Michelle Obama inaugurates new White House farmers market

And I was there!

As the local food nerd that I am, I had to be there to hear Michelle Obama speak at the opening of the new White House Farmer’s Market in DC.

One of the local dairy farmer’s spoke, and she credited the DC area markets with her family farm’s economic viability. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty spoke as well, followed by the head of the USDA. He announced the launching of a new initiative, Know your Farmer, Know your Food, which sounds exciting.

Lastly Michelle Obama spoke. Her speech hit right to the heart of why farmers markets are important, and what good they can bring. She talked about the White House garden and trying to find fresh vegetables when she and her family lived on the South Side of Chicago.
It was a great turnout considering the rain–at least 300 people gathered to hear Michelle speak. The market will run through the end of the season, late October.

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7 Comments

  1. Caitlyn
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I think this was more important for media coverage of farmers markets than for this particular market alone. The DC area already has quite a few farmers markets (at least 17 in DC alone) – there is one mid-week near the Foggy Bottom metro and another at Dupont Circle on the weekend and, of course, the renovated Easter Market on Capitol Hill. The White House market will be notable for being the only one not in a residential area, but I suppose it will be good for commuters in and near the White House complex. There are also at least two in Arlington, one on Saturday and another on Sunday, and one in Bethesda on a week day. Some of the markets have been around for decades, but others have been springing up due to rising demand.
    I’m especially pleased to see that the local dairies are beginning to produce some good local cheeses for sale at the farmers markets.
    I think that “local” is defined as a range of 100 to 150 miles, and that provides a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as meat and dairy. It really become easy to get good ingredients here.

  2. evann
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Miriam how did you hear about this?? This is the kind of thing I would have loved to see- is there some in-the-know blog i’m missing??

  3. Judith
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Hurrah, Farmer’s Market visibility! I have to admit that with my current budget, I’ve stopped going to the Baltimore Farmer’s Market, but I’m always tempted by CSAs. Hopefully next year.

  4. Miriam
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I saw it on twitter–just some similarly local food obsessed friends.

  5. Miriam
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I agree that the visibility of this market is probably much greater than the impact of adding another market to DC.
    The only point made by the organizers about this particular location was the large number of federal employees (and other businesses) who will be able to get fresh vegetables during their workday.

  6. Hara
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    My friend and I were so disappointed by the Farmers Markets in L.A., Santa Monica and Culver City. To quote her, ” I just don’t have it like that” referring to having enough money to cover the ridiculously high costs of Farmers Market produce in Cali.
    I recall the prices at the Farmers Markets in Mich and NOLA as being MUCH less expensive. No major shipping costs, no major grocer price mark up…it used to be a way to get affordable, good, local food.
    Not anymore- it became a hip new trend and like anything that gentrifies- the prices exploded!
    At the Culver Cty market I went to,
    in addition to the radically high prices, the peaches are hard as apples, the pears like rocks- they’re no better than at a grocery store.
    Don’t get me started on the Organic produce prices.
    A tomato for $9! I kid you not!
    I hate that I don’t have a yard to grow my own produce.
    I do have a tomato and a basil plant on my doorstep.

  7. Hara
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    It used to be LESS expensive to go to the farmers markets

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