Farmers Market Hero: Rosa Linares

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“Farming is a part of who I am. It’s something I must do to be happy.”

On a two-acre suburban plot only miles from downtown Washington D.C., Rosa Linares rises early before the sun to harvest her crops by headlamp. Every Wednesday during the growing season, Rosa takes the freshly reaped produce, herbs and greens – many native to her Central American homeland of El Salvador – to sell at the Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park, MD. She knows an eager crowd of customers will line up to purchase their weekly haul from her farm. It’s supplying their demand that brings her joy.

“I like that I bring what the people want. It’s one of the reasons I love what I do.”

Rosa’s farm stand at Crossroads market is a place where many local immigrants flock for traditional foods. Unlike the old or wilted produce offered at other grocery outlets in the area, Rosa’s produce is renowned throughout the community for its freshness and flavor. The baskets of colorful chili peppers and tubs of crisp chipilin – a popular Latin American herb – will sell out within hours. Her customers inspire what she grows.

“If they ask for corn stalks, ok. Hierba mora, I’ll grow it. Their satisfaction is what motivates me.”

Rosa has been a farmer all her life. As a young girl growing up on a small farm in El Salvador, Rosa’s love for agriculture grew while helping her father care for their family’s crops. After immigrating to the United States in the late 1980’s, Rosa tenaciously clung to her hope of one day farming the land of her new country. When she discovered Crossroads market only a few blocks from her home, she knew it was a place she could realize her dream.

“I said, ‘I want to sell here. This is a place for me.’ And Crossroads market said, ‘you’re welcome to sell here! Come, come!’”

Now a familiar face in the neighborhood and a linchpin farmer at the market, Rosa says Crossroads was paramount to growing a reputable business and bringing her dream of farming in the United States to fruition.

FMC is honored to feature local farmers like Rosa who supply our communities with fresh, local foods. We need your help to ensure farmers markets have the necessary tools to continue serving entrepreneurs like Rosa.

Be a farmers market hero today by donating or giving your local market an FMC membership! Donate $40 or more in the name of your local market, and they’ll have access to FMC information, network and advocacy tools for one year! If your market of choice is already a member, we’ll extend their membership for another full year!