Dear Montgomery Farm Women’s Market,
It was, without question, a standalone highlight of visiting Bethesda, to step inside your beautiful doorway and peruse the wares of the many women vendors of your market.
During an era where the rights of women feel as though they’re being slowly stripped away, it is a wonder to experience the comfort of knowing that women such as those of your co-operative market have long been the workers, the providers, and the community builders.
Established in 1932, by farmers’ wives, your market has been the destination for preserves, baked goods, produce and more for many generations now. While the offices rise from the pavement that surrounds you, I feel relieved to know that so many patrons value the home-grown goods over the shiny corporate alternatives, that are much easier to come across, albeit far less soul-satisfying.
In a fun moment of serendipity, it was during my first visit to the market that I was also able to taste my first Girl Scout cookie. As a Canadian and former Girl Guide myself, of course I had to support the young female entrepreneurs in their cookie-selling! Plus, I was anxious to try a few of the new-to-me flavours offered by the American contingent. (I went with the Caramel deLites and I was NOT disappointed.) Plus, it just felt appropriate to make a purchase from the next generation of women-in-business (cookies or otherwise).
I have learned recently that the ongoing development of downtown Bethesda has driven up the rent of the market space significantly. It breaks my heart to think of another faceless corporation bulldozing in to sell discounted fast fashion or some other single-use plastic-esque business.
While I may have a new, much closer, farmer’s market to visit, I will cross my fingers and toes that the community will continue to support the Montgomery Farm Women’s Market. Bethesda and all of Maryland will be better with this ongoing piece of history that supports women and the wonderful ways they have always contributed to the local economy.