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Seed Planted for a White House Farmers Market?

FreshFarm co-founders Ann Yonkers, left, and Bernadine Price may be considering a new market near the White House. (Lucian Perkins -- The Washington Post)

Last week, President Obama floated the idea of getting a "little farmers market set up outside the White House." But there were no specifics about where it might be or when it might open.

Turns out there might be an actual plan in the works. Sharp-eyed blogger Amanda McClements of Metrocurean tipped off AWCE to an item on the August agenda of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC): "Proposal from Freshfarm Market to establish a farmers market on the 800 block of 16th St., NW."

Guess where that is? About a block from the White House.

ANC Commissioner Victor Wexler, who represents the district near the White House, confirmed that FreshFarm had requested a meeting. He said an email from the group asking to be put on the agenda laid out a few details: that the market would be on 16th Street, north of the Hay Adams hotel between H and I streets, and would be held on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. from Sept. 17 to Oct. 29.

FreshFarm did not attend the Aug. 12 ANC meeting, however. Wexler said the organization has not indicated whether representatives will attend the next meeting on Sept. 9.

"My first reaction was: Who doesn't like a farmers market?" said Wexler. But he noted that construction on K Street near the proposed location could cause logistical problems for market-goers and traffic flow.

Even if the ANC supports a new market, FreshFarm must still apply for city permits to establish one.

Reached by phone, FreshFarm co-founder Ann Yonkers was cagey about the possibility of a new market and would not say whether the White House would be involved. FreshFarm had asked to be on the agenda but had decided it was not ready to make a formal proposal to the ANC, she said. "We think there is some potential. But there is a lot of work to do, and a lot of it is sensitive," she said. "Right now, it's premature to talk about it."

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  August 25, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  To Market, To Market  | Tags: Jane Black, White House Farmers Market  
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Oy. The bus re-routing would not be pretty. There IS already a LOT of traffic on I st here. I can't imagine this could possibly make it better.

Posted by: AmaliaAusten | August 25, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Great idea to have a market down there, but there's a better location. Given the apparent support from the White House, why not utilize the swath of Pennsylvania Ave. that was closed years ago for security reasons. Sure--the trucks would need to be cleared by the Secret Service, but it'd be a great use of that "pedestrian promenade" for the good of the community.

I know, I know...but I can dream, can't I? Wouldn't it be cool to buy your veggies at one of the most historic addresses in the world?

Posted by: seamhed | August 25, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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