The Arlington County Board is set to consider a proposal for a new farmers market in Westover Village at its Saturday meeting.
Organizers are asking the County Board to approve a market that will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays along the 1700 block of N. McKinley Road. The street location is temporary — organizers are hoping to eventually hold the market on the adjacent Walter Reed School property, but are still awaiting approval from Arlington Public Schools.
Taking vendor setup and breakdown times into account, the street will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. That has drawn criticism from the owners of some businesses in the Westover Shopping Center, since it will limit access to the shopping center’s driveway and parking lot. However, county staffers are recommending the open air market request be approved, stating that “the market should not have a substantial adverse impact on neighboring properties.”
As part of their application, market organizers agreed to encourage market patrons to park along Washington Boulevard and in the Reed School’s McKinley Road parking lot, instead of in the nearby residential neighborhoods.
Should the application be approved, organizers are hoping to kick off the farmers market’s inaugural season on May 6.
As the weather gets warmer, Arlingtonians can expect more options for buying farm-fresh produce and artisan goods.
With the expected launch of the new Westover Farmers Market, this year there will be seven local farmers markets for residents to choose from. We’ve compiled the following guide, for your reference.
- Courthouse (N. Courthouse Road and 14th Street N.) — Saturdays – Perhaps the largest of Arlington’s farmers markets, the Arlington Farmers Market in Courthouse is open year-round. Its expanded summer hours — from 8:00 a.m. to noon — will begin next weekend, on April 21.
- Columbia Pike (Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive) — Sundays — The only other year-round farmers market in Arlington, besides Courthouse, the Columbia Pike market is now operating under the “regular” seasonal hours of 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., according to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization website.
- Clarendon (Clarendon Blvd and N. Highland Street) — Wednesdays — The Clarendon Farmers Market kicked off its 14th season yesterday afternoon (April 11). The market, which is open from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., runs through the end of October, with its peak summer “high season” starting in May.
- Crystal City (Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets) — Tuesdays — The Crystal City farmers market, operated by FRESHFARM Markets, serves a largely workday crowd from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The market will open for the season on May 1 and will run through November 20.
- Westover (Washington Blvd and N. McKinley Road) — Sundays — Organizers of Arlington’s newest farmers market are hoping to kick off its inaugural season on May 6. When it does launch, the market will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Check the market’s new website for updates.
- Rosslyn (Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street) — Thursdays — The only Arlington farmers market that has its own dedicated concert series, the Rosslyn Farmers Market will be open from May 31 to October 25 this year. The market serves a lunchtime crowd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Ballston (N. Stuart Street and 9th Street N.) — Thursdays — Located at Welburn Square, the Ballston farmers market has the latest starting date:
June 7June 28. The market will be open from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., through the end of October. FRESHFARM Markets will be taking over management of the farmers market this year, according to Ballston Business Improvement District Executive Director Tina Leone.
Bill Would Open Classrooms to Parents — Del. Patrick Hope (D) has proposed a bill that would require local school boards to “ensure that the parent or legal guardian of a student or prospective student enrolled in the school division may, subject to reasonable notice and with minimized disruption, act as an observer in the child’s classroom.” The bill is in response to a Washington Post column about a couple whose request to observe a class at Arlington Traditional School was denied by school officials. [Washington Post]
Lyon Hall Named ‘Best Beer Bar’ — Lyon Hall (3100 N Washington Blvd) has been named one of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars by Draft Magazine. “Its bartenders have a passion for of-the-moment beer, and no one will care if you drink your 21st Amendment Back in Black straight from the can,” the publication said. [Draft Magazine]
Board Wants Speedier Farmers Market Permit Process — The County Board asked Arlington County staff to speed up the permit approval process for the planned Westover Farmers Market. Organizers — who would like to open the market in May — have said that the permitting process has been proceeding at a slower-than-hoped-for pace. [Sun Gazette]
The proposed Westover Farmers Market is getting closer to becoming a reality.
A group of local volunteers has incorporated a nonprofit company to run the farmers market, and have applied for recognition as a charitable organization from the IRS. The nonprofit is currently seeking donations and vetting applications from farmers market vendors.
