The Catawba Valley Farmers Market (CVFM) continues to offer locally grown, baked and produced foods, plants and crafts for consumers to enjoy. Everything originates within 100 miles of Catawba, resulting in fresh fruits and vegetables mostly picked within a day, or even hours, of their arrival at the CVFM. Baked goods usually come out of the ovens the day prior to the Market and sometimes the morning of the Market. The meats are all frozen and are kept in coolers, which are closely monitored to be sure the proper temperature is maintained.
Vendors producing products for human consumption must comply with Virginia laws and regulations designed to ensure the safety, wholesomeness and proper labeling of foods, as administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Food safety is a high priority at the Catawba Valley Farmers Market.
As the growing season progresses, the available selection of fruits and vegetables will increase. Consumers can expect to find lettuces, onions, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and garlic now, with green beans and squash appearing soon. Meats now offered at CVFM include grass-fed beef, bacon, sausage, and whole chickens.
Beginning on June 17, various chicken parts will also be offered. Breads and snack foods include fried pies, cakes, scones, muffins, cookies, sourdough rolls and cornbread. Although not baked, kettle corn popped on-site in a huge copper kettle is a popular snack food.
Crafts at the Market include paper flowers, photo note cards, illustrated note cards, framed photos and matted prints, small quilts, table runners, bowl cozies, bibs, purses, potholders and catnip-filled sock toys for cats.
The Catawba Valley Farmers Market is a great place to purchase Father’s Day gifts. There are steaks, burgers and chickens to grill, salad fixings and other vegetables, and numerous desserts. Round out the meal with sourdough rolls or cornbread. Maybe Dad would like a bowl coozie…a handy item to set a bowl of chili or soup in, to protect hands from the hot bowl. The coozies are even handy to hold cold items, such as a bowl of ice cream.
Other gift ideas include greeting cards, framed photos and matted prints from local artists and photographers, and handcrafted copper mugs and other vessels.
One unusual hand-sewn item found at the Market is a “possibles” bag, a unique gift for the hunter or hiker. These bags were used by men in colonial days to hold everything they could possibly need for the day, such as shooting tools, bullets, fire-starting materials, food and eating utensils. The possibles bag displayed by Alice Ricucci is made of camouflage material with numerous pockets. There are no noisy fasteners that would scare away nearby game.
New products now at the Market include sunflower seed cooking oil and all-natural hemp cosmetic products.
To show appreciation for the support of their loyal customers, Catawba Valley Farmers Market will hold a Customer Appreciation Day on July 1 by offering traditional picnic fare of (free) hot dogs, chips and bottled water to visitors from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., or while supplies last. Available for purchase will be another Americana favorite – kettle corn. This will also be an early start of America’s Independence Day celebration – America’s 245th birthday, and will include special music. Jim Robinson, from Salem, will provide music on his hammered dulcimer between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.
Consumers are encouraged to visit the open-air Catawba Valley Farmers Market to meet the vendors, to learn how their food products are grown or produced and to purchase locally grown foods and artisan crafts.
The CVFM is open on Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Catawba Community Center picnic shelter, 4965 Catawba Creek Road (Rt. 779), just off of Rt. 311 in Catawba. Some vendors are part-time only – visit the CVFM website (catawbafarmersmarket.com) and Facebook page (Catawba Farmers Market) for a schedule plus a weekly listing of vendors. The website and Facebook page feature a weekly newsletter, frequent updates on available items, and special events, as well as numerous photos.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor at CVFM should contact Pam Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540)580-1533.
- Submitted by Ann G. Harrell, CVFM Communication Specialist