Summer is here and local farmers’ markets are getting more and more popular and are popping up in several counties far and wide. One can be found every weekend if you are willing to travel away from your home market. Whether you live in our beautiful region, spend weekends here (away from the hustle and bustle) or are just passing through, there is a farmers’ market that is just right for you. From King George to Irvington to West Point and many towns in between, you can experience the down home country living of a picture perfect farmers’ market. Not only will you be supporting local farmers and the local economy, you will be on the fast track to improving your family’s health and nutrition by cutting out the middleman by buying direct.
Food vendors abound at these markets and you can find just about anything your heart desires. There is a wealth of delicious home grown vegetables and fruits when aptly in season. One can find farm raised beef or bison, fresh honey, sweets and goat cheese at most markets. Of course, there is a wealth of tasty seafood to be had when in season. The best oysters, crabs and local fish are plentiful and a signature of the Chesapeake Bay region and its tributaries. Delectable homemade baked goods are at the ready for your sweet tooth as well has fresh baked breads.
Craft vendors can be found aplenty also. There are homemade items from handbags, jewelry, clothing, vases, bowls, hand painted glassware, hair accessories, duck and goose calls and so much more. Local folk art and popular country items are easy to spot. Do not be surprised if you see the local variety of seafood crafted onto anything and everything as well. You can purchase artwork from local artists to take home and enjoy year round, much to your delight. Cut flowers, plants, shrubbery and trees are also available when in season. Local growers and nurseries have their magnificent bounty on display for all to purchase and take home to plant in your own landscape. With colors so divine and scents so magnificent you will not be able to resist their loveliness.
Let’s not forget local businesses and organizations. You could find an area landscaper to plan your perfect garden, flower beds or rock garden and Koi pond to make your surroundings serene. Even a contractor that can build that deck you have always dreamed of or the shed you have been wanting. Visit the booth of a local humane society with pets to adopt and learn the process for spay/neuter certificates for your house pets. They can even detail trap/neuter/release programs for feral cat colonies. You may find the American Red Cross seeking volunteers for their blood drives and learn how to help those in the area during their time of need. It is possible to find local organizations having a fundraiser for the best of causes as well. Whether it is the local cheerleaders or a Boy Scout troop, they are working hard to sell their goods to raise money for a good cause.
You will surely find area artists at various markets creating the most beautiful works of art onsite or selling divine prints. Choose from one-of-a-kind works of art they have on display for purchase or request your own custom piece. Feel free to ask them questions and maybe learn what motivates them or where they get their ideas.
Musicians and entertainment are at most area farmers’ markets also. There is an extensive variety of singers, bands and interesting instruments on any given market day. From folk singers playing washboards and jugs, to rock, country and gospel music, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The following is a compiled list of area farmers’ markets and their information. Keep in mind that all vendors listed may not attend each market; therefore organizers can only give an educated guess based on attendance from past events. Make sure to visit each market’s website or Facebook page for upcoming dates and specialties.
Come by land or sea. Wander along and through the gardens and trails of Holly Point. Visit the “Peierwalk” and see the wondrous transformation of the Nationally Historic Registered 1924 buyboat the
F.D. Crockett. Come for breakfast or lunch during our markets and festivals and visit the museum’s many exhibits as well. Feel free to bring your own lawn chair, cooler and picnic basket and enjoy the outdoor concerts. The Holly Point Nature Park is open daily from dusk to dawn and the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dates: June, July, August, September and November on the fourth Saturday of the month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
*Note Art & Seafood Festival is Oct. 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park, 287 Jackson Creek Road, Deltaville, VA 23043.
Contact: Kristen DeGraw at 804-776-7200 or email@example.com or visit www.deltavillemuseum.com.
This market helps support the adjacent Rice’s Hotel /Hughlett’s Tavern, a historic courthouse tavern circa 1795. The grounds provide a covered pavilion plus outdoor booths and seek to re-create the courthouse square atmosphere of that time period. Funds raised by the Tavern volunteers through the farmers’ market are used to keep the Tavern and Town Square in place for historic preservation. This market includes a Blacksmith Guild in the forge, Woodworkers Guild in their colonial period workshop, Quilt Guild, Spinners & Weavers Guild, food concessions and the “Heritage Arts Center” inside the Tavern. Walking tours are offered of the Tavern, old jail/courthouse and the Tavern’s collection of antique carriages.
June is “Plein Air - Paint Out” featuring artists painting outside and historical flags displayed; July is “Kids Day” with kids activities/petting zoo; August is “Going to the Dogs”
with agility demonstrations and dog-related vendors and
“Bingo for Quilts”; September will feature a photography
show, master BBQ competition and RC airplane fly-in; and
October is “Harvest Fest” with beer tastings and pumpkin
Dates: April–October on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Rt. 360 behind the old Heathsville Courthouse
Contact: Corinne Becker at 804-580-3377, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rhhtfoundation.org.
