root vegetables, winter squash and apples keep well in storage after the fall harvest, she added.

    Vendors in winter were also likely to sell homemade jellies, apple butter and pies made from fruit grown over the summer. And vendors who hustle bread, granola, cookies and lavender-infused rice crispy treats would likely continue their thang regardless of the season, Howley explained.”

    Regarding the recycling of Christmas trees, I’ll look into it. One would think that MoCo would have a similar program.

  4. Deb says:

    Here’s everything you need to know about recycling your Christmas tree in MoCo. http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/dep/solidwaste/collectionservices/material_detail.asp?categoryID=5

    Editor’s note: Way to go, Deb! Thanks for the info. — JD (Jan 5, 2010)

  5. Terry in Silver Spring says:

    Jennifer, is the rumor true that you are decamping from Silver Spring and heading to a certain city up north?

    Editor’s note: My letter of resignation was published in this week’s “Early Bird” post. — JD (Jan 5, 2010)

  6. Terry in Silver Spring says:

    Jennifer,

    Best of luck and thank you for a great blog!



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