Downtown South Boston Farmers Market along with farmers markets across the country are celebrating the 20th year of National Farmers Market Week this Saturday.
National Farmers Market Week is a USDA initiative supporting local producers that encourages families to meet and buy from farmers and other vendors at farmers markets across the nation.
Farmers from all over Halifax County will be at the market with loads of fresh produce including squash, melons, tomatoes, flower bouquets, corn, cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, baked goods and more. Other vendors will be present with crafts including jewelry and handmade soaps, according to Ben Capozzi, market manager.
Citing data from the National Farmers Union, Capozzi touted the importance of farmers market sales to local farmers.
“On average, farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every food dollar that consumers spend at traditional food outlets, but at the farmers market, 100% of your food dollar goes to your local farmer,” said Capozzi.
To celebrate the occasion some special activities and guests are planned.
Steve Moore will be at the market on Saturday selling hot cinnamon rolls made right on site, according to Capozzi.
“There’ll also be a scavenger hunt coordinated between the Downtown South Boston Farmers Market and The Halifax Farmers Market, with prizes for folks who complete the hunt,” he said.
“Because the farmers market brings out so many people, the Red Cross bloodmobile will be on site collecting donations. The need for donor blood is tremendous right now, so all who are able are encouraged to give.
The South Boston Police Department will be giving away free coloring books and goodie bags for kids, and vendor Shemeka Chisholm with Paparrazi Jewelry will be giving out free school supplies, Capozzi said.
The Power of Produce program will be giving out $5 vouchers to spend at the market on produce, proteins and healthy baked goods for kids ages 18 and under.
“All kids need to do is take two bites of the featured produce item of the day. This is a very popular program, and it’s bringing more children and families to our market,” he said.
Healthy Harvest Community Garden is sponsoring a program where healthy eating habits are taught at the market, putting hundreds of dollars into farmers’ pockets over the course of the season, according to market treasurer Matthew Rich.
“Visiting the Downtown South Boston Farmers Market this Saturday—and every week—is a great way to build community, support local businesses and really get to know where your food comes from by meeting some of the people who grow it,” he said.
“I would love for everyone in our community to know there are two wonderful markets here in the county that have amazing vendors that work very hard to provide fresh produce, meats, eggs, baked goods and much more,” added market president Kimberly Rich.