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With more grocery options than ever in upper Georgetown, it appears that the neighborhood farmer’s market might falling on hard times.
Lauren Shweder Biel, executive director of DC Greens, says that the Glover Park and Burleith market started out with 18 vendors—but two jumped ship, and others are losing money, saying that foot traffic isn’t heavy enough to sustain sales.
“It’s definitely got to pick up, or else we’re not going to make it,” Biel tells Housing Complex.
Why such low turnout? Kicking off two days after the gala re-opening of the Social Safeway across the street, the obvious conclusion would be that shoppers are more than happy to get their produce in the new grocery store’s shining aisles. But Biel says she expected the Safeway to be ahelp, not a hindrance.
“Many residents of Georgetown didn’t come uphill much during the construction, and thus didn’t realize we were there,” she says. “It hasn’t had the impact I had hoped.”
Biel points out that hot sellers like peaches and melons aren’t in season yet—kale and chard aren’t the biggest draws—and there’s enough community entertainment that people will come to hang out, without buying much. Also, it’s sometimes hard to remember a farmer’s market has started, when the flea market is there all year round.
In any case, this weekend there’s live bluegrass music and a free bike clinic. Biel’s hoping you’ll resist Safeway’s inexorable draw, or at least stop at the market on your way out.