- The parking lot of the Reed School and Westover branch library. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Arlington doesn't hurt for farmers markets — you can go to an outdoor market selling products from local farms several days of the week during the summer months — and now the Westover neighborhood is looking to get in on the action.
John Reeder, the Arlington Green Party president and farmers market advocate, has been floating the idea of a Westover farmers market in the parking lot of the Reed School and Westover branch library with nearby civic associations. Now he and other supporters will make the case for the market at a meeting Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Westover branch library.
View Possible Westover farmers market in a larger map
Reeder says he believes the market would be successful in Westover. "Westover would be a more neighborhood oriented market," he says. Currently, most people in the neighborhood that shop at farmers markets travel to larger, magnet markets like the Falls Church market or the Courthouse market on Saturday mornings, he says.
They're deciding between Saturday and Sunday mornings for the Westover market, depending on community support and what will work best for potential vendors. Reeder says he would aim to get at least 20 vendors for the Westover market in order to make it viable.
He believes Westover's changing demographic make it ideal for a seasonal farmers market. "There’s many more young families, and people that are really interested in buying locally grown produce," Reeder adds.
The market would have to get a use permit for the Arlington Public Schools parking lot that's connected to the School and library site, as well as win approval from local vendors. There was a proposal for a farmers market in Westover about 15 years ago, but some local retailers opposed the idea because they were concerned it would affect their businesses.
"Back then they were afraid it was going to hurt their business, but I think it really is more complementary, and will actually bring customers in," Reeder says.
These topics, as well as scheduling, parking, and others related to the potential market will be on the docket for next week's meeting.