Around Town

As Tysons farmers market launches, Mosaic District’s plots expansion

People wait for plant-based food and empanadas at FreshFarm’s Mosaic District farmers market (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Tysons area will have no shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables for the rest of this year, as one farmers market prepares to make its introduction and another expands its presence.

A brand-new Tysons farmers market will launch at noon today (Thursday) at The PARC at Tysons (8508 Leesburg Pike).

Run by Potomac Farm Market, the market will return every Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. through Oct. 19. It will have “seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh cut flowers, and other locally sourced specialties” from area farmers and food producers, according to Celebrate Fairfax, the nonprofit that operates The PARC.

“We’re thrilled to work in partnership with Potomac Farm Market and host the farmers market at The PARC,” Celebratate Fairfax President and CEO Ashley Morris said. “The market provides an opportunity to bring neighbors together to connect over fresh, locally sourced food while also supporting local farms.”

To mark today’s launch, Celebrate Fairfax has planned a grand opening event with free ice cream from Tysons Creamery, while supplies last. The giveaway is a nod to National Ice Cream Month, but it will also likely be welcome for patrons on a day expected to get dangerously hot.

The farmers market is currently scheduled to be held outside, but organizers say it could be relocated indoors if necessary.

“We are monitoring the weather and have the ability to move the farm market inside The PARC if needed,” Celebrate Fairfax Director of Community Events and Engagements Trinity Yansick said.

Mosaic District farmers’ market set to expand

Looking south of I-66, nonprofit FreshFarm announced yesterday that it will expand its popular farmers market at Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

Operated by FreshFarm since 2019, the Mosaic market is open year-round on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It typically occupies more than two blocks along District Avenue from Strawberry Lane to Penny Lane, requiring the road to be closed to vehicle traffic.

Starting on Aug. 6, the market will extend its reach onto Strawberry Lane, increasing its vendor line-up from 45 produce, food and craft stalls to almost 60.

Covering the equivalent of three city blocks, the expanded market will be “in the running to be the largest farmers market in Northern Virginia,” FreshFarm says. Offerings will include “a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal baked goods, pastured eggs and meats, locally roasted coffee, prepared foods” and more.

“The expansion into Strawberry Lane means we can connect even more farmers and producers with the community while also providing local residents with a wider variety of fresh and healthy options,” FreshFarm Director of Agricultural Programs Rebecca Chávez said.

She added that the nonprofit hopes the bigger market will draw more participants for its Fresh Match program, which allows SNAP and other federal benefit recipients to get a dollar-for-dollar match on any benefits they spend at the farmers market.

“[It] both helps shoppers take home more nutritious produce and local foods while creating and sustaining new revenue streams for local growers,” Chávez said.

The Mosaic market’s expansion will coincide with the first day of National Farmers Market Week, which is recognized annually by the national nonprofit Farmers Market Coalition.

Earlier this year, workers for FreshFarm — whose other markets include ones in Reston and Oakton — unionized with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.

Farmers markets are also underway from the Fairfax County Park Authority, which runs 10 markets that appear from the spring into the fall, or even December in some cases.