We live in a digitally connected world, there’s no doubt about it. Between computers, smartphones and tablets, instant access to information and communication is never far away. Did you know this can work to your advantage when it comes to shopping at Central Farm Markets? In addition to Dishing the Dirt, there is a weekly e-blast alerting shoppers to special happenings, current vendors, what’s in season, chef’s demonstrations, music and children’s events. Sign up for it here or at the main website, www.centralfarmmarkets.com.
Speaking of the main website, that’s the perfect place to go for a variety of services and information, including:
- Quick links to Central Farm Markets’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Information about becoming a vendor.
- Upcoming events
- Quick links to all three markets
- A full list of market vendors and sponsors
- Contact information for the market staff
- Information regarding market closures during inclement weather
That last bullet point is especially important during the winter months when snow, ice and bitter cold temperatures make conditions dangerous for both customers and vendors.
In addition to staying connected via Central Farm Markets’ digital properties, many of the vendors themselves have websites, email newsletters and social media accounts that will keep customers up-to-date on what’s available, educate people about production practices and offer ideas and offer recipes for their products along with special events announcements.
But information doesn’t only flow one way. Both Central Farm Markets and vendors love to see what our customers are doing with what they purchase at the market so don’t be afraid to use those hashtags.
Keep in touch!
The countdown has begun for the 2017 holiday season. Depending on your culture, faith or nationality, there are a dozen observed holidays between now and the end of 2017. And we all know what most holidays include…FOOD! What better place to prepare than at the market where not only is there a variety of fresh, local meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, pastries, dairy products, flowers, libations and artisan products for celebratory feasts, but locally made fine crafts perfect for presents.
Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your holidays when shopping at one of the Central Farm Markets:
- Know the market schedule: Central Farm Markets has a Special Thanksgiving Market on Tuesday, November 21 at the Pike location in Rockville (10am – 2pm) where you can pick up your fresh turkey and any other foods on your menu. Be aware though that not all the vendors participate in this special market. For more information about the 2017 Special Thanksgiving Market items available for pre-orders, check out this online brochure. Double-check to make certain what you need will be available, otherwise, plan to shop on the weekend prior’s regular markets.As with the special holiday market brochure for Thanksgiving, Central Farm Markets will be putting together another online brochure for markets in December so stay tuned. And yes, the Sunday markets are open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve this year with our regular season hours.
- Place special orders in advance: if you need a specific size, cut, amount, etc. please let your vendors know ahead of time. Many vendors have special items, such as larger cuts and holiday desserts that they do not normally bring to market.
- Shop early for the staples: these are the items that are at market every week, but tend to go fast during the holiday season. Think eggs, breads, milk, cider, salad greens, etc.
- Great gift ideas abound: in addition to lots of delicious food and drinks (always welcomed gifts), artisan vendors offering pottery, woodworking, handcrafted soaps and lotions, and knitting are also found at all three Central Farm Markets locations making one-stop local shopping easier this holiday season. And if you can’t decide, stop by the markets’ information tents for gift certificates in the amount of your choosing.
- REMEMBER all markets are CLOSED the weekend following Thanksgiving: seriously, eat your leftovers. Plus, the vendors enjoy spending time with families and friends just like you do. We’ll be back the following week…promise.
By Sandra Kay Miller, Painted Hand Farm
As the holiday season approaches and shoppers turn to Central Farm Markets to stock up on ingredients as well as gifts, the question becomes “how do I carry it all?”
Turkeys, roasts, winter squash, bags of fruit, pounds of vegetables, jugs of cider, bottles of wine and bouquets of flowers can’t all fit into a couple of market bags and if you manage to do so, it makes for a difficult trek back to the car.
Here are a few practical ideas for loading up at market:
- Bring a cart: many shoppers have already returned to the days when two-wheeled market carts were as common as re-usable cloth bags when heading out to the market. If you happen to be the parent (or grandparent) of a toddler, strollers and wagons double nicely to carry all your market purchases.
- Use the market’s Concierge Service: simply leave your bags at the Central Farm Markets Information Tent and when you are ready to leave, let the market workers know. Drive your car to the designated curbside pick-up spot and your bag will be brought to your car.
- Ask for help: vendors know that sometimes their products can be heavy. After all, they are the one who have loaded their vehicles! If they are unable to carry your purchases to your vehicle, they will always locate a member of the market staff who can help you.
- Make more than one trip to your vehicle: Central Farm Markets takes pride in being located within easy walking distance of public parking at all of our markets so that our customers have better access.
- Bring a friend: Central Farm Markets provides a community atmosphere perfect for outings, including tables and chairs, prepared foods, and delicious drinks and music.
These ideas aren’t only for the holidays, but for weekly shopping. We hope you will make our markets central to your weekly shopping.