Alexandria is lucky to have four, year-round markets scattered around the city. One more market opens in the spring and ends in the fall. The Old Town Farmer’s Market at Market Square, 301 King St. holds the honor as the oldest farmers’ market in the country operating continuously at the same site. Even George Washington sent his produce to the market. This is a Saturday market running from 7 a.m. to noon. The market offers a variety of goods from more than 70 vendors including fruit, vegetables, cheese, poultry and meat, pastries, pasta, eggs, milk, flowers, paintings, soaps, plants, and fabric art. Parking is never a problem because the parking garage under City Hall is open and free from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Check out Calhoun’scountry ham biscuits – there is nothing like them any where else. And, you can buy their country ham too.
The Old Town North Farmer’s Marketat Montgomery Park, 901 North Royal Street is open year-round with varying times. They open on Thursday in the spring from 3 p.m, to 7 p.m., summer from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., fall from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting on Sept. 22, and winter from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. starting on Dec. 14. Regulars include Dream of Goodies, Ana’s Twist,, Lopez Farms. The market accepts donations of healthy, nonperishable food for the Food Pantries of ALIVEand the Lazarus Ministry.
The Del Ray Farmer’s Marketis located at the corner of East Oxford and Mount Vernon Ave. They are open Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon. The market features producers only products with seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits. You can find meat, produce, fresh eggs, meat, fresh pasta and sauces, Amish cheese and yogurt, baked goods, and other goodies.
The Four Mile Run Farmers’ and Artisan’s Marketis located at 4109 Mt. Vernon Ave., on Sundays from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. This active market features yoga classes starting at 8:30 a.m. that are held inside the red Chirilagua building, also known as the old Duron Paint building. The market provides an opportunity for local artisans and producers of goods to bring their wares to market, while reflecting the diversity of the community. The market features producers only products including fresh organic vegetables fruits, microgreens, meat, produce, fresh eggs, meat, coffee, bagels, fresh pasta and sauces, Amish cheese and yogurt, baked goods, and other goodies. Papa’s provides the same delicious fruits and veggies that you can find at the Old Town and West End markets while Tom’s Amish Cheeses brings the same high-quality cheeses and yogurts that he also sells at the Del Ray and West End markets. Get a bagel or sweet treat, and a cup of coffee. Then, sit back under an umbrella and listen to live music from 10 a.m. until noon. The market also participates in the Double Dollar Program or SNAP beneficiaries.
Another feature of the Four Mile Run Market is its overall vision to expand and improve Four Mile Run Park and the surrounding neighborhood. The market is located at the entrance to Four Mile Run Park, where walkers stroll and bicyclists ride down the Four Mile Run Trail that connects to Crystal City, DC, Shirlington, and the Mount Vernon Trail. The market is managed by the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market Management Team in cooperation with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.
The West End Farmer’s Market is located at 4800 Park Drive in Cameron Station. It is open as of May 5 this year and runs through October. The market is held on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This large market features plenty of parking for buyers to visit vendors who sell colorful displays of fresh, locally grown, in-season vegetables, berries, gourmet coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, fresh flowers, pastries, and gourmet cheeses and yogurts.
Composting Resource Recovery Stations are available at the Old Town, Del Ray, West End, and Four Mile Run Markets. Staff is always on site to explain how to compost food and yard waste at home, and accept items for composting. They sell compost tubs for $5 to encourage you to transport your food waste to the stations. You are always welcome to pick up some of the resulting compost to use in your own garden. The Four Mile run market just dedicated a composting facility at the site of the market where there are regular demonstrations about composting and worm castings.