Meanwhile, organizers say they hope to hold the first farmers market in May, on the grounds of the Westover Branch Library and Reed School on N. McKinley Road. The start date could potentially be held up, however, by the arduous process of applying for county permits and permissions.
“The County recently changed the application process for open-air markets to one requiring issuance of a use permit by the County Board,” farmers market organizer Robert Swennes noted in an email. “The details of implementing that change are still being worked out, and that is creating more delay for us than a well-established approval process would. Also, the site selected for the market is property owned by the Arlington County Public Schools, so permission from ACPS must also be obtained.”
When it finally does clear all regulatory hurdles, the market will operate from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.
“Many people within County government and generally in Arlington have expressed their support for a farmers market in the Westover area, so we are confident that one will be launched this year,” Swennes noted. “The question is how soon that can be done.”
Photo via Arlington Green Party
The Sun Gazette reports this morning that the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is asking residents to consider leaving Fido at home when they go to the Pike farmers market on Sundays.
Responding to a complaint to the county health department, market officials are asking residents to voluntarily leave their dogs at home or, at the very least, “keep them out of vendor booths and away from tables that have food on them.”
The Saturday farmers market in Courthouse, meanwhile, is more explicit about its policy about dogs.
“We love your pets, but please leave them at home,” the market says on its web site. “With the exception of service animals, Public Health regulations preclude the presence of live animals in the Courthouse Farmer’s Market.”
Should dogs be allowed at farmers markets in Arlington?
Today’s Rosslyn lunchtime concert, slated to feature New Orleans-inspired rock quartet The Grandsons, has been canceled “due to excessive heat.” Thursday’s lunchtime concert has also been canceled, as has the Thursday lunchtime farmers market.
Despite the forecast of triple-digit temperatures on Friday, the BID has so far not pulled the plug on its outdoor film festival, which is scheduled to feature 90s comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The films start at dusk on Fridays.
Due to today’s heat advisory, two local farmers markets have been nixed.
The sweltering temperatures have prompted organizers of both the Ballston Farmers Market — held every Thursday in Welburn Square — and the Rosslyn Farmers Market — held Thursdays at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Oak Street — to cancel.
Temperatures are expected to come close to the 100 degree mark today.
Capital Empanadas will serve “freshly-made Andean-style empanadas” to denizens of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and, in a few weeks, Crystal City as well.
The cart’s owner, Richard Villegas, is a native of Colombia and a ten-year Arlington resident. Villegas says he is “thrilled” to introduce this “unique treat” to the area.
“Our Andean-style handmade empanadas have typical flavors from our beloved Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru,” the Capital Empanadas web site says. “We put our heart and soul into our empanadas and you’ll feel the love once you meet us and enjoy them.”
The Capital Empanadas menu includes:
- Meat (carne) empanada
- Chicken empanada
- Cheese empanada
- Veggie empanada
- Plantain chips
- Dulce de Leche
- Water and soft drinks (including Colombiana, Inca Kola and Coke products)
Photo courtesy Capital Empanadas
Krupicka Uses Marine in Mailer — State Senate candidate Rob Krupicka has gotten the attention of a conservative web site for printing an endorsement from a Marine sergeant, along with a photo of him in uniform, on a campaign mailer. If the Marine is on active duty, such an endorsement would violate military guidelines. The Sun Gazette’s Scott McCaffrey also points out that Krupicka’s mailer also makes reference to supporting “soldiers and their families” — which would refer to members of the Army but not the Marine Corps. Krupicka, an Alexandria city councilman, is facing off against Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey and Del. Adam Ebbin in the Democratic primary. [Sun Gazette]
Medical Care By Lottery — Every month, the Arlington Free Clinic holds a lottery to see who will receive medical care. With demand for care exceeding supply, this month only 25 people were selected out of a pool of 140. [WAMU]
Ballston Farmers Market Starts This Week — The Ballston Farmers Market will hold its season grand opening this Thursday. The market is free and held every Thursday (until October) from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Wellburn Square, between N. Stuart and N. 9th Streets.
