Farm Market Reflections
by Esther Shmunis

Walking up Woodmont Avenue and turning onto Elm Street, I pass by the familiar restaurants and movie theatre. This time, on an early Sunday morning, the atmosphere and environment has completely changed. The street typically used for quiet, casual walks is now bustling with people circling multi-colored tents and marveling at various delicacies, meats, herbs and even copper wares being sold.

Sample offerings from Woodhall Wine Cellars

On Elm Street, between Woodmont and Wisconsin Avenue, the Bethesda Central Farm Market is stationed, offering an array of unique and interesting products. For example, among the archetypal wines it sells, Woodhall Wine Cellars offers a “Party Garnet” flavor, a blend of “candied fruit” with a subtle scent of “bubblegum, cotton candy, and strawberry.” It also produces a “Party Harmony” blend, composed of different tropical fruit flavors with a “touch of honey.” Though these festive wines receive some attention, purchasers play it safe with popular dry red wines like the Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Near the wine station, veal and goat meat products draw much buyer attention. The proprietor explains that her farm is not a cruel slaughterhouse. Animals are not injected with hormones and stuffed in small cages; instead they are given normal healthy food to consume and plenty of room to roam free.

Though the food and products displayed may seem like an integral part of the market experience, what makes the farm market truly special is the diverse people it attracts. Rather than solo shoppers going on their routine errands to buy some fresh and organic produce, the street is filled with couples, families, and dog walkers, who enliven an otherwise mundane custom. With these people’s energy and enthusiasm to discover, analyze, or merely peruse new and exciting products, the Bethesda Central Farm Market gives selling what some may call “ordinary” food a completely new meaning.

Esther Schmunis is a graduating senior at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville. After attending Midreshet Amit in Israel for a year, she plans to go to Syms Business School at Stern College in New York.