By Maria Rodriguez
The Monroe Street Farmers Market opens this Saturday, April 16th on the Monroe Street Arts Walk. With more than just veggies to offer, even those less-interested in rutabagas and goat cheese will find mouth-watering meals and trendy morsels on hand.
Having recently come under new management, the Monroe Street Farmers market will continue to provide traditional farmers market fare, but with additional prepared foods to appeal to Brookland’s collegiate community. The Market, open from 10 am to 2pm, will be located on the Arts Walk by the Brookland Works building by the CUA-Brookland Metro stop.
“There will be plenty of vendors there, ranging from a local pastry and breads to artisan goat cheese straight from Maryland,” said Eva Shpak, Outreach Coordinator for Community Foodworks, the organization which runs the Monroe Street Farmers Market. “It is a great place to purchase fresh, delicious produce and prepared items while listening to live music and meeting other locals!”
Community Foodworks aims to provide an inclusive, diverse, community-connecting space at all the markets they run in the city. Heading up Farmers Markets in Arlington, Shaw, Glover Park, Columbia Heights, and Rhode Island Row, Community Foodworks spans the width of Washington, D.C. and many of the communities within it. In all these markets, healthy, local ingredients are connected with individuals eager to get chopping in the kitchen.
For some students, even those with a kitchen on-campus, the immediate gratification of eating prepared artisanal meals may win-out over even the most experienced college cook’s best efforts. For some underclassmen, there is the potential problem of the kitchen in their dorm’s common room being either occupied or unusable.“People leave pots and dirty dishes out. The food left in the fridge always has something rotten in it. The upside is that the appliances all work,”said Nicole Mclellan, sophomore drama major.
So while some students may buckle down and play master-chef in the common room, most opt for the ease and convenience of prepared foods – especially if it is from somewhere other than the Pryzbyla Center Student Restaurant. The number of ready-to-eat items and other prepared foods at the market has been increased to meet with expected student demand.
“It is easy to pick up a breakfast sandwich on your way to the library, or a dozen eggs and loaf of bread for later in the week. You can even get local peanut butter,” Shpak said.
Ready-to-eat food stands at the Farmers Market include vegan kitchen Whirled Peas, stuffed Medjool date vendor Julie’s Datery from Union Kitchen, cookies by Cevinyon, bread bakery Girardot’s Crumbs, and taco stand El Taco Loco. Artisanal dog biscuits will also be available at the market courtesy of vendor Spoil Me Rotten.
Local farms, an orchard, and even a dairy will represent the more traditional side of farmer’s markets.
The market will also provide a free space for live musicians. Student musicians interested in performing are, according to Shpak, very welcome.