Zach Galifianakis Spotted in Clarendon – In town for the White House Correspondents Dinner, actor Zach Galifianakis was spotted walking the streets of Clarendon on Saturday. According to the caption, he did some shopping and had lunch at Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street). [ContactMusic.com]
Arlington Young Republicans Growing — The Arlington Young Republicans have added nearly 100 members over the course of a year, making it the largest Young Republican organization in Virginia. [Sun Gazette]
Goose Lays Eggs in Shirlington — A mother goose is apparently nesting her eggs in a planter outside the IO Piazza apartment building. So far, no friendly deer have been spotted. [Shirlington Blogspot]
Crystal City Freshfarm Market Starts Today — The first Freshfarm market of the season in Crystal City will be held on Crystal Drive between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. today. [Freshfarm Markets]
Above: A look back at last year’s presentation of a steel beam from the World Trade Center at Arlington County Fire Station 5. Firefighters from Fire Station 5, in Pentagon City, were among the first to respond to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
School Budget Approved – The Arlington County School Board has approved a new $475 million budget for FY 2012. The budget funds pay raises for teachers and staff, expands professional learning activities for teachers and eliminates ‘early release Wednesdays’ at four elementary schools. It also includes $1 million to study options for addressing the school system’s looming capacity crisis. [Arlington Public Schools]
Columbia Pike Farmers Market Returns — Sunday marked the start of the summer season for the Columbia Pike Farmers Market. [Pike Wire] (Disclosure: The organizer of the farmers market is an ARLnow.com advertiser)
Arlington Home to Fast-Growing Companies — Arlington is home to six of the 50 fastest-growing privately-held companies in Virginia. [Sun Gazette]
Tejada, Moran Get ‘Snippy’ Over Immigration — At a work session Monday afternoon, County Board member Walter Tejada and Rep. Jim Moran got in a verbal ‘tussle’ when Tejada suggested that Democrats have not done much recently to advance the cause of immigration rights on a federal level. [Sun Gazette]
Westover Farmers Market Delayed — Organizers had hoped to launch a farmers market in Westover this spring, but it looks like red tape will delay their goal by a year. Farmers market boosters have secured verbal approval to use school property for the market, but the county zoning office says it will not grant a use permit until the county ordinance related to farmers markets is changed. [Falls Church News-Press]
W-L Launches New Student Newspaper Web Site — Washington-Lee High School’s Crossed Sabres student newspaper has a new web site. [W-L Crossed Sabres]
Organizers say the farmers market would be held outside the Westover Library on either Saturday or Sunday mornings. They would like to launch the market in the spring.
Anyone interested in shopping at or helping to operate the market is asked to attend tonight’s meeting, which will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Westover Library (1644 McKinley Road).
Black Friday Is a Bust at Ballston Common Mall — While other suburban shopping malls were inundated with shoppers on Friday, traditionally one of the biggest days of the year for retailers in terms of foot traffic, Ballston Common Mall was about as crowded as it normally is on a Friday afternoon (not very). “The best thing here is Rock Bottom,” one shopper explained to Ballston Patch.
Farmers Market For Westover? — A community meeting will be held at the Westover library next month to discuss the possible formation of a farmers market this spring. More from the Sun Gazette.
Arlington Has Region’s Lowest Unemployment — Once again Arlington is leading the D.C. area jobs-wise. Arlington’s unemployment rate currently stands at a remarkably low 3.9 percent. Alexandria and Loudoun County share the title for second-lowest unemployment in the region, with 4.5 percent. More from WTOP.
Another Froyo Place Coming to Arlington — The R-B corridor will have an abundance of frozen yogurt options next year. A D.C.-based, self-serve yogurt shop called FroZenYo is planning to open stores in Rosslyn and Ballston in 2011. It’s also planning on opening a store in Crystal City. More from TBD.
Flickr pool photo by Team Rank
Despite the fact that the weather is still fairly warm, today’s Crystal City Freshfarm Market will be the last of the season.
Held from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Crystal Drive, the market features about 20 local farmers and producers who bring together seasonal fruits and vegetables, farm-raised eggs, all-natural meats, cheeses, artisan soaps, and more.
Also at the market today: the Sweetflow Mobile frozen yogurt truck.