The sun begins to break through the stalls of the Wytheville Farmer’s Market while trucks, cars, and people begin to prepare for the Saturday morning opening at 9:00 am, where shoppers will visit, buy, and tell stories.
“This is a wonderful place to meet people. It is a great market, constantly growing. New people want to vend every week. The vendors are diverse and offer a wide variety of products,” says Melanie Hanshew, Market Manager.
From Appalachian Springs Farms’ eclectic choices of homemade sour dough rolls, freshly harvested vegetables, and plants for sell to The Herb Garden offering a variety of herbs to Cassell Family Farms’ locally raised grass-fed meats to Brackens Trout Hatchery with an awesome selection of fresh trout to enjoy, the Wytheville Farmer’s Market is indeed diverse (Note: For a full listing of vendors, visit the Wytheville Farmer’s Market website).
Besides the typical array of fresh vegetables, there are a variety of other interests being shared as well. Each week you will find an offering of live music, such as Ron Ireland and Jason Biel playing soul fulfilling tunes off of their latest cd, Time is a Meadow.
Minnie Harris, from Rocky Gap, offers slices of fresh, homemade cakes and the most delicious banana nut bread you can imagine while Pat Clinch, from Beagle Ridge Herb Farm shows off her homemade mint jelly and fresh herbs gathered at Beagle Ridge to local customers.
Minnie says, “I just love doing this. I get to meet so many nice folks.”
Janis Conlon of New River Valley Alpacas demonstrates the spinning of alpaca silk blend that is made from her beloved Alpacas, and then turned into yarns for making fine garments. A lover of knitting will embrace and enjoy her results.
Janis says the reason she displays her work at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market is “…I like the exposure, the opportunity to meet people, and promote my animals.” If you want to visit Janis’ farm or follow here blog, you can read more about her work at vafarmgirl.blogspot.com.
Viewing the diversity of the vendors is only one reason for coming to Wytheville’s Farmer’s Market. You will also find information from a talented group of Master Gardeners. Each week several members of the Wythe-Bland Region Master Gardener Association is in attendance to provide guidance and education on a myriad of topics that affect all gardeners, whether it be seasonal or year round questions.
In addition, this year, through a partnership with the Wytheville’s Farmer’s Market, there are two programs designed specifically for the young gardener. These programs are designed to encourage children to take an interest in the Farmer’s Market and to learn more about how soil plays a role in the development of food. Children are encouraged to learn what they as consumers of the area can do to help maintain a sound and viable ecosystem and environment.
When Gaynell Shawver was asked why she felt showcasing the trout from Brackens Trout Hatchery at the Farmer’s Market was a good idea, she says, “It gives us good advertisement. We can explain to folks that they may come to the Trout Hatchery and fish on the premises and we also offer the stocking of ponds and streams.”
Mike Cassell of Cassell Family Farms sums up why everyone should make a point to come on out to Wytheville Farmer’s Market, “You will enjoy meeting people, seeing old friends, making new ones, and getting a quality product for a reasonable price!”
So, if you haven’t made your way to Wytheville’s Farmer’s Market located on 55 E. Main St., Wytheville, Virginia, inside the main lot of the former R.P. Johnson’s building – across from the Catholic Church, plan to come out this Saturday and every Saturday from now until October 27, 2012. You will be glad you took the time to embrace “a taste of the farm” and see a wonderful piece of Wytheville’s “Small Town with a Big Experience” in action.
For more information, visit the website at URL: http://www.wythevillefarmersmarket.com/index.html or contact Melanie Hanshew, Wytheville Farmer’s Market Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (276) 928-1082.
Pam B. Newberry is an intern Master Gardener and together with her husband, a two-year old hobby beekeeper on their farm, Hobbit’s Bend, which is “a honey of a new experience.” Read about her adventures as Hobbit Queen in her blog, “Miss Beehaven with Hobbit Queen” at URL: http://honeybeesandme.com/
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