As the weather finally starts getting warmer, one of my favorite things about spring and summer is finally back; farmers markets. I’ve been able to visit the one located right downtown in Hurkamp park a few times, but that was pretty much all I had been to. Our section in class on supporting local vendors inspired me and so I did some research on what else was out there. Earlier today I went over the the Spotsylvania Farmers Market, which began its official season just last Saturday. I was so impressed with the amount of variety they had, and I only went to one of their three locations! The one I went to was right off the Route 3 and Gordon Rd intersection, where there is a commuter lot where over 42 vendors come from within a 100 mile radius to sell ‘producer- only goods’ which means their products are grown or made by the vendors selling them.
I really recommend checking out their website, it has all the information you need for farmers markets in the King George, Spotsylvania, and Fredericksburg area. It even has a great graph of whats in season (located as a separate tab) so that you can make an informed decision about what produce to buy. There was a great deal of produce, but also baked goods, meat and dairy, and specialty items like tea and spices. One of the things we mentioned in class is the struggle when buying locally vs buying organically, and which is better? Yes, buying organically will probably be cheaper than locally, but what you’re not paying directly for are the transportation costs and the thousands of miles your organic food has to travel. Local markets like this one are a much smaller range, and from what I saw, do an amazing job at promoting sustainable and eco-friendly products.
I also went over and talked to the Virginia Cooperative Extension booth, and they were very informative and had so much information. Based from Virginia Tech, they are an organization who’s goal is to spread information about gardening and all the factors that come with it. They had brochures for soil sampling, BMP’s (best management practices), pest control, and pretty much anything you would need to know. If anyone has an interest in starting a garden (which I know I now do) they are a great resource!
I really recommend visiting any Saturday you can from 8am – 1pm, I’m definitely going back and checking out other locations. They also have booths that deal with agri-tourism and promoting education for kids at a young age about agriculture. And if you get the chance, visit the booth from Fieldcrest Farm, because they have some of the best zuchinni bread I’ve ever had.