Shoppers from the local community as well as from Natural Bridge, Roanoke, Salem, Cave Spring, Botetourt County and North Carolina visited the Market, buying fresh produce, meats and baked goods as well as crafts and plants.
On June 14, Lillie Fisher of New Castle was the lucky recipient of a certificate for two meals at the Homeplace Restaurant. Shoppers at the farmers market received free tickets which were entered in a Father’s Day drawing. Mrs. Fisher stated, “I love to eat at the Homeplace!”
Jean Hazlegrove, County Executive Director of the Botetourt/Craig/Roanoke office of Farm Service Agency (FSA), displayed numerous publications concerning programs available through FSA and she discussed the programs with numerous persons at the farmers market.
Tim Miller, Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Mountain Castles Soil & Water Conservation District, displayed a large map of Virginia and had folks place replicas of agricultural products on the map area where they are actually grown or produced. Miller also explained programs available to local farmers and homeowners through Mountain Castles SWCD.
The next special event at the CVFM will be on June 21, when several additional local vendors will be in attendance for the June Artisans & Crafters Day. Vendors will include Kirstann Edwards, of Sinking Creek Wool Company. Kirstann will bring needle-felted wool animals, pins and ornaments, made from wool from her own Craig County sheep. Connie Shelor of Catawba will bring kitchen hang towels, microwave bowl koozies, old-timey bonnets, small wooden cars, hand-made fireplace pokers and bird feeders.
Michael and Tammy Deane from Troutville will have handcrafted wooden flowers, lake flip-flop plaques, heart-shaped plaques, baseball plaques as well as some Christmas items. Vickie Wright from Bedford is bringing leather earrings and necklaces, sewn crafts – stars, hearts, crows, and pumpkins, painted wood signs and wood signs with fabric and paper flowers, as well as wood signs with fabric deer and trucks. Vickie uses repurposed/recycled items and salvaged wood in her crafts.
Elliott and Laura Muncey of the Stone Coal Gap Farm in Troutville will return with kettle corn made in one of Elliott’s handcrafted copper kettles. They will also have for sale copper pots and other items handmade by Elliott.
Jennifer Fenrich of Shining Readers in Blacksburg will have beginning reader books for children ages 3-7. Jennifer’s books have short but meaningful stories and encourage children to have conversations, to write and read.
The crafters who regularly attend the Farmers Market will be in attendance with scented candles, goat-milk soaps and lip balms, sewn items, laundry soap, wooden writing pens and wooden lanterns, local photography and note cards.
Musical entertainment on June 21 will be provided by Woodsong, with Jim Robinson on the hammered dulcimer and Sharon Conlyn on guitar and banjo. Shoppers are encouraged to sit and listen to the duo’s music. The musical entertainment is free, but donations are encouraged.
As the growing season progresses, the list of available produce and other foods continues to expand. Shoppers can expect to find cucumbers, squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, onions, radishes, blueberries, beef and pork products, eggs, granola, pickles, relishes, fried pies, cookies, cakes, scones and so much more. Bedding plants and cut flowers are still available. Shoppers are encouraged to take some time to check out all the vendor tables for last-minute additions.
The Farmers Market now has a website in addition to their Facebook page. The website (www.catawbafarmersmarket.com) includes up-to-date information on the availability of foods each week, a short profile of each vendor, an explanation of the Wooden Nickels program, many photos taken at the Market, a copy of the weekly newsletter, etc.
The Catawba Valley Farmers Market is located at the Catawba Community Center, 4965 Catawba Creek Road in Catawba. The Market is open on Thursdays from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m., rain or shine. The Community Center is a Roanoke County Park, with covered picnic shelter, green space, basketball court, restrooms and playground.
The Catawba Valley Farmers Market is a collaborative project of the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center, County of Roanoke, Catawba Valley Ruritan Club and the Catawba community.
– Submitted by Ann G. Harrell, Catawba Valley Farmers Market Manager