Farmers markets bring communities together
– First in a 4-part series on Virginia farmers markets
– By Kristin Henderson, chief veggie conversationalist:
Here at Seasonal Roots online farmers market, we love in-person farmers markets. They’re our inspiration! In this series we’ll explore in-person farmers markets in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach area — communities that are lucky enough to have a local farmers market or two… or more! No need to Google “farmers markets near me”. We’ve got ’em right here. In this post, we’ll start with Hampton Roads.
Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach farmers markets
When you have the time, you can make a day of it at a larger market like the Virginia Beach Farmers Market. Over the course of 25 years, it has grown to include local and regional produce, a butcher shop, dairy store, bakery, organic grocery, wild bird store, seafood, florist, candy maker, specialty garden shops — even a restaurant.
“Next door” in the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area, the Newport News City Center Farmers Market offers a nice break from the workday. During the summer it’s open Thursday’s from 10-2.
The historic setting and live music at the Williamsburg Farmers Market make for a memorable all-day Saturday outing.
Same for the Portsmouth Olde Towne Farmers Market, which even sneaks in some educational and cultural opportunities by partnering with local museums and concerts.
The key to enjoying these local farmers markets, of course, is TIME. Getting in the car on the Saturday or Thursday the market is open, driving, parking, wandering the market, comparing what’s on offer, detouring to check out a kid-friendly vendor, stopping to chat with a farmer or neighbor or enjoy the live music… it’s fun but not exactly convenient.
Upsides, downsides & building community
Healthy eating has got to be convenient to make it a regular part of busy lives, and we’re all busy, right? For that, you’ve got Seasonal Roots, with farmers market online shopping and farmers market home delivery. Saves you tons of time and makes it easy to eat nutritious, delicious local food every day.
In-person farmers markets are time-consuming for the farmers, too. Markets like the one in Williamsburg require the vendors to make or grow the stuff they sell. The upside is, you know you’re buying real local food direct from the farmer, not mystery produce some guy bought at a wholesale market and hauled over to the farmers market.
The downside is, the farmer has to spend a whole day at the market. That’s a day they’re not plowing, planting, weeding, feeding, harvesting, or the thousand-and-one other things that farmers have to do. An online farmers market like Seasonal Roots is a much easier and more efficient way for local farmers to connect with local families.
Still, whether a farmers market is in-person or online, there’s nothing like it for bringing a community together. So join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. And when you have time, we’ll see you at the local farmers market!
About Seasonal Roots
Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our neighborhood market managers – who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grass fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.