Welcome to January in the Mid-Atlantic, where temperatures drop along with occasional precipitation in the forms of snow, sleet and ice. From January 7 – March 25, Bethesda and Mosaic Central Farm Markets will be open during their Winter hours: Bethesda is open from 10am-1:30pm, and Mosaic is open from 10am-2pm.
Due to the unpredictability of inclement weather, please sign up for the market eblast or follow Central Farm Markets on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to learn of market closures. The Bethesda market location is governed by Montgomery County which means that in the event of public school delays or closures, the market will not be allowed to open. Public announcements are made on WTOP.
Keep in mind that vendors must prepare, pack and travel during the previous day and in the early morning hours which means not everyone may make it to market on days of extreme cold, ice or snow in the hours leading up to market even though the weather may be clear and less severe on Sunday morning. Read about our Inclement Weather policy online here.
Similarly, some vendors have chosen to attend winter markets every other week. Central Farm Markets will post online and in the weekly eblast what vendors will be attending that week’s market – another great reason to stay in touch!
Here are several tips for being a savvy winter market shopper:
- Dress warmly. Cover as much exposed skin as possible with breathable layers including hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, boots and coats designed to keep you warm. Hint: put a disposable hand-warmer in each pocket to keep fingers toasty.
- Limit your exposure. This is one of the reasons winter markets have reduced hours. Make a list. Order ahead from vendors who take pre-orders.
- Stay hydrated. There are plenty of opportunities to warm up with coffee, hot chocolate and tea. Plus, a steaming cup helps revive chilly fingers.
- Use an insulated bag. While this may make sense in the warmer months to keep your perishable items cool, in frigid temperatures that same bag can keep your tender greens from cold damage.
- Don’t expect pretty. Farmers need to protect their products from the winter elements. This may mean goods are kept in heavy, waxed packing boxes, sold from van interiors and covered with blankets. If you do not see what you are looking for, ask the vendor before assuming it is not available.
- Bring cash. The batteries of smart phone and portable credit card processing machines don’t last as long in colder weather. Touch screens require bare fingers and sometimes take more time to operate as frozen fingers don’t trigger the display. Hint: ones and fives make for the quickest transaction and are always appreciated.