Farmers Market Week, Challenge

Thanh -- July 30th, 2008

National Farmers Market Week is August 3 through 9. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is challenging everyone to eat local for a day. The Downtown Harrisonburg Farmers Market is open Tuesday August 5 and Saturday August 9 from 7am-1pm.

On Saturday August 2, the day before Farmers Market Week officially begins, two cooking demonstrations by JMU Chef Jay Vetter will be occuring at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market.

Oftentimes discussions about local foods focuses on local produce – fruits and vegetables. Local foods also include local meats, local wines, local cheeses and dairy products, local honey, etc. A good resource to get you started on your search for local foods might be “Go Local, Virginia” (Virginia Cooperative Extension). The Harrisonburg Farmers Market webpage has the following to say about what you’d find at the market this time of year:

“Currently at the Market, you will find fresh greens, sweet corn, onions, garlic, green beans, herbs, spinach, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, squash, beets, potatoes, apples, peaches, plums, gooseberries, honey, free range eggs, a wide variety of yummy breads and baked goods, Artisan breads, kettle corn, goats cheese, meats, soups and more.

There is always an abundance of fresh cut flowers and bouquets to brighten your life, as well as bedding plants, nursery plants, perennials, woodland plants and herbs for your green thumb. We have recently added a delightful line of lavender products, including dried bouquets, lotions, oils and eye pillows.

You can also expect to find a selection of handcrafts including jewelry, woodwork, handmade paper, cards, photography, soaps and clothing.”

6 Responses to “Farmers Market Week, Challenge”

  1. Thanh says:

    Last weekend my husband and I bought a whole chicken from the farmers market. I’ve bought a whole chicken from the farmers market before, but I had only cooked it whole. The idea of buying a whole chicken really appealed to me, but the act of cutting and deboning it was really daunting to me. This week, my husband who wanted to make a chicken dish for dinner spent a bit of time cutting the chicken up following online directions,, and it didn’t take very long at all. If we had a better knife, which we’ll get soon, he said it would have taken him no time at all, I think he said 5 minutes. He ended up marinating it in a homemade jerk marinade and grilling it outside.

    IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. There’s no reason to ever buy chicken from the grocery store again. And I will learn how to cut up a chicken myself.

    Also, while my husband was eating the chicken which he had just cut up and prepared, he said he had a greater appreciation for it and where it came from.

  2. David Troyer says:


    You can always roast the chicken whole! It is very tasty and relatively easy, here are a couple of my favorite recipes:

    Beer Can Chicken

    Fantastic Roasted Chicken by Jamie Oliver

    So tasty.

  3. Josh says:

    I would like to encourage everyone to photograph your local food creations and add the photos to our flickr pool. It will be fun to see what people create!

  4. Emmy says:

    Oh no one wants to see what I fix Josh!

    I will take the challenge though. Almost every meal I do make has something local in it.

  5. Frank J Witt says:

    Emmy, you are right. It is much harder to prepare something that looks fantastic when not doing it for $$$. Food at home is harder to prepare visually fantastic because most of us don’t have the tools we need to grill properly. Grilling food is one of the healthiest way and most attractive result come from that as well. Tonight’s meal is a wonderful 12 ounce T-Bone cooked med. rare (it is safe to cook steaks less than MD WELL, but NOT for hamburger) with steamed Cauliflower that is then covered in Ranch dressing and sprinkled with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese and broiled uncovered for 8-10 minutes on second rack form top. At Sharp-Shopper I bought some Lite Romaine salad packs ($.99) that comes with fat free baked croutons. Garden fresh white onions and cucs & radishes (thanks Farmers Market)
    and finished off with a HUGE (7 1/2 pound) cantaloupe (S/S too).

    Add a Lite ranch Dressing blended with Serrano and Jalapeno peppers…this dish will be DIE FOR (HA HA)

  6. Josh says:

    Sorta related…

    The American Conservative magazine published an excellent piece a while back on culinary culture–eating well, utilizing local foods, creating sustainable agricultural practice. etc–as a conservative cause:

    June 30, 2008 Issue
    The American Conservative

    Food for Thought
    Renewing the culinary culture should be a conservative cause.

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