In the Summer of 2002, Clarissa Mathews and Haroun Hallack launched the market in response to residents’ request for fresh, organic produce. Initially, the market consisted of three vendors in front of the Broad Branch Market during the summer season. Since that time, we have grown to include several vendors with a year-round presence, and a dedicated network of hundreds of customers. In addition to providing high quality fresh produce, flowers, plants, meats, cheeses, coffee beans, and baked goods to the community, the market serves as a community focal point and meeting place on Saturday mornings. Customers and their families walk and bike to the market, catching-up with the vendors, and socializing with their neighbors. There is even music on occasions.
We have recently incorporated as a 501c (3) not—for – profit organization with the aim of providing high quality fresh food to the Chevy Chase community, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and economic opportunities for our producers. Sustainable agriculture requires economic viability, eco-friendly production techniques that preserve water and soil resources (e.g. organic, IPM, and biodynamic), limited transport (thus limited fuel use) of food, and dependence on fossil fuels, and a strong connection between the producers and the consumers. The market rules have been developed with the intent to foster a vibrant market that serves that community with high-quality, safe food while boosting the local farming economy to preserve our agricultural heritage.