The Halifax and South Boston farmers markets each celebrated National Farmers Market Week in a big way on Saturday, with special activities on top of the usual farm fresh produce offered for sale.
National Farmers Market Week, now in its 20th year, is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture and highlights the important roles farmers markets play in the nation’s food system.
In addition to the usual assortment of fruits, vegetables and crafts for sale, Halifax Farmers Market had a number of other activities on Saturday.
Southside Master Gardeners held a workshop on dividing perennials, Virginia Cooperative Extension/Family Nutrition Program offered free samples of healthy dishes, and the Staunton River Battlefield State Park hosted a “skin and bones” themed workshop, with displays of various animal skins such as bear and opossum.
The Halifax-South Boston Library System took bids during a silent auction on one-of-a-kind hand painted picnic tables, with proceeds going toward purchase of new computers for the libraries.
D&D Skins hosted a fish fry, and the market also held its annual bake sale, with proceeds going toward the farmers market.
The indoor farmers market in Halifax also was active on Saturday, with over 20 artisans and craftsmen displaying their works.
Things were no less active at the South Boston Farmers Market on Saturday, with farmers from all over Halifax County arriving at the market with loads of fresh produce including squash, melons, tomatoes, flower bouquets, corn, cucumbers, potatoes, eggs and baked goods
Other vendors arrived at the market with crafts including jewelry and handmade soaps to wood-carved crafts.
To celebrate the occasion, some special activities also took place at the South Boston Farmers Market on Saturday, with Steve Moore selling hot cinnamon rolls made right on site.
Kids of all ages enjoyed a scavenger hunt coordinated between the Downtown South Boston Farmers Market and The Halifax Farmers Market.
The Red Cross bloodmobile was on site collecting donations, and the South Boston Police Department gave away free coloring books and goodie bags for kids.
Vendor Shemeka Chisholm with Paparrazi Jewelry gave out out free school supplies, and the Power of Produce program gave out $5 vouchers to spend at the market on produce, proteins and healthy baked goods for kids ages 18 and under.