Local farmers market growing

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

by Livvy Preisser

Franklin Market on Main joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from Aug. 6-12. The market is open Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture, farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products . This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.

The Franklin Market on Main began in 2016 and hosts 21 vendors selling a wide variety of products, including produce, seafood, baskets, soap, popcorn, and much more!

Karen Cobb, manager said, “Our market has continued to grow with vendors and customers alike. We have been able to showcase local musicians, artists and artisans alike. We are also able to showcase the local businesses unique to our area:  Jane’s Sweet Potato Biscuits, Hubs Peanuts and David & Dee’s Mushrooms. Our Wednesday market from 4 to 7 has been well received and Saturday’s market is busy as well.”

Cobb also said, “We would like to thank our gracious sponsors, especially Farm Credit. A special thanks goes to our other sponsors; Farmers Bank, The Bank of Southside Virginia and Richwood Graphics. Please come by and show appreciation to our vendors. They continue to work hard to bring local produce and hand crafted items to our market.”

“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food systems,” says Jen Cheek, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors.

Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”

LIVVY PREISSER is the Extension agent for Southampton County. Contact her at 653-2572 or livvy16@vt.edu.