Your guide to buying fresh, local produce through the cold winter months.
By: Natalie Manitius
Defy the frigid temperatures and visit your local farmers at these winter-friendly farmers markets.
Available produce: apples, arugula, Asian greens, beets, beet greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, collards, kale, leeks, mixed lettuce, mushrooms, onions, pears (Asian/bosc), pea shoots, potatoes (yukon/ sweet/white), radishes, spinach, squash (acorn/butternut/spaghetti), Swiss chard and turnips.
Other items to expect: baked goods, bread, cheese, chocolate, coffee, craft goods, eggs, fancy nuts, honey, jams, meat, milk, pasta, pickles, plants, salsas, seafood, soaps, wine and yogurt.
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon
Courthouse Parking Lot
Corner of 14th St. & North Courthouse Road
Worth the visit: Turns out seafood is not just for the summertime. In the spirit of eating seasonally, try Lynnhaven River Seafood’s oysters, which are only available during months containing the letter “r.”
Columbia Pike Market
Sundays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Corner of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive
Worth the visit: Columbia Pike’s community efforts stand out among others—the market is the only one in Arlington that accepts SNAP benefits and provides privately-funded subsidies. The Pike is also attentive to farmer practices, as they visit participating farms once a year to confirm the origin of the products and to ensure that the vendors are the farmers themselves.
City of Alexandria
Del Ray Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon
203 East Oxford Ave.
Worth the visit: Though Del Ray has just six to eight vendors this time of year, one can still satisfy a pickle craving with No. 1 Sons, a brother-sister team making barrel fermented foods. Activate sour taste buds with a variety of pickles, kimchi, or sauerkraut.
Old Town Market
Saturdays, 7 a.m. – noon
301 King St.
Worth the visit: Continually operating since 1753, the Alexandria market is one of the oldest markets in the U.S.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; occasional 1 p.m. closings
Unity of Fairfax Church
2854 Hunter Mill Road
Worth the visit: A Mennonite co-op, Heritage Farm & Kitchen, sets up an Amish style store and sells a wide variety of dried beans, which cook faster than the grocery variety.
Falls Church City
Falls Church Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon
City Hall Parking Lot
300 Park Ave.
Worth the visit: Last year, the Falls Church Market was voted 4th best medium-sized market in the U.S by American Farmland Trust.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
550 East Main St.
Worth the visit: Shake the winter blues with Herban Avenues’ teas and aromatherapy. Avenues’ Calm loose leaf tea contains chamomile, lavender and oat straw, calcium-rich herbs that help with sleep. Feeling indulgent? Snag the winery favorite Green Lemon aromatherapy, with anti-depressive ingredients bergamot and lemon verbena.
Prince William County
Sundays, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Piney Branch Elementary School
8301 Linton Hall Road
Worth the visit: Mike Burner’s Holly Brook Farm puts out meats beyond the typical fare: look for game hens, lamb, goat and even lamb merguez, a European lamb sausage with garlic.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Parking Lot B
Corner of Prince William St. and West St.
Worth the visit: Mother-daughter pair Jackie Utshudi and Maureen Kabamba present Les Mini Galettes, a bite-sized waffle operation. The galettes are sold in groups of three or six, with seasonal favorites such as the orange-zest, and year-round delights coconut and vanilla bean.
Look out for spring market hours and re-openings come April.