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Photo courtesy of 17th Street Farmers' Market
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Photo courtesy of Byrd House Market
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Photo courtsey of Lakeside Farmers' Market
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Photo by Karen Cauthen Miller
17th Street Farmers' Market The market opened for 2012 on April 14 and will continue to operate through Nov. 4, with a growers market on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a vintage and growers market on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors vary from week to week and usually include farmers, crafters and sellers of vintage clothing and antiques. Market manager George Bolos says that there are typically 15 to 20 vendors, but the number can be as high as 80 for special events. Scheduled events include a few new festivals, such as Cinco de Mayo on May 5 from 5 p.m. until closing, a Food Cart Derby and Art Show on May 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the 17 @ 17 RVA Art, Beer and BBQ Summer Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 17, a Virginia Cask Festival and Art Show on Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Italian People's Street Festival on Sept. 29 and 30, and a Night of the Dead Festival on the evening of Nov. 1. 100 N. 17th St. 646-0477 or richmondgov.com/farmersmarket .
Ashland Farmers Market
The market expects few changes this year, though in June, a new vendor, Monique's Crepes, is expected to join. Market manager Trevor Buckley says the tradition of children's markets will continue, but this year they're encouraging the children to grow their own produce at home to sell in addition to their crafts on these days. The children's markets will be held on June 23, July 28 and Aug. 25. On June 9, the market plans to throw a celebration for one of their regular vendors: Dragonfly Farms will celebrate its 100th year of business with activities at the market. Located behind the Municipal Building, adjacent to the Duncan Street parking lot, the market is open Saturdays, May 5 to Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. 704-7398 or town.ashland.va.us.
Brandermill Green Market
Because of last year's success, Brandermill Green Market, sponsored by the Brandermill Community Association, will remain in its 4900 Market Square Lane location. This year, the market expects new vendors and new products. Children can sample food and learn about different vendors as they walk around with their parents and grandparents, says Jennifer Stader, community-services director of the Brandermill Community Association. There is also plenty of space for children to run, throw footballs or kick soccer balls. Families can also sit down in the grass and enjoy live music most weekends. Brandermill Green Market is open Saturdays, May 5 through Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. 744-1035, ext. 104, or brandermill.com .
Byrd House Market
Unlike most farmers markets, Byrd House Market, operated through the William Byrd Community House, operates on a Tuesday-afternoon schedule. "We fill a weekday gap," says Ana Edwards, the market manager. "Folks who can't get away from work during weekday mornings find our market convenient on their way home from work." This also avoids competition with all the other farmers markets in the area, she says. This year will be Byrd House Market's first full year accepting benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, for buying fresh food. The market will be open Tuesdays, May through November, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at 224 S. Cherry St. 643-2717 or byrdhousemarket.blogspot.com .
Chesterfield Farmers Market
Last year was the inaugural year for the producer-only Chesterfield Farmers Market, and its success has enabled the market to operate year-round and to obtain a space inside Chesterfield Towne Center, across from Coldwater Creek. This provides shoppers with the opportunity to buy fresh vegetables several times a week, instead of buying lots of vegetables on one day and having them spoil by the end of the week, says Judi Williams, co-owner and co-operator of the market. While most of the market is indoors, there is a patio that they use when the weather is pleasant. The market also includes a coffee bar, a wine bar — featuring happy hour every day from 4:30 to 6 p.m. — and an area for children to color and read books while their parents shop. Chesterfield Farmers Market is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Starting in May, Saturday hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 502-4767 or chesterfieldfarmersmarket.blogspot.com .
Goochland Community Farmers Market
After taking a year off, the Goochland Farmers Market is back. It will operate at Grace Episcopal Church (2955 River Road) and will remain mostly the same as in past years, says market manager Keith Flannagan. Most of its vendors have sold vegetables, meat, bread and wine, with some soap products as well. Flannagan says he hopes the market can attract more craft vendors this year. The market has also scheduled three traditional kids days; in addition to the regular market, children become the vendors and sell their crafts. Face-painting and other activities for youngsters will also be available on these days. This year, the market will be partnering with the Powhatan Farmers Market (3835 Old Buckingham Road), giving vendors the opportunity to pay one application fee for both venues, says Laura Henderson of Powhatan County's economic-development office. The Goochland market is open Saturdays, May through October, from 8 a.m. to noon. 566-4272.
Huguenot-Robious Farmers' Market
The Huguenot-Robious Farmers' Market, held at the Great Big Greenhouse, is entering its fourth year of operation. New vendors at the market this year include Montana Gold Bread, which returns to the market after an absence; Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen, which prepares fresh doughnuts; and the Maurakis brothers, two Midlothian high-school students who prepare family-recipe baklava. The market will continue to sell local produce, beef and honey. Throughout the season, the market offers workshops and seminars, and on the first Thursday of every month, the Chesterfield Master Gardeners offer gardening tips to customers. While there are no scheduled children's activities, the market is child-friendly, and organizers will schedule tours or a presentation by a beekeeper if customers call in advance, says market manager Bonnie Pega. The market at 2051 Huguenot Road is open Thursdays,10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from April through October. 320-1317 or greatbiggreenhouse.com/Events/Farmers--Market.aspx .
