CELEBRATING FARMERS MARKET WEEK ON THE VIRGINIA FARMERS MARKET TRAIL
Richmond, Virginia — National and Virginia Farmers Market Week, August 7-13, 2022, is the perfect time to experience the Virginia Farmers Market Trail. It is during this week each year that organizations across the state and the country celebrate farmers markets and their significant contributions to their communities. In Virginia, the celebration is coordinated by the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). This year their spotlight is on the Virginia is for Farmers Market Lovers Trail (www.lovevamarkets.org) which connects local food lovers with Virginia’s farmers markets, farms, and farm-to-table restaurants.
“Whether it’s Hanover tomatoes, Virginia peanuts, or apples from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia Grown food is worth celebrating,” said Heather Wheeler, Manager of the Office of Domestic Marketing and Promotions of VDACS. “Visiting Virginia’s farmers markets to meet farmers who grew your food makes the trip even more special.”
The Virginia is for Farmers Market Lovers Trail is a campaign to bring farmers market loving tourists and local foodies to Virginia farmers markets, agritourism operations, and local food restaurants. The program includes a farmers market map as well as suggested agritourism and local food restaurant excursions.
The Trail is being developed by the Virginia Farmers Market Association and Virginia State University (VSU) with funding from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and through a Farmers Market Promotion Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service.
The Trail is based on the idea that one of the best places to start a food-centered visit is at a local farmers market. Farmers, chefs, bakers, and more converge at farmers markets to provide the best in handcrafted and locally grown products. Farmers markets are also excellent places to find recommendations of restaurants and other fun food excursions.
“If you want to find the best place to eat in an area – the place that truly uses locally grown food — head to a farmers market and ask a farmer or market manager” said Kim Hutchinson, Executive Director of VAFMA. “They know where to find the most authentic spots” she added.
The Trail website, www.lovevamarkets.org, currently features excursions from five pilot markets — Arlington Farmers Market, Charlottesville City Market, Independence Farmers Market (Grayson County), Manakin Market (Goochland County) and Williamsburg Farmers Market. The recommendations come primarily from the market managers and vendors of these markets. VSU is developing a mobile app for the Trail to make access to the farmers market map and excursions even more convenient.
Markets across the state will be celebrating Farmers Market Week August 7-13, 2022. To locate a farmers market near you or near your next Virginia destination, visit www.lovevamarkets.org.
About the Virginia Farmers Market Association
The Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) is a member‐based, statewide association supporting Virginia’s farmers markets. VAFMA offers education initiatives, while building opportunities for collaboration, networking, advocacy, and innovation that supports the growth and sustainability of farmers and farmers markets statewide. https://vafma.org.
Professional photos of participating farmers markets available here
Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel James courtesy of Virginia Farmers Market Association
Kim Hutchinson, PhD, MBA
Virginia Farmers Market Association