Been to the Farmer’s Market Lately?

Renee -- July 20th, 2009

Photos courtesy of Randy Lowery

Photos courtesy of Randy Lowery

This year, the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market moved into its new pavilion downtown, and recently got its own blog. In the summer, it’s open from 7am to 1pm every Tuesday and Saturday, and there are lots of choices of fresh local foods and goods.

If you haven’t been there before, you should at least take a stroll through sometime to check it out. You will more than likely buy one of the many freshly-picked vegetables or fruits (many organic), homemade jellies or cookies, cut or potted flowers and herbs, handmade soaps or candles, or even fresh pork or chicken from one of the friendly vendors.

For example, on my most recent trip, I bought:

  • Mini quiche for lunch $3.50
  • Small cup of strawberry iced tea $0.50
  • 6 red potatoes, 3 red onions, and 3 yellow squash $6.00
  • Blend of red & yellow cherry tomatoes and a large banana pepper $3.25
  • Mini banana bread loaf $1.50

and was given a free “Virginia Grown” reusable bag from one of the vendors (picture). I walked away feeling good that I had gotten some healthy food and supported local farmers and families.

Farmer’s Markets are increasing in popularity again, so a lot of people may be shopping at our local market for the first time this summer. Are you a “regular” at the farmer’s market, or a “newbie”? Have you gone this summer? What did you get?

Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market Website

Slideshow of Farmer’s Market Flickr Photos by Randy Lowery

16 Responses to “Been to the Farmer’s Market Lately?”

  1. I haven’t been going as often as I went last summer, partly because of an increasingly busy schedule, and I hate to see local produce rot in the fridge; but also because I’m doing more gardening of my own this season.

    I have bought some asparagus, and a few other things this year. I like the new set-up with the permanent structure.

  2. Emmy says:

    We go almost every Saturday and some Tuesday’s. I like the new structure although I will say that it is very crowded (which is a good thing) and it’s evident it needed to be bigger! The prices seem to be up a good bit from last year, but that’s to be expected and I’d rather spend a little more there, than buy poor quality items from a chain!

  3. megan says:

    Hey, say hi next time. My daughter makes the strawberry iced tea. It’s their summer business. :)

  4. Andy Perrine says:

    Besides this blog, the Farmer’s Market is one of best places in town to catch up with what’s happening in Harrisonburg. I can never just pick up a thing or two and take off because there are so many folks with whom to chat. It seems to me that this aspect of the market is as important as the fresh locally grown foods. After going to the farmer’s market I always feel refreshed and remember how glad I am to live here.

  5. Emmy says:

    Megan and her daughter have the best mint tea I’ve ever tasted! I wish they sold it by the gallon!

  6. Brooke says:

    Hubby dropped by this past Saturday and picked up some fresh veggies for what we were making for dinner. Nothing like cooking with farm fresh veggies! Just one more reason we’re LOVING living downtown. :-)

  7. Renee says:

    I rarely get over to the market in the morning, and I would love for them to have an evening session between their morning ones, like on Thursday evenings!

    With as crowded as the market gets, I’m sure they would get plenty of business, and people on later schedules like me would be able to shop there more often!

  8. Renee says:

    Megan, I will say hi next time – I got the last cup the day I went, and it was tasty!

  9. Emmy says:

    Good point Renee. I have some friends who live in an area where their market is in the evening.

  10. Renee says:

    Went today and got some onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, and jalapenos (for making salsa – I’ve never tried tomatillos but the lady recommended them), green beans, multigrain bread, and an awesome jelly donut and a cup of fair trade coffee to go with it (those stands should be next to each other!).

    Megan, I didn’t see the iced tea so I wasn’t sure which stand was yours to say hi.

  11. Thanh says:

    I’ve been going to the Harrisonburg Farmers Market for a few years now since I moved back to the ‘burg and I’ve been really impressed with the changes that have occurred.

    Unfortunately I don’t get to go every week like I’d like to – I’m at work on Tuesday mornings and when I have out of town or other commitments on Saturday mornings I miss the farmers market entirely for that week. But I go when I can and if my husband and I aren’t biking to the market, we make it an outting with our pup. The last couple of Saturdays I’ve gone, I’ve really enjoyed the music people are gathering to play at the Farmers Market.

    When I go to the farmers market, I go with a different attitude then when I go to the grocery store. 99% of the time, the grocery store has the same thing each week, shelved in the same place, and I know what each of them will have on hand. When I go to the grocery store I always go with a list of ingredients I need (I’m a list kind of gal). However, when I go to the farmers market, its one of the few times I go shopping without a list. I go to the farmers market with no expectations, I buy what is available (which is what is seasonal), what looks good and interesting or appears to be good deal for that week. Whether I buy the typical zucchini and am interested in preparing it in a new way or if I buy a food item that I’ve never prepared before, I take the item(s) home and look up a recipe (oh, I love Internet recipes) and then go to the grocery store to pick up other miscellaneous ingredients I might need to make it.

    This year I’ve bough Thai basil plants, mint plants, bronze fennel (which are all doing very well now in backyard pots), Swiss chard, yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, donuts and various other desserts, lavender iced tea, kale, etc.

  12. Renee says:

    Thanh, I’m a list gal, too! And you just made me realize I do what you mentioned – explore the market without a list, and with only a vague sense of a dish I might try making.

    I too love and other recipe sites that let you search by ingredient and try new things! You are braver than I am though with the fresh thai basil, fennel, and mint! :)

    I have actually only been to the market a handful of times, but I hope to go more often this year, and like I mentioned earlier, I would go much more frequently if they were open in the evenings once a week.

  13. Dan Easley says:

    We’ve been holding an open jam of old-time music, mostly old fiddle and banjo tunes, Saturday mornings from ten to noon at the market. It’s been great fun, with five to twenty musicians showing up each week. I think it’s a good fit – locally grown music to go along with produce and products of the same sort.

    Most of our repertoire comes from the common form of entertainment in rural areas throughout the 1800’s – right up to when pianos were replaced by televisions. Many of the tunes are a synthesis of scotch-irish fiddling and african-american banjo playing, and form the basis of 20th century styles like the blues, bluegrass, and rock’n’roll. That said, old-time is still a lively and evolving form of its own.

    Attendance might be down a bit weekend after next due to the Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia; otherwise it looks like the jam will go strong through the end of the season. All acoustic musicians are invited to come and learn the tunes with us.

    Thanks to John Hull and Kathleen Pantaleo, among others, for doing a lot of the legwork leading to a weekly jam.

  14. Camila says:

    Since several of the comments here mention an interest in having an evening market, I thought ya’ll might like to know that there’s a poll about starting an evening market up on the Farmers Market blog right now. Hopefully it will give some feedback on what the demand is like for an evening market, to help the board in future decisions.

    So if you’d like to be able to shop at the market on weekday evenings — or not! — go here to vote:

  15. Renee says:

    Yes! I’m going to vote now. :)

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