Although I'm a firm believer in taking small steps to achieve one's goals, the step I took this weekend to go to farmers markets in Washington, D.C. felt like a huge leap. A big thank you to Melanie at Keswick Creamery for helping to make this move possible and Mark at Toigo Orchards for the encouragement. On Saturday, I drove Keswick's big, black dually diesel into the city loaded with coolers, tables and tents. The first drop was at the Mount Pleasant farmers market and then we headed over to the 14th & U Street market. I had veal, goat and beef for sale between Keswick Creamery and a vegetable grower.
At the end of the day, my 'neighbors' loaded me up with a huge spaghetti squash, savoy cabbage and a variety of sweet potatoes.
Across from us was DolceZZa, an Argentine gelato maker who uses only the finest ingredients, much from local farmers. I had the avocado, orange and ginger gelato that is out of this world.
On Sunday, six of us sardined into Keswick's big, red diesel with the monster racks holding close to 50 coolers packed with our products. I was the first drop at the Bloomingdale Farmers Market located at 1st and R Streets right next to the Big Bear Cafe. I set up a combined stand of both my meats and Keswick's cheeses, much like we do at the Carlisle Central Farmers Market. The BIG differences is the metropolitan markets are PRODUCER ONLY. Another difference is the amount of support the producers get from the market staff and surrounding businesses. The market manager, Robin Shuster, in one of the most on-the-ball people I have ever met when it comes to interfacing with vendors and customers. And the folks at Big Bear kept the vendors' coffee cups full--gratis--because they want to do everything possible to support farmers and small-scale producers. What an awesome day! It was so nice to have customers thanking me for bringing our products into the city. It just felt so nice to be appreciated.