Irvington, Lancaster County
This market has been voted 2014 Best Farmers’ Market in Eastern Virginia by readers of Virginia Living Magazine for the past four years. They promise a lively monthly event and an opportunity to acquire items not often found in traditional stores. They have several new vendors this year and many first time vendors as well. In addition to live music each date, many non-profit public service organizations are on site to share information. This market is handicap accessible and has ATM on site.
Dates: May–November on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Irvington Town Commons
Contact: Deb Lockhart a 804-480-0697, email email@example.com or visit them online at www.townofirvingtonva.com and on Facebook at Irvington Farmers Market
King George, King George County
This market is weekly and includes 27 vendors this year. All goods are required to be grown, made or produced in King George or Westmoreland County and to follow current Virginia Food Laws. Items available include jams/jellies, dried herbs, honey, salsa, meat, seafood, flowers, plants and baked goods. First Saturdays of each month are Community Days where outside artisans, musicians and local businesses/organizations are allowed to sell/fundraise. These may include food demonstrations and those interested in educating the community in gardening and healthy eating.
Dates: Weekly each Saturday, April 25 – October 31
from 8 a.m. – 12 noon. Vendors are allowed to set up
to Christmas, though after October 31 it becomes an
Location: King George Elementary School on Rt. 205 and
Rt. 3, at 10381 Ridge Road, King George, VA 22485
Contact: Agostinho Caldeira, KGFM president at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie Andreucci, market
manager at email@example.com, and on Facebook at King George Farmers’ Market.
Mathews, Mathews County
Again this year Mathews Farmers’ Market has a Community Host tent to promote fellowship and community at the market. Various organizations will host the tent. This market sports different themes and various musical acts so please visit the calendar for a full listing. The market is a true ‘growers’ market with their motto being: “Make it, bake it or grow it”. All items must be local. Each week through September the Mathews Master Gardeners will have a “Help Table” where people can ask questions or bring problem plants for gardening advice. Some other activities include informational displays by the Mathews Main Street Committee, Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library, Middle Peninsula Adult Literacy Program, the Lions and Rotary Clubs and many others throughout the summer, along with musical guests.
Dates: Each Saturday April – October from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Historic Courthouse Green on the corner of Church Street in downtown Mathews
Contact: 804-725-5747, see the community calendar at www.visitmathews.com or visit www.mathewsmainstreet.org.
Montross, Westomoreland County
Montross Market Days are sponsored by the Greater Montross Partnership for Revitalization in an effort to encourage people to visit downtown and also buy locally from downtown businesses as well as fresh produce, plants and wares offered by market vendors.
Dates: On the first Saturday of each month,
May – September from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., rain or shine
Location: At the courthouse square in downtown Montross.
Contact: Call Becky Nelson 703-598-2112, email
firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.visitmontross.com
and on Facebook at Visit Montross Virginia.
New to downtown Montross is First Fridays Art Walks,
(on the first Friday of the month. 5-8pm) aptly called
“Return to the Village”.
Tappahannock, Essex County
Sponsored by the Tappahannock Main Street Program, the Town of Tappahannock and Essex County. Each market features local musician(s), a wine garden with local wineries, vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, garden plants and accessories, breads and baked goods, homemade crafts and fine arts, as well as an assortment of prepared food vendors. All products must be home grown, homemade or personally designed.
Dates: April to November on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
*Only a ‘mini-market’ in June during RivahFest, which is located in downtown Tappahannock.
Location: Courthouse Green on Prince Street and Fountain Green on Cross Street in historic downtown Tappahannock, Virginia 22560.
Contact: Market manager at 804-445-2067 or email
email@example.com, visit online at
www.tappahannockmarket.com, www.tappfm.blogspot.com, and on Facebook at Tappahannock Farmers’ Market.
West Point, King William County
This farmers’ market requires that goods sold at the market be grown, made or produced by the vendors themselves. There is a vast assortment of vendors as the seasons change including fruits, vegetables, soft shell crabs, poultry and eggs.
Dates: June – September, each Saturday from
8 a.m. – 12 noon.
Location: 1000 Chelsea Road, West Point, VA 23181.
Contact: Charlotte Scanlan at 804-843-3330 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.west-point.va.us.
Farmers’ markets are country living at its finest. There is no better way to showcase the best of the best than to enjoy markets as our forefathers did many years before us. Whether these markets are new on the block or have several years under their belts, they all seem to share similar goals: to bring the community together for a day of family enjoyment and to offer local goods from local farmers and vendors. In the meantime, what an exciting way to share the offerings of each town and to draw tourists and others from the region into the local economy. With tourist season in full swing, these local markets are sure to elicit fun, electricity and excitement for locals as well as out-of-town guests. So feel free to travel the region and visit various markets—you will soon understand our way of life and what living on the river is all about. Slow down and have a great day in our neighborhoods!