Lakeside Farmers' Market
In 2011, Lakeside Farmers' Market ranked third nationally in the American Farmland Trust's "America's Favorite Farmers Markets" poll for small markets (15 to 20 vendors) and was voted first among farmers markets in Virginia. This year, the market has expanded and has 25 percent more vendor space in the outdoor pavilion, says Peter Francisco, market owner and manager. While events aren't planned far in advance, Francisco says the market will likely hold drives to benefit food banks and the Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad, which the market they has supported in the past. Like Byrd House Market, Lakeside Farmers' Market accepts federal SNAP benefits. In addition to providing customers with local goods, the outdoor market features plenty of events throughout the season. Francisco says that antique cars and trucks and live butterflies are among the children's events planned for this year. The outdoor market started on March 31, and it continues every Wednesday from dawn until dusk through Thanksgiving, and every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until Christmas at 6110 Lakeside Ave. 262-6593 or lakesidefarmersmarket.net .
Market at St. Stephen's
This market at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church initially may have attracted primarily church members, but it now draws people from the surrounding neighborhood and beyond. This year, the 6000 Grove Ave. market retains many of its popular vendors, like Frog Bottom Farm, Boka Tako Truck, Norwood Cottage Bakery, Flores produce and Bombolini Pasta. The market also expects many new vendors to join this year. Market manager Liz Bartenstein says that in past years, there have been live bands and various demonstrations. Bartenstein also says the market boasts a "really family-friendly atmosphere." The market is open Saturdays, May through October, from 8 a.m. to noon. 288-2867 or saintstephensrichmond.net .
My Manakin Market
This is the second year for this market run by Lisa Dearden, former executive director of the Center for Rural Culture. This year the market has a special-events coordinator, Beth Hopkins, who is planning activities such as a mini fiber festival, where alpacas will be shorn, and the fleece will be cleaned, processed and spun at the market. Also new this year are two children's programs. Club Sprouts will hold regular activities, and the Young Marketeers Club aims to involve young farmers and vendors with the market. The market at 68 Broad Street Road is open Saturdays, May through October, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 314-9141 or chiknegg.com .
La Plaza Latin Market
This market made its debut in Broad Rock Park on April 14. The South Richmond market began as a proposal to have an affordable, healthy food source for the Hispanic community, says market manager Wilken Fernandez. The organizers decided to hold the market in Broad Rock Park because they thought it was underutilized, Fernandez says. They also hope to reach out to the community at large, adding a Latino flavor to the local collection of farmers markets. Fernandez says that so far, La Plaza has 22 vendors and he hopes to expand. In addition to fresh produce from Virginia farmers, the market sells handmade crafts and offers classes in salsa dancing, among other activities. The market, located at 2401 Broad Rock Blvd., is open Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m., May through October. 539-1053, 921-2029 or 350-7980, or facebook.com/laplazamarketrva .
Powhatan Farmers Market
This year, the Powhatan Farmers Market will partner with the Goochland Farmers Market. Both markets will promote each other, and vendors will have the opportunity to pay a single application fee for both markets, says Laura Henderson, of Powhatan County's economic-development office. The first Thursday of each month will feature children's activities and give children the chance to sell their own items. The market at 3835 Old Buckingham Road will operate Thursdays, May 3 through Oct. 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. 598-5605 or thepowhatanfarmersmarket.com .
South of the James Market
Now entering its fifth year, the South of the James Market begins its outdoor market May 5 and will run every Saturday through Dec. 1. Touted as the largest weekly farmers market in Virginia, drawing 5,000 people each week, this producer-only market is part of the Grow RVA network. About 85 percent of the more than 100 vendors sell food products such as meat, cheeses and produce, and the rest are artists, says Karen Atkinson, owner and operator of Grow RVA. The market will also have an in-house chef this year, Samuel Baker of Hermitage Grill, who will demonstrate how to cook some of the produce that's available. Musicians such as Rattlesnake Creek, Harper and Co., Haze, and the Transients will perform, and Markiss Blowfish will lead his blues sing-along. The South of the James Market will continue to accept federal SNAP benefits. The market at Forest Hill Park is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. growrva.com .
West End Farmers Market
Started in 2009, the West End Farmers Market offers fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and more. This year, market manager Kris Riley says the market will have 10 new vendors and will feature live performances from area students every Saturday at 10 a.m. For children, there is story time every Saturday at 10 a.m., and healthy kids' meals are available for $5. The market at 12450 Gayton Road opens Saturday, April 21, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 3. Wednesday hours are 3:30 to 6 p.m., and Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to noon. 563-9989 or westendfarmersmarket.com .