A rendering of the Half Street Central Farm Market near Nationals Stadium in Ssoutheast D.C. (Courtesy of Central Farm Market)
A rendering of the Half Street Central Farm Market near Nationals Stadium in Ssoutheast D.C. (Courtesy of Central Farm Market)

Ward 8 will soon have a new farmer’s market which will offer customers a wide range of healthy food choices and tips on nutritionally living.

On May 7, the Half Street Central Farm Market will open in the vicinity of Nationals Stadium on Half Street SE with the support of developers Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners and JBG Smith. The market will feature more than 30 produce and food vendors, in addition to specialty and prepared goods.

The development partners tapped Central Farm Markets, which has managed farmer’s markets for over 15 years in Washington-area locations such as Bethesda and Rockville in Maryland and Falls Church in Virginia. Anthony Startt, the director of investments for Jair Lynch, said the time is ripe for District residents to utilize farmer’s markets.

“In a time when our country is still grappling with the impact of the pandemic, we believe it’s important to provide more opportunity for small businesses to succeed,” he said. “The partnership with Central Farm Markets will help farmers, crafters and small businesses reach new customers while providing fresh, local and sustainable food and products to a neighborhood known for its love of food, entertainment and sports.”

The market will run from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Saturday until just before the Christmas holiday. In addition to fruits and vegetables and meats and poultry, seafood, ice cream, teas, breads and baked goods will be available to customers.

Mitchell Berliner, the owner and founder of Central Farm Markets, said he and his partner, Debra Moser, are excited about their new operation.

“We are really looking forward to bringing the best quality produce and food products from the regional farmers and producers, all the way from Pennsylvania to Southern Virginia,” Berliner said. “We are committed to helping our partners, farmers and makers to continue to grow, practice conscious farming techniques and sustain the health and wellbeing of the community.”

Berliner realizes that most neighborhoods in Ward 8 are considered by District and federal officials to be food deserts – where a full-service grocery store doesn’t operate within a comfortable transit distance of residents. He said the Half Street market will give ward residents more grocery options.

Berliner and Moser also remain aware that two full-service grocery stores are located close to their Half Street location.

“We are providing people healthier food options than the grocery store,” Moser said. “A lot of food in the grocery store has chemicals that can be unhealthy for people. The fruits and vegetables at our market are grown on small farms and are grown naturally.”

Moser said the market will participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

“We look forward to serving the people of the area, particularly those in Ward 8,” Berliner said. “In addition to offering food, we have programs we think will satisfy everyone.”

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James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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1 Comment

  1. I am a Ward 8 resident and small business owner. I am also a Made In DC maker of natural soap, hair and body care products. This is news to me and a group of 30+ vendors who are competitively seeking vending opportunities. How can we compete for opportunities, when we are unaware of the opportunities. How many of these vendors are from Ward 8, the original Ward 8, not just the new and improved zoned Ward 8? How many are Washington, DC residents. We want inclusivity and equality. Literally Congress Heights has a Market with vendors struggling to survive, with no knowledge that an opportunity exist until it’s too late. Now the season is fully booked and from my experience will stay that way for years to come. I know people who have been trying to get at Eastern Market, and Petworth for years. Why are we only hearing of this now. Because they dont want us, just our money. Now that the National Stadium is zoned as Ward 8, we have a new market. The perception is false, any Washingtonian who resides in the original Ward 8, are aware that this market is no where convenient to the majority of residents living here.

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