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New Farmers Market at the Reagan Building

A new market is headed for the Woodrow Wilson Plaza of the Ronald Reagan Building. (James M Thresher -- The Washington Post)

When it rains, it pours. With just weeks left in many farmers markets' seasons, downtown Washington is going to get another farmers market -- this time at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The General Services Administration is funding the new market, called Capital Harvest on the Plaza. Equinox co-owners Todd and Ellen Gray are consulting, bringing onboard a host of local producers; 18 vendors are scheduled. The market will open twice this fall: on Friday Oct. 16, and Friday, Nov. 13, from 1 to 5 p.m. (Festivities will kick off at 12:30 next Friday.) In the spring of 2010, if all goes according to plan, the market will be weekly.

A feature of this market will be prepared foods, ready for workers to take home, according to Ellen Gray.

"There's no doubt that this administration has come in and completely drawn a new awareness to food," she said. "There are 6,000 government employees near there. It's a good spot to draw people who are totally different than the kind of people who go to the Dupont market on Sundays."

Why start a market now? Gray said that one reason is that the organizers need to work out the kinks of bringing farmers and producers to a federal building. There are strict rules for bringing trucks and food in and out. Gray added that the two-week trial will help gauge interest in a farmers market at the location.

All the vendors have been asked to sign up for this fall and next spring, though the list is likely to change. Right now, the producers include Eco-Friendly Foods (owner Bev Eggleston and Todd Gray went to high school together), Harry's Honey (that's Washingtonian's Harry Jaffe), and the Copper Pot Company’s pastas, sauces and jams (See Joe's recent writeup).

The market is located at 13th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. There's no Web site set up just yet; for further information, e-mail here.

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  October 6, 2009; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  To Market, To Market  | Tags: Jane Black, farmers markets  
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Wonder if ketchup will be included among the vegetables in this market...

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | October 6, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The day and time for this market seems a really odd pick if its intended market is govt workers. A lot are on compressed schedules which means they are not there every other friday. Friday is a prime night to go out after work so why would you pick something up for dinner? Also, most take their lunch break before 1pm and don't leave before 5pm so when would they shop this market?

Great idea but seems like they need to rethink the logistics.

Posted by: caed | October 7, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I wish we could have a weekday farmers' market in Tysons Corner. I'm usually too tired by the end of the week to get up early to go to to Reston or Falls Church markets.

Posted by: LittleRed1 | October 7, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The Farmers must give prioritize by the government

Posted by: craigspr | October 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

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