ARLINGTON — The Arlington Farmers Market is commemorating a first with another first on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 24.
After tallying the votes in the fourth annual America's Favorite Farmers Markets contest, American Farmland Trust named four farmers markets — one for each size category — as winners of their 2012 competition. The Arlington Farmers Market was named the winner of the "Small Markets" category of the summer-long contest, receiving 325 of the 5,266 votes cast in that category.
To celebrate this win, the Arlington Farmers Market is staging its first-ever Harvest Dinner at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at 318 N. Olympic Ave.
"Audrey [Houston] and Samantha [Schuller] worked very hard for the success of the Farmers Market, and due to their commitment, they brought 600 to 1,000 people into downtown Arlington each Saturday of the Market," said Arlington City Council member Debora Nelson, who also serves as a member of the Farmers Market Advisory Board. "This was good for all of our downtown businesses, and for the exposure of our wonderful downtown."
Houston explained that the Harvest Dinner has been scheduled in conjunction with "National Food Day," and will kick off with Nelson and American Farmland Trust Regional Director Dennis Canty serving as guest speakers for the evening. Canty is slated to present the Farmers Market with a commemorative plaque.
The Harvest Dinner itself promises to feature the culinary skills of Wild Rose Bistro and Catering in Arlington, since owner Debi Morgan has already agreed to provide the venue for it.
"This will help us stretch the modest budget we presented them with into a meal fit for royalty," said Houston, who also thanked Garden Treasures' Mark and Patricia Lovejoy for donating all of the produce for the dinner, as well as Misty Mountain Farm's Matt and Ariel Buza for donating fresh baked bread. Jessica Feliciano, owner of Cheese Cake Ever After, will be contributing pumpkin spice cheesecake to complement the seasonal meal.
In addition to a plaque, the Arlington Farmers Market will receive a shipment of customized "No Farms No Food" reusable tote bags. They've also been slated to be featured in the media, including Epicurious.com and the Food Networks's "FN Dish." More information about the America's Favorite Farmers Markets contest, including listings of the top farmers markets by state and size category, can be found online at www.votemyfarmersmarket.org. For more information about the Arlington Farmers Market in particular, log onto http://blog.farmland.org/2012/10/arlington-farmers-market.
"The America's Favorite Farmers Markets contest is about celebrating the unique qualities of farmers markets throughout the nation, and the important role that these markets play in keeping family farmers on the land," American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl said.
Tickets for the Arlington Farmers Market Harvest Dinner are available online at www.BrownPaperTickets.com at $16 for adults and $6 for children.