August 1, 2018 – National and Virginia Farmers Market Week is August 5 – 11, 2018. It’s during this week each year that the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) joins other organizations across the country to celebrate farmers markets and the significant contributions they make to their communities.
“We’re excited to kick off this week long celebration with the Governor and First Lady at OnTheSquareVA Market” said Kim Hutchinson, Executive Director of VAFMA. “Their recognition of the benefits of farmers markets is evident with the creation of this Commonwealth of Virginia-sponsored market. Our hope is that local officials across Virginia will replicate this model of connecting their employees with accessible farmers markets.”
As part of the celebration, Governor Ralph S. Northam plans to read an official proclamation August 3, 2018 at 11:30 am at OnTheSquareVA Market at 1314 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219. Started in June 2018, this weekly farmers market is part of the Governor’s employee engagement initiative, OnTheSquareVA. The Friday lunch time market runs through September 28 and will continue in 2019.
Across the nation community leaders are recognizing the important role farmers markets play in their localities. They stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh, healthy food, promote sustainable farming practices that protect our water and soil, and preserve American farmland. In response to requests from public officials, press and the market community, VAFMA is working to quantify some of these impacts.
In 2017 VAFMA launched their Farmers Market Metrics program in collaboration with the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC). This program teaches farmers market managers how to collect, analyze and share data on the impact of their markets. In return, the participating markets share their aggregated data with VAFMA and FMC.
The pilot group of 7 markets in the Capital region recently published their initial data for 2017 and the results are impressive.
Preliminary data shows that at these 7 farmers markets …
- 5,927 acres of diversified farmland is in production by vendors. America loses an acre of farmland every hour to development.
- 32 miles is the average distance food travels from farm to market. Most food eaten in the U.S. has travelled nearly 1,200 miles.
- 193 businesses are supported by these 7 markets over the course of the year. Farmers markets allow new and small businesses to enter the marketplace.
- 638 employees are supported by the vendors’ businesses. Small businesses create new meaningful employment opportunities.
- 37 of the vendors are young or beginning farmers. Markets help build the next generation of American farmers.
- 126 of the vendors are women or minority businesses. Markets offer economic opportunities to all members of our community.
The seven participating Richmond area markets are Birdhouse Farmers Market, Carytown Farmers Market, Chesterfield County Farmers Market, Goochland Farmers Market, Lakeside Farmers Market, Manakin Market and the South of the James Market. (Download Metrics Report)
“We look forward to expanding the program statewide,” said Ms. Hutchinson. “The collection of this data is critical to showcasing the impact of sustainable agriculture on the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
As part of Farmers Market Week, markets across the state will be hosting special events. Below is a sampling of scheduled activities at some of Virginia’s 250 farmers markets.
Select Activities at Virginia Farmers Markets Listed by Date
- Chesterfield County Farmers Market
8/1, 2:30 – 5:30 pm
Next to 6701 Mimms Loop, Chesterfield, Virginia 23832
Family Fun Day – Celebrating Heroes – Dress Up as Your Favorite Hero, Explore a Fire Truck, Enjoy a Scavenger Hunt and Meet First Responders! Fire, police, sheriff and EMS will be present. In addition to human heroes we are also celebrating “food heroes” (pollinators).
- OnTheSquareVA Farmers Market
8/3, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
1314 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219
Governor’s Official Proclamation Ceremony – Governor Ralph Northam and the First Lady of Virginia will kick off Farmers Market Week by reading an official proclamation at 11:30 am.
Governor’s Proclamation of Virginia Farmers Market Week
- Narrows Farmers Market
8/3, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
135 Monroe St, Narrows, Virginia 24124
Celebrating National Farmers Market Week – Local vendors, handmade jewelry, home baked breads, jams, desserts. Peters Mountain BBQ & Grill & Pycone Creamery will be here for dinner! Come join us for a fun evening supporting local farmers and vendors! Don’t forget your appetite! #SeeYouAtTheMarket
- Broadway Farmers Market
8/4, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
161 S Main St, Broadway, Virginia 22815
Farmers Market Week – Kid’s Power of Produce Club, Guest speakers and special food vendors.
- Fairfax County Farmers Markets
8/5 – 8/11
(at select markets throughout the week)
Celebrate Farmers Market Week – Bring the whole family for games, a FREE gift basket raffle, healthy cooking demonstrations, kid’s activities, and more!
- Bedford Farmers Market
8/7, 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
220 Washington Street, Bedford, Virginia
Special Farmers Market – This year, Bedford Farmers Market is celebrating National Farmers Market Week with the Bedford VA Police Department on National Night Out. The event at the farmers market starts at 3:00, and the Bedford VA Police Department starts at 6:00 at the Center Town Plaza with live music and more. The police are doing their Officer Lip Sync challenge that night. There will also be face painting and puppy adoption from animal rescue.
- Catawba Valley Farmers Market
8/9, 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm
4965 Catawba Creek Rd, Catawba, Virginia 24070
National Farmers Market Week Market – We will celebrate by offering free hot dogs, drawings for gift certificates & more.
- Churchland Farmers Market
8/8, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
3228 Academy Ave, Portsmouth VA 23703
Special Market – Farm to Table Seating, Children Story Time, Music and Special Guest Vendors.
- Hopewell Farmers Market
8/9, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
238 E Broadway, Hopewell, Virginia 23860
Pop Up Indoor Farmer’s Market – Come out to celebrate National Farmer’s Market Week with us at our Pop-Up Indoor Farmer’s Market! This market will highlight farm products and those who produce those products! Help us celebrate our local farmers and producers!
- Manakin Market
8/11, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
68 Broad Street Road, Manakin Sabot, VA 23103
Manakin Market – Old Dominion Iron Chefs will be providing our Chef at the Market Chef’s Demo, with Live Music by Clay Walter and a Book Signing of the book “The Chickens Will Tell On You” with local author Mark Winn.
- River Street Market
8/11, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
30 River Steet, Petersburg, Virginia 23803
Artisans in Action! Old Towne Petersburg is an art community and we will be highlighting these artisans on August 11th with live demonstrations of their work during the market! Woodworkers, glass blowing, painting, textile creations, jewelry making, music, food and more!
About the Virginia Farmers Market Association
VAFMA’s mission is to support farmers markets through education initiatives, while building opportunities for collaboration, networking, advocacy, and innovation that supports the growth and sustainability of farmers markets statewide.