Local farmers’ markets are more popular than ever as grocers suffer from regular shortages and understaffing, and customers watch as prices keep rising.
Hundreds of people were at the Uptown Martinsville Farmers Market at 65 West Main Street early Saturday morning.
“I wish I had come sooner to take pictures,” said Marcus Gravely of Martin’s Ponderosa Farm. “When the store first opened, it was full, but now it’s almost gone.”
And the Martinsville Farmers Market had opened less than an hour ago.
“More than 2,200 people have already visited the market this season,” Brenell Thomas, president of the Martinsville Chamber of Commerce, told lawmakers last week. “More than 400 people came last Saturday.”
City Councilman Kathy Lawson said she’s heard people complain that if they don’t get to the market by 10 a.m., there’s very little left to buy.
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The Farmers Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7am to noon or until everything is sold out. After September 27th, the market will remain open on Saturdays until November 18th.
On Saturday morning, while people looked anxiously at the leftover produce, empty tomato crates lay at the back end of trucks, next to a near-empty farmer’s stand. Some people were heading to the parking lot with their luggage.
Thomas said there will be 29 vendors in the market this season, eight of which are new this year.
Henry’s WJP Farm received pickled cucumbers, squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, melons and watermelons on Saturday, which sold well.
“This Saturday and this season, the market will be filled with a wide variety of vendors and farmers, offering a wide variety of jams, jellies, apple butters, nut butters, homemade breads, sweet rolls, sweet rolls, cakes, pies, muffins, specialty coffees, homemade candies, Fresh eggs, spices, fresh cut flowers, saplings, herbs, vegetables, a variety of meats, cupcakes, cookies, edible flowers, lavender lemonade, crafts, fresh produce, and more,” said the Uptown Martinsville Farmers Market. stated in the notice. .
In addition to Martin’s Ponderosa Farm and WJP Farm, other vendors spotted this Saturday include Athey Family Farms, Wade Farms, Henry’s Fresh Roast, Laurel Ridge Farms, QT Cupcakes, Piedmont Farmacy, Sundancers Farm, Nana’s Special Treats & More, MJ Farm, Naked Farm, Taraz Nut Butter, Kettle Hollow Farm, Mee Maws Farm, Deep Creek Farm, Calcut Produce, K&W Produce, Abundant Harvest, Trent Farm, Three Hearts Homestead.
The Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Human Services sponsors the SNAP/EBT program at the Martinsville Farmers Market, which allows farmers to participate in a statewide matching program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) shoppers. Allows you to participate in a Virginia Fresh match.
Through the USDA, the Food Insecurity Subsidy funds the Virginia Fresh Match Program, doubling the value of federal nutrition subsidies like SNAP.
Virginia’s farmers’ markets are growing in number, with more than 250 locations selling everything from peas to peaches, and, like the Martinsville Farmers Market, farmers’ markets are popular with low-income shoppers. It has joined a statewide network to provide services to Virginia Fresh Match.