by Hannah Martin & Emilia Jones
At the corner, a peapod dances to music only he can hear, waving a sign: “Farmers Market Ahead.”
“We’re going to head up to Blacksburg next week, go to a real farmer’s market,” a woman says to me.
We’d been up until 2am baking breads, and then we’d gotten back up at 5am to pick veggies and berries from the garden. and I’m tired. I look around at my fellow vendors, and see reflected in them what I’m feeling: weariness trumped by pride in my work and the products I’m selling.
A passing car honks at the dancing peapod, who waves mid-step.
“Good luck with that,” I say to the customer, and smile graciously. She just doesn’t know.
The Independence Farmers’ Market appears as a collection of brightly-colored tents that pop up every Wednesday afternoon 4-6pm and every Friday morning 9am-1pm, just across the street from the old county courthouse.
When you visit us, one of the first vendors you’ll see is Carol on the northeast corner, whose beautiful glass art shimmers in the sunlight. Her signature wineberry jam is a local favorite.
Next to her is Maureen, who makes some of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. She also sells jams and jellies, as well as various in-season fruits and her husband’s woodwork, including a particularly lovely cold-frame currently on display.
Then there is the Wagon Wheel Farm stand, run by Jen and Rick. They have a host of in-season vegetables, free-range eggs, and honey from their own bees. Don’t be surprised if they invite you to visit their farm, a sprawling space where they grow their veggies using sustainable and organic methods.
Another vendor who’s sure to invite you out to their farm is Collette, who runs Crosscreek Farm, an Animal Welfare Approved farm that raises pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, and goats. The meats and sausages are amazing, and if you have a chance to visit the farm, take it – and bring the little ones along! After all, who doesn’t want to pet a piglet?
There’s also a whole host of other vendors, selling items as diverse as blueberries, shiitake mushrooms, and rabbit meat. If it’s a hot day, someone might spontaneously start up a water gun fight.
This is as real as a farmers’ market gets.
Hannah Martin and Emilia Jones are two writers who have left the New York life to have a small farm in the Appalachian Mountains. They live in Independence and have two dogs, eighteen roosters, six hens, a baby pig, and a large garden.
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