In season: Virginia’s farmers’ markets

Governor Bob McDonnell has proclaimed August 1 – 7 as Virginia Farmers’ Market Week, and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Across the country, farmers’ markets are rising in popularity and number. Between 2008 and 2009, their number increased 13 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And in Virginia, you expect to find them in every vibrant downtown.

Jessica Brewer of Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. points to the farmers’ market in that community’s historic downtown as a gathering spot and an economic engine. 

“It really is the place to be seen on Saturday mornings. Because of the market,  the community’s restaurants, food-oriented retail stores, and our popular tasting events, the people hear Culpeper, and they’re starting to think quality, fresh food.”

What’s fresh in your community? The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers a handy chart to show what’s likely to be fresh at your  market, and they’re offering up some prizes for your picture of what’s happening locally. Enter the Farmers’ Market Photo Contest by August 18 and share pictures of your community coming togetherover the local harvest at your market.