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Celebrating Seasonal Variety at the USDA Fall Harvest Festival

Posted by Annie Ceccarini, Program Manager, The People's Garden Initiative and USDA Farmers Market in Initiatives
Feb 21, 2017
2016 Peoples Garden Harvest Festival flyer
If you are in Washington DC, you come celebrate fall with us at the 7th annual USDA Harvest Festival on Friday, October 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the People’s Garden, at the USDA Farmers Market and along 12th Street right next to the market and steps from the Smithsonian Metro Stop Mall Exit.

Can you describe your favorite thing about fall? Would it be picking pumpkins, jumping carefree into a pile of crisp leaves, admiring the brilliant riots of color in our national forests and grasslands, eating fall vegetables, or something else entirely?

You can celebrate fall in all of these ways at the 7th annual USDA Harvest Festival on Friday, October 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the People’s Garden, at the USDA Farmers Market and along 12th Street right next to the market. Take advantage of the last opportunity this year to enjoy what’s in season from pumpkins to apple cider at the USDA Farmers Market located at the corner of 12th Street and Independence Ave, SW in Washington, D.C.

The day will be filled with what makes fall so special from favorite activities to smells and flavors to the riot of colors and so much more – all free and fun for the whole family. Here’s a list of the planned events:

Fall Activities:

Fall Flavors:

  • Learn how to buy, clean, store, and cook with mushrooms from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at VegU (PDF, 12.1 MB). Many different types of mushrooms will be on display, along with recipes, nutrition information, tips and tastings thanks to the American Mushroom Institute and the Mushroom Council.
  • Try a variety of raw apples to help you seek out your favorite or a new-to-you apple variety thanks to USDA’s Agricultural Research Service’s Appalachian Fruit Research Station in West Virginia.
  • Not sure what to do with that harvest? Talk with experts from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for food storage and holiday cooking tips.
  • Buy prepared foods for lunch or snacks and fall’s freshest produce like squash, apples, sweet potatoes and cauliflower from more than 30 vendors who are farmers and small business owners in the District, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania at the USDA Farmers Market.

Fall Colors:

  • Ask experts from the U.S. Forest Service why as days shorten and temperatures become crisp, the green palette of summer leaves transforms into the fall foliage palette of reds, oranges, golds, and browns.
  • Meet local artist and illustrator Marcella Kriebel, whose art celebrates a variety of food related themes, from broccoli to cheese. Her collection of watercolor prints, titled Illustrated Feast is fun to mix and match, to make your own DC created art series.
  • And much more!

For updates about this event, follow us on Twitter @PeoplesGarden and @USDA_AMS.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Transportation and Marketing Program oversees the USDA Farmers Market & People’s Garden Initiative for the Department.

Category/Topic: Initiatives

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Oct 25, 2016

It's nice that you're having pet adoptions at this event, but perhaps you could have also had some professional, USDA-licensed breeders come and show people their dogs and puppies. It's time in this country that we stop favoring (unregulated)(retail) rescues (which regularly import dogs from overseas) over regulated, inspected, professional, experienced AMERICAN breeders of purpose-bred animals. Thank you.

Ben Weaver
Oct 26, 2016

@Stephanie - thank you, Stephanie, for your comment & ideas on other partnerships we could explore. As part of our work to support local and regional food systems, USDA's AMS is always looking for innovative ways to help farmers markets succeed by connecting with the communities around them. At the USDA Farmers Market we do this by partnering with a wide range of groups, including municipal & federal government, non-profits and local businesses.