09 June 2008

Jump into an Eco-Friendly Summer with a Farmers' Market Bike Tour!

Faced with escalating gas and food prices, ominous warnings about climate change, and the knowledge that delicious produce was just minutes away, two friends and I recently embarked on a farmers' market bike tour. This adventure took us to two farmers' markets and an eco-friendly store in DC, and let us engage in a whole slew of sustainable practices all at once

As you may know, the benefits of biking are many. Bicycles use no fossil fuels and the only emissions are your own sweat! Cycling also gets you out into the fresh air, and makes you more aware of your surroundings. Seeing trees in bloom and feeling the sun are sure-fire ways to get your eco-conscience flowing.

Buying from farmers' markets also has a basket load of eco-merits. It is a way to buy local, which as the 100-Mile Diet folks remind us is the hottest new way to cool down our climate. And markets like the ones run by FRESHFARM Markets and the Bloomingdale and Mount Pleasant farmers' markets are "producer-only," with the farmers themselves selling their bounty. Want to buy organic but don't see a sign on the strawberries declaring that they're USDA certified? Not sure what it means that the baby salad greens are labeled "pesticide free" or the eggs claim to come from cage-free hens? Just ask!

The producers are there, in person, to answer any question you have about their farming practices and animal raising methods.

Buying eco-friendly products is another wonderful way to shrink your carbon footprint. At Greater Goods, we checked out reusable shopping bags, bamboo "sporks," glass food storage containers (as an alternative to plastic), and even a solar cooker.

We finished up the tour at the Big Bear Cafe right next to the Bloomingdale Farmers' Market. Big Bear serves fair trade coffee, buys local ingredients for their yummy sandwich and salad menu, and uses DC's own Breadline breads (which you can also, conveniently, get at the market just outside, as well as several other farmers' markets in DC).

That about sums up our tour. To jump into summer, get some exercise, and eat sustainably, I highly recommend trying one.


  1. yep it was absolutely a wonderful bike trip, especially on sunday morning - not many cars on the road. i was amazed at the amount of pesticide free/organic produce at the dupont circle market and best of all, it's about 10 steps away from the dupont circle Q street metro exit!

    thanks rhea for a fantastic post :)

  2. There's also a brand new farmer's market in Greenbelt with the same philosophy, farmers themselves sell produce instead of distributors. Here's a link to a list of the farmer's markets in the DC metro area: http://rawdc.org/dc/fruitDC.html
    It also makes for a fun outing!

  3. So glad you guys could come! RP, thanks for the farmers market list. That had some new ones for me!

  4. It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.