Judi Williams says she hopes the Chesterfield Farmers Market will be a resource for the community.
Judi Williams has been dreaming of running her own farmers market since 2005. During the past six years, Williams has been involved with other markets, working as a vendor for Indonesian coffee and researching what the community needs.
This year marks the first season for the Chesterfield Farmers Market, which Williams says will be a community resource as well as a place to buy food and other items.
"I think it's going to be the market in the area," she says. (Click here to see Richmond magazine's 2011 Farmers Market Guide.)
The market, located in the parking lot at Chesterfield Towne Center, will include locally grown or produced plants, fruit and vegetables, meats, breads, eggs, arts, crafts, and jewelry. But the market will also have a Community Circle, made up of three tents.
The first tent will be a book swap, where adults and children can bring in old books and leave with a new read. "We're trying to encourage everybody to read," Williams says.
The second tent, which she plans to add in May, will be an activities tent for children. Williams is working with teachers and others to provide volunteers for an educational and fun area for kids.
Finally, the community tent will provide useful and interesting information. A special service will be featured each week, such as fire safety, agricultural education or health tips from nutritionists and doctors. Some of the planned services also include blood-pressure readings and information on cancer. Williams says these special topics will better educate the community, and some of her own experiences have provided the market with contacts that can offer such services.
In 2009, Williams was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer that involves cells in the immune system. She has been successfully treated for it — she says her doctor told her he never uses the word "cured," but the cancer is gone.
"I'm not thinking about that," she says. "I have a market to run, and I have something to focus on. If it comes back, it comes back. I'm not worried about that, I'm worried about my vendors."
The Chesterfield Farmers Market will limit its vendors to producers, meaning everything is homemade, homegrown or handcrafted. "We want to help the small person who is at home making soap, making jewelry in their home or in their kitchen because they can't afford to own their own store," Williams says. "I'm doing it for them."
The market opens on April 1 and will operate every Friday through Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit chesterfieldfarmersmarket.blogspot.com .