Buying local is a challenge sometimes. In the Spring, and early Summer we buy flowers from some wonderful growers with farms close to DC. But getting to DC from Baltimore is not that great. There is always traffic and yesterday-besides the traffic there were a million tour buses in DC. Not to mention that it was 90 degrees out at 3:30 when I finally arrived.
My first pick up was at the Fresh Farm Market across the street from the White House. This is a great market where I get to pick up flowers from Andrea Gagnon from Lynn Vale Studios. Andrea has some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. A few weeks ago we got a “pastel mix” of ranunculus from her that were to die for! So it’s worth it to stop. But parking around there is a nightmare. Since I’m usually only picking up a bucket or two of flowers, Andrea has set up a system where I call her when I’m about a block away-and I drive up to the end of the market, where the street is closed, and Andrea runs over and hands the flowers off to me. No parking necessary!
I’m always grateful for this small help because my next stop is the Fresh Farm Market at Penn Quarter. This is another wonderful market that seems to be crowded as soon as the 3pm bell rings. I usually have to park several blocks away and carry each of my buckets (some times as many as 20 or 25 buckets) one or two at a time from Wollam Gardens farm stand to the van. When I arrived, hot, tired and thirsty to Wollam Gardens truck, and saw half of the truck filled with buckets of flowers for ME for this weekends weddings-I actually thought for a minute-can I pay someone on the street to help me carry all this stuff? As I pulled down the first few buckets of baptisia and sweet william, the amazing Kim Payne of Wollam Gardens, who runs the market at Penn Quarter, came around the corner with a gigantic farm wagon! This thing fit at least 8 buckets of flowers!!! I was so happy I seriously almost cried!
This is what buying local is all about! It’s about KNOWING your suppliers and customers. It’s about wanting to make your suppliers and customers happy. It’s about about going the extra mile to make buying local feasible and even easy. It’s about knowing that a wagon will make someone’s day!