Visitors sample paella at Dupont Circle Farmer's Market.

Visitors sample paella at Dupont Circle Farmer's Market.

Visit a busy farmers market on a warm weekend afternoon and you’ll likely see a large selection of fresh produce from local farmers– things like bright red tomatoes, freshly sliced pears ready to sample and zucchinis begging to be sliced and thrown on the grill. You’ll also likely run into lots of like-minded visitors. Markets in our region are reporting growing crowds and overall sales. But many of those visitors aren’t looking to stock their kitchens with ingredients for the coming week. They’re interested instead in prepared foods that can be boxed and taken home for a quick meal, or even eaten on the spot. Some farmers lament the shift and blame it for lower produce sales– but others sense a growing opportunity. We explore how local farmers are managing the shift and what’s at stake for the local food scene.


  • Tim Carman Food Writer, The Washington Post
  • Zach Lester Co-Owner, Tree and Leaf Farm
  • Mike Koch Executive Director, FRESHFARM Markets

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