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.”