Riverdale Park Farmers’ Market is a regular Thursday destination for me and my two boys. We go whenever we can, and we always end up staying a lot longer than we need to.

the main drag

At three o’clock in the afternoon, when the market opens, it’s a great place to get fresh produce, meats, cheeses, breads and other goodies. RPFM is a producer only market, so you can chat with the farmers about what they sell.  It’s also a good place for an afternoon pick-me-up: iced coffee from Zekes, or fresh lemonade from Migue’s Donuts, or ice cream from Simple Pleasures. I hand my kids a few dollars and make them order their own treats, after we’ve rehearsed the “please and thank-you.” They like to help pick out berries, corn, greens, melons, and apples as they come into season.  If there’s something perfectly ripe they want to eat it right away. Just Picked When the kids start to get bored with standing around while I ponder the flowers at Jack Creek plants, they head over to the sidewalk tables to watch the trains. Chris from the Riverdale Model Railroaders Club is there every other week, entertaining folks with a four-table, multi-rail train set up, and there’s sidewalk chalk for the young artists. In the peak of summer there’s a sprinkler tents to wash off the heat and sweat and whining. Model Railroad   Sidewalk Chalk Bird As the afternoon wears into the dinner hour live music drifts over from the performance tent. Folks coming home from work stop to buy some groceries for the week, meet friends and family, maybe pick-up crepes, barbecue or Indian fare for dinner. You can take it home or take a seat at the shaded tables and share conversation with other market fans. We often run into friends there, or just the people we see at the market regularly.

The Rain Tent

photo by Ali Llewellyn

Riverdale Park Farmers’ Market is a producers only market in Prince George’s County. During the summer the market runs from 3pm-7pm. Follow the signs for the Riverdale MARC station. You can sign up for their newsletter on their website, or follow them on Facebook.

Jennifer Thorson is a birth doula, author, and occasional blogger at Bread, Wine, Salt. Questions, comments and compliments are welcome.