Petersburg, Hopewell, Colonial Heights launch Farmers Markets

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Spring may be the season for planting crops, but Tri-Cities residents can already start harvesting fresh, healthy vegetables and other farm-produced items at the area’s farmers markets.

The number of seasonal farmers markets around the region has grown over the past decade as more farmers, consumers and local governments have joined the effort to support growers and improve their own diets and general health. With full-service grocery stores scarce in some parts of the Tri-Cities, farmers markets offer area residents access to a variety of nutritious items they might otherwise have to skip.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has been a strong promoter of farmers markets and maintains a listing of more than 230 markets across the state at virginiagrown.com.

In a press release last week announcing the kickoff of this year’s farmers market season, VDACS Commissioner Sandy Adams noted that “One of the best ways to support your local economy is to purchase locally-grown agricultural products. In fact, research by the Virginia Cooperative Extension has shown that if each household spent $10 a week on local products, an additional $1.65 billion would be invested back into the commonwealth’s local economy each year.”

Some facts about Virginia’s farmers markets from VDACS:

 

    • More than 3,500 farms in Virginia sell directly to consumers.

 

    • Virginia ranks ninth in the U.S. in direct farm-to-consumer sales.

 

    • In 2015, Virginians spent more than $41 million on fresh, local products.

 

Here’s a list of farmers markets in the Tri-Cities that have already opened for the season or will be starting up in the weeks ahead:

Chesterfield County

 

    • Chester Farmers Market (Chester Community Association) – 11901 Chester Village Drive, Chester, VA 23831. Open Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., April 4-Sept. 19. For more information, visit www.chesterfarmersmarket.com

 

    • Chesterfield County Farmers Market – 6701 Mimms Loop, Chesterfield, VA 23832. Open Wednesdays from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., May 3-Aug. 30. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/CFitFarmersMarket

 

    • Woods Farmers Market (Woods United Methodist Church) – 7200 Hickory Road, South Chesterfield, VA 23803. Open Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon, June-September. For more information, call 590-9231.

 

Colonial Heights

 

 

Dinwiddie County:

 

    • McKenney Farmers Market – McKenney Town Square, 10402 Doyle Blvd., Mckenney, VA 23872. Open Fridays from 3-6 p.m., April 21-July 14. For more information, visit www.dinwiddieva.us/index.aspx?nid=1022

 

Hopewell

 

    • Third Thursdays Open Air Marketplace (Hopewell Downtown Partnership/Trapezium Brewing Co.) – East Broadway at Randolph Road, Hopewell, VA 23860. New this year, replacing the city’s traditional farmers market; described as “a farmers market festival featuring live music, craft beer, lots of vendors, food trucks, and family-friendly.” Open from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 18, June 15, July 20 and Aug. 17. For more information, visit www.hopewelldowntown.com/events/marketplacePetersburg

 

    • River Street Market – 30 River St., Petersburg, VA 23803. New this year, replacing the city’s traditional farmers market; described as “bringing the freshest produce from the surrounding counties … and joining it with art from Petersburg’s local arts scene.” Open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, May 6-Oct. 28. For more information, visit riverstreetmarket.com

 

Prince George County:




    • Prince George County Farmers Market – 6380 Scott Park Drive Prince George, VA 23875. Open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, May 6-Oct. 28 (closed Sept. 2 for Labor Day weekend). For more information, visit www.princegeorgecountyva.gov/farmersmarket

 

    • 460 East & Wagner Way Farmers Market (Tractor Supply Co.) – 8175 Wagner Way, Prince George, VA 23875. Open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, year-round. For more information, call 991-2121.

 

 Michael Buettner may be reached at mbuettner@progress-index.com or 722-5155.

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