Yesterday marked the opening day of market season for me with Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market located in Lamont Park at 17th & Lamont Streets NW in Washington DC. This is the first time I've taken my goat and veal to this market.
Rebbie Higgins (on the left) owns and operates the market. When I first arrived at the market, Rebbie warned me that she had received an email from someone very upset that veal was going to be sold at the market. This is one of the reasons that I really enjoy selling direct to the customer because it gives me the opportunity to educate people that veal can be humanely and sustainably produced just like any other meat. I usually start off the conversation with, "Do you eat ice cream or use butter? If so, then you are contributing to the veal industry in the United States." That's a wake-up call for a lot of people. And then I launch into my explanation of why my veal is different and why they should not feel guilty about eating it.
The plaza was full of vendors selling all sorts of fresh, locally produced goodies. That's our stand on the right with the red & blue coolers. I'm working in cooperation with Keswick Creamery, just like in Carlisle and at Bloomingdale.
And just as important, there were plenty of starts for people who want to grow their own food. I was surprised by how many people were purchasing flats of assorted greens, peppers and tomato plants.
Although they can only be used to purchase fresh produce, I was really happy to see that the market accepted WIC coupons. This is one thing I'd really like to see change with the progarm. People should be able to purchase FOOD with WIC assistance, including dairy and meat. There are so many restrictions which basically forces low income families to choose less healthy items.
In addition to all the fantastic vendors, a successful farmers market includes events that are a benefit to the community. Rebbie lined up a local bike club to offer free bike repair whick was a huge success. I even saw one woman getting a leaky tire on her baby stroller fixed. It was awesome.