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Manassas Park Farmers' Market Planned for Every Friday in 2012

Smart Markets Inc. and the City of Manassas Park will host a Farmers' Market every Friday for the rest of this year.

A Farmers' market will be held outside of Manassas Park City Hall every Friday through at least the end of the year, Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation officials said this week.

The market is from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 1 Park Center Court right across from City Center.

Shoppers can get fresh produce from farmers who grow in the Northeast and elsewhere. The farmers are expected to return in the spring for a series of markets in the city.

The first farmers' market was Oct. 26 in the parking lot of the Railroad Building near the Virginia Railway Express stop on Manassas Drive.

In addition to fresh fruits, the market featured brick oven pizza, latin foods, baked goods, seasonings and dressings as well as music and an animal balloon maker.

The goal of the market is to provide an open venue for the sale of low-cost healthy foods and other options.

For additional information about the event, contact Catherine Morretta, parks and recreation director at 703.335.8872 or via email at c.morretta@manassasparkva.gov.

Information is also on the Manassas Park Community Center website and Facebook page

Duane Snodgrass November 09, 2012 at 12:08 PM
The organizers do know we have reached the end of the local growing season, right? The point of a farmer's market is to provide local produce. Anything at this market will have been shipped in except for a small few items. "The goal of the market is to provide an open venue for the sale of low-cost healthy foods and other options." Baked goods and pizza are not healthy. I like the idea of a market in the city, but this is not a smart move.
Jean Janssen November 09, 2012 at 05:23 PM
We do not deny that at our year-round markets, the freshly picked produce drops off by mid-December, but we have not reached the end of the growing season in this area. Apples, potatoes and root vegetables are still being picked and put into cold storage and will be available all winter for our shoppers. One farmer is picking produce on his farm in the Northern Neck of Virginia, where they might make it into December before a killing frost hits, and the ground there does not freeze all winter. Also, many of our farmers who farm in colder climes are now using hoop houses and heated greenhouses and hydroponic methods so that they can extend their growing seasons. Some greens are even better after a frost. That stated goal is not one that we have identified in our mission, but you are free to read the mission statement on our website, www.smartmarkets.org. We do not believe that homemade treats and baked goods with minimal processing are unhealthy if they are part of a balanced diet and served as occasional treats. Smart Markets is proud of its commitment to producer-only produce and products. Even the Trickling Springs dairy products are made with milk from many dairy farms that also sell at our markets. We stand by our guarantee. A basic element of the education we provide is learning to eat locally by shifting your menu as the seasons change and learning to eat more local produce even as choices diminish. We provide recipes all year to help you do that.
Jamie M. Rogers (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Thanks Duane for you comment! I attended the first market and I loved it. I'm actually happy they had meal options like baked goods, pizza and those AWESOME empanadas from one vendor. They also had meats available from local farmers and I thought that was great too.

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