It’s Market Time!

Friends of the Market,

May is finally here and it’s almost time for the Grand Opening of the Independence Farmers Market at Town Park.  Join us May 13th from 9am to 1pm for delicious produce, locally raised meats and eggs, fresh baked goods and beautiful crafts.  There will be plants for your gardens, both ornamental and edible and the kids can plant seeds in eggshell cups.  After the  Market, walk across the street to the office warming party hosted by Grayson Landcare.  Come see the new office and enjoy baked goods by the talented young cooks at the Grayson County Cate Center.

May 20th is the first of our monthly Fiber Days.  Save the date, it’s every third Friday.  We close out the month on the 27th with the Rooted in Appalachia Farmers Market Roadshow sponsored by Appalachian Sustainable Development.  There will be kids activities,  cooking demonstration and more and it’s all free!

The Independence Farmers Market is pleased to be able to accept Senior Farmers Market coupons this year and we continue to offer up to a $25 match for SNAP purchases for fruits and vegetables.  It’s like getting FREE vegetables and fruit. We are able to offer the Double Dollar program because we are a member of the Wholesome Wave National Nutrition Network.

Hope to see you there and be sure to bring a friend.

WINTER MARKETS AND CHRISTMAS TREE FUNDRAISER

It’s time once again for the  4th Annual Winter Markets and Christmas Tree Fundraiser.  The Farmers Market returns to Town Park in Downtown Independence on Friday, November 27th and Saturday December 5th, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Free Kids activities include decorating cookies, making marshmallow snowmen and creating pressed flower Christmas cards.

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Pick out your fresh, pesticide free Christmas tree and wreaths and enjoy shopping for local crafts and fresh, local foods. All proceeds from the tree sales benefit the Farmers Market.  You can pre-order your tree at the On-line Market by going to the website, www.independencefarmersmarket.org and clicking the “On-line market” tab.

Join us again on December 5, activities include the 1st annual Chili Cookoff.  Enter your best chili in the competition and win $50!  Please bring your entry in a crockpot to the Market by 11 am. It’s free to enter and only $5 to buy a ticket to taste all the entries and cast your vote.  It is a great way to stay warm while you wait to see the Independence Christmas Parade.
The Independence Farmers Market welcomes SNAP and offers a $25 match for all fruit and vegetable purchases.

AUGUST EVENTS

Celebrate National Farmers Market week at the Independence Farmers Market!

It’s the 3rd annual Tomato Day  Friday the 7th.  Festivities include a free tomato tasting (bring your favorite to share!) and cooking demonstration by Chef Jen Cavey as part of the monthly 1st Friday cooking classes.  In addition, everyone is invited to participate in both the salsa contest and “Great Tomato Weigh-in”.  Please bring salsa entries to the Market by 11am.  Entries should be at least a pint and preferably a quart to provide enough for judging by the public and official judges.  Categories are Tomato salsa and all other salsas.  First through third prizes will be awarded in the tomato category as well as first place in the “all other salsa” division.  In addition there will be a “People’s Choice” award.  Bring your largest tomato to the Market for the “Great Tomato Weigh-in”.  A prize will be awarded for the largest entry.  Appearance is not a factor in judging.  The Town of Independence has donated $25 for 1st place in both the Tomato weigh in and People’s Choice Awards.

The Independence Farmers Market welcomes SNAP and EBT and is pleased to offer a $25 dollar match for fruits and vegetables thanks to grant from Wholesome Wave and Appalachian Sustainable