The spring / summer Manassas farmer’s market begins this week! The Thursday market starts April 8 at Harris Pavilion from 8am – 1pm (we will not be attending the Thursday markets). And the Saturday market starts April 10 at the commuter lot across from Baldwin Elementary from 8am – 1pm (we WILL be attending the Saturday markets, as always).
With the start of this new market season, we’re debuting our new “loyalty cards”. These are more or less standard gift cards… but with some incentives built in. Basically, if you choose to get one of these cards, each time money is added to the card, we will put an additional X% onto the card. And that percentage increases in relation to the amount of money added. The overall point being to encourage and reward customers who buy from us again and again. To simplify the point-of-sale mechanics, we’ve narrowed the deposit amounts to the following setup:
Some of you may remember that we used to have a loyalty program where we had a check-in sheet out on our table, and you’d check the box by your name each time you made a purchase…. When the pandemic hit, we couldn’t have “public use” pens out on the table, and tracking who was buying and who wasn’t (not knowing everyone by name) proved to be cumbersome, and we were hesitant to advertise it to newcomers, etc. Beginning April 10, this new loyalty card program effectively replaces that old check-in sheet program. We will have the cards available for anyone who wants to get one, and then you can use for any future purchases, adding money (via cash, check, credit, or SNAP tokens) per the above amounts as desired. We should note that, like most gift cards, these cards will not be redeemable or refundable.
Looking forward to starting the spring / summer market! We’ve been busy at the farm gearing up for the season. We have a 50-foot hoop house in the works that we’re hoping to complete before tomatoes go in the ground late April / early May. Planning to do cucumbers and eggplant in there, as well. And we’re experimenting with a cover crop of peas in the upper half of our garden. The peas will theoretically add nitrogen back into the soil as they grow, and then we’ll likely till them in later in the summer to make way for fall plantings. A lot going on!
A big thank you as always to all of our customers. We hope to see you at the market soon!
We got word yesterday that the April 3 market is now a GO. This will be the last winter season market, and will be at the Harris Pavilion and run from 9am – 1pm. Apparently enough vendors expressed interest in having the market that the managers said “Sure, why not.”
Pennington Market Farm will be there! We had actually been growing microgreens over the past couple weeks assuming that the April 3 market would happen. So we should have our usual complement of chicken eggs, duck eggs, microgreens, garden veggie starter plants, and potentially some of our first spring season harvest of salad / lettuce mix bags.
Spring season market begins right after winter season ends. The Thursday market (which we do not plan on attending) will be at the Harris Pavilion and run from 8am – 1pm, first date being April 8. The Saturday market (which we WILL attend) will be at the commuter parking lot across from Baldwin Elementary and also run from 8am – 1pm, first date being April 10.
Now that we’ve had our fill of administrivia… enjoy the rest of your week and hope to see you Saturday!
Just a quick schedule update: There will be no Manassas farmer’s market on April 3. Tomorrow’s 3/27 market is still on as scheduled (9am – 1pm) at the Harris Pavilion. The spring season Saturday market will begin April 10 and be down at the commuter parking lot across from Baldwin Elementary (8am – 1pm).
We have a few new / different things going on as we start gearing up for spring season…
The herb dabbling that we started this past summer has started to bear fruit via market sales, and so far, the feedback has been positive. We were initially bringing basil in small pots that were maybe 2″ square (technically 1020 tray inserts called 3601s). Those proved to be too small for the size of the plants… the basil would grow fairly tall, and the whole thing would be really unstable and frequently fall over, etc. So we potted up to 3.25″ square trays (called 1801s) and will soon be evolving to 4″ round pots. Anyway, the feedback has been good, and we’ve been selling out of the basil in these larger containers. And we’re also bringing cilantro now and that has been positive. So game on with herb pots as we move into spring.
We’ve also started offering “garden starters” at the market. These are those small 2″ pots that I mentioned above, but they contain single plants intended for transplanting into garden beds (or potting up and growing indoors). These are generally the same plants that we’re growing ourselves right now in the garden. All of the various salad mix veggies, plus others. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding tomatoes and maybe eggplant to the starter lineup.
We’ve been gathering materials with intent to build a 50-foot hoop house for our tomato, cucumber, and eggplant production over the summer. Given that we’ll need to plant tomatoes late April / early May, I need to get off the couch and build this thing before too long. We obtained 38 10-foot chain link fence top rail pieces (pictured) and will need to bend them via a homemade jig (I think that’s the appropriate term). The hoop house will be on the order of 12 feet wide and will have probably 3 raised beds in it (2 for tomatoes, 1 for cukes and eggplant). There are companies that offer kits for this sort of thing, but I’m hoping that we can DIY this our own way at a cheaper cost. Probability of the hoop house blowing off its moorings and across the yard sometime this year is, by my estimate, on the order of 50%. We’ll see what happens!
Per our understanding, there are three more winter market dates (3/20, 3/27, 4/3), and then we transition to the main season market beginning 4/10. The winter market is still in the Harris Pavilion and runs from 9am – 1pm. The main season market will likely be back at the commuter parking lot across from Baldwin Elementary and run from 8am – 1pm (we’ll let you know if that ends up not being the case).
Feels like we’re starting to sound like a broken record. But alas… Tomorrow’s Manassas farmer’s market has been cancelled due to forecasted sub-freezing temperatures. Sounds like there’s also currently ice on the floor of the pavilion, which may not melt between now and then. Hope everyone has a good weekend, and we’ll hope for better conditions on Feb 27!
Got word this afternoon that tomorrow’s farmer’s market has been cancelled due to the forecasted below freezing temps. We will now look ahead to next week and hope to see you on February 6! For folks who pre-ordered from us for pickup tomorrow, we’ll be reaching out here in a few minutes to each of you via email / text. Thanks!
Wanted to give a quick shout out to a couple great customers of ours, local chefs Ezie Junkala and Alessandra Innamorato! Ezie of Ezie & Emil has been coming by our stand since the beginning. Her personal catering menu changes weekly and features a wide range of flavors. And Chef Alessandra of The Feisty Feeder has an impressive culinary resume (she was Merv Griffin’s personal chef, no less!) and equally impressive globally-influenced catering menu. Please check out both of these fantastic local catering businesses!
Last week’s market was a cold one! (I mean, it is winter these days, so what are you gonna do.) Forecast for the 30th looks cold, dry, and sunny. The outdoor garden growth rate is probably at its lowest this time of year, and we harvested all we could last week, so we decided to give the garden a rest this week. So no salad or lettuce mix on the 30th. But plenty of microgreens and we should have some not-yet-reserved eggs out on the table at least at the start of the morning. And our “adult” basil (grown indoors) will also be attending via its heated bin.
Market is Saturdays from 9am – 1pm at the Harris Pavilion. Hope to see you!
Buh bye, 2020! We resume weekly farmer’s market attendance tomorrow, January 9. Again, this winter season farmer’s market location is up at the Harris Pavilion in downtown Manassas. So this will be every Saturday from 9am – 1pm. Weather can be a factor this season, and we’ll send out notices for any adjustments as soon as we get them.
Aside from true summer crops like tomatoes and peanuts, we have pretty much everything else available from our repertoire. We grow our salad / lettuce mixes under two layers of protection in the garden, so we’re still getting some decent output from that crop. Always microgreens aplenty and the birds keep on doing their thing with eggs. The chickens have slowed slightly… maybe going through a molting period. But, as always, if you’d like eggs and we happen to be sold out, you’re welcome to ask and we can put you on the list for next time, etc.
Hope everyone had a nice holiday season. Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow and/or in the weeks ahead!