Having grown up in an agricultural region of Upstate New York, FRESHFARM Markets leader Ben Feldman was happy to see that wonderful produce was being grown and kept in the DC region once FRESHFARM was established 20 years ago. "I was hooked on the first garden ripe tomato purchased at one of their markets and have been shopping and supporting the markets ever since," said Ben. "As board chair I'm extremely excited to see the market expanding into the Capitol Riverfront and continuing to fulfill our mission of promoting and supporting sustainable local agriculture and connecting food and people."
How would you describe the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood to family and friends?
The neighborhood is a perfect mix: sophisticated and laid back, diverse, vibrant, and very welcoming.
What do you love most about the neighborhood?
I love the parks: Nationals Park, Canal Park and Yards Park. The parks are an absolutely amazing set of amenities that include ice skating, ballgames, art, and concerts. The parks' vibes speak for themselves as kids are welcomed to play in the fountains at Yards Park, encouraged to enjoy the public art in Canal Park, concerts and movies are provided for all different audiences and tastes, and hometown pride and Natitude on display. It's a wonderful place where everyone is welcome and we celebrate our diversity.
What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the neighborhood since you’ve lived around here?
The profusion of new buildings and attractions.
Since summer is right around the corner, what are your favorite warm weather activities in the Capitol Riverfront?
Hanging out at Yards Park for concerts, going to Nats games, and taking strolls through the neighborhood.
Describe the Capitol Riverfront in one word.
FRESHFARM is focused on showcasing local farmers and food producers. What does shopping local
mean to you?
FRESHFARM operates producer-only markets. So, when it comes to farmers markets, buying local means buying from local farmers and knowing who grew your food, where it came from, and building a connection to the agricultural community that feeds us. Local also means buying in the neighborhood, supporting local artisans, restaurants, services and handymen, etc. to sustain our community and grow the employment base.
As the Capitol Riverfront community gears up for their very first FRESHFARM market, what are you most looking forward to?
The sights, sounds and, community gathering that a farmer’s market fosters: the ringing of the market bell; people, especially kids, getting their first taste of perfectly ripe locally-grown berries; and, seeing farmers and neighbors forming new relationships. And, for me personally, no longer having to drive to get to one of our markets!
How can residents, neighbors, and visitors make the most of their FRESHFARM market experience?
First, arrive early. The best stuff goes fast and it tends to be less busy, giving shoppers a chance to visit with farmers. Second, bring a few bags and maybe a basket, so you can keep delicates like tomatoes, peaches and berries from getting crushed. Also stop by the information booth and talk to our market managers and volunteers and get recipes and information about what’s coming into season next. For our friends and neighbors with SNAP benefits, bring your card and take advantage of FRESHFARM's matching dollars program.