Farmers’ market faceoff: Rose Park v. Hardy School

Produce stands at the new Hardy School farmers’ market

Until this year, Georgetown farmers’ market aficionados only had one option: the Wednesday afternoon market at Rose Park. This summer, though, the Burleith and Glover Park Citizens Associations teamed up to put together a second farmers’ market Sunday mornings at the newly-renovated Hardy School.

So how do the Rose Park and Hardy School farmers’ markets stack up? Vox visited both this past week—check out our findings after the jump!

Rose Park

  • Hours: 4—7 p.m. every Wednesday
  • Location: Rose Park (at the intersection of 26th and O Streets), 1 mile from campus
  • Number of Vendors: 5
  • Offerings: When we visited yesterday, there were a couple of stands selling baked goods and three with a limited selection of produce. One produce stand also had an impressive selection of honey and another had hand-knitted hats and very nice looking sunflowers.
  • Free Samples: None to be found.
  • Ambiance: With vendors set up between the baseball field and basketball courts, the market has a cozy, community feel.

Hardy School

  • Hours: 9 a.m.—1 p.m. every Saturday
  • Location: Hardy School parking lot (at the intersection of 34th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, across from the pile of dirt that used to be Safeway), 1.1. miles from campus
  • Number of Vendors: 14
  • Offerings: In addition to six produce stands (each with a pretty ample selection of fruits and veggies), last weekend the market also had vendors selling flowers, bread and pastries, pasta (“These are free range pastas!” the owner boasted), sorbets made from local ingredients, soaps from Union Street Soapworks, and coffee.
  • Free Samples: About half of the produce stands were offering free tastes of some sort. You can also get a free spoonful of the sorbet of your choice and the “free-range” pasta stand (which also boasts a small selection of meat products) was offering free tastes of sausage.
  • Ambiance: Housed at the fenced-in, concrete Hardy School parking lot, right next to noisy Wisconsin Ave., the venue is somewhat discordant with all the farm-fresh offerings.
  • Extras: Last weekend, a bluegrass duo was performing live at the market. Possibly the biggest boon, though, was that the District Department of the Environment was giving away free reusable bags to raise awareness about the new 5-cent bag fee.

The verdict? It looks like the newbie’s got the old standby beat. Unless you’re committed to sleeping in on Saturdays or you need a mid-week infusion of fresh fruit, the Hardy School market’s the clear choice.

2 Comments on “Farmers’ market faceoff: Rose Park v. Hardy School

  1. I’m all for the farmer’s market.

    But, just for fun, we should protest the Burleith Citizens Association involvement in something that causes parking problems and traffic from 9a-1p on Saturday when students are sleeping (or jogging, or returning from a party). Can’t you imagine the horns honking and the noise involved in loading and unloading all that stuff into the Hardy School parking lot. And the parking nightmare, what with the Starbucks and Einstein Bagels so nearby. No, no, no, this is not acceptable, not for four hours once per week. (Imagine if a GU student group had requested the use of that parking lot one Saturday afternoon for some sort of fundraiser that included music or some such nonsense. Or, even worse, what if Georgetown wanted to restrict parking once per year on Graduation Weekend? Damn them!!!!)

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