National Farmers Market Week, held August 7-13, is a good time to remind communities about the opportunities presented by their local farmers market – a source for locally made food and artisan goods.
Farmers markets connect communities with fresh produce, locally made food and artisan goods.
“We are continuing to see shoppers using the markets to buy their fresh produce, their proteins, their fruits and vegetables, especially as we have ever-increasing prices at the grocery store,” said Kim Hutchinson, Virginia Farmers Market Association’s executive director. “Folks are wanting to support local, and we’re excited to see them continuing.”
Vendor presence is remaining steady, Hutchinson said. While inflation and high gas prices have caused some regular vendors to cut back on the number of markets they attend, Hutchinson said she has seen an uptick in new farmers setting up booths.
“We’re seeing some new local producers—small and beginning farms that are incubating their business at the market, so that’s been really exciting,” she said.
Some of the new vendors are the result of farming that started during the COVID-19 pandemic – and a desire to sell extra produce, according to a news release from the Virginia Farm Bureau.
Farmers markets remain a favorite weekend pastime for many families, said John Montgomery, who co-manages Dorey Park Farmers Market in Henrico County with his wife, Cappie. Short of picking it straight from the field, they give consumers farm-to-table access to local produce while directly supporting their community’s farmers and economy.
“It’s a destination,” he said. “Our market has grown every year, but this year we’ve seen the largest attendance so far.”
To find a farmers market near you, visit vdacs.virginia.gov/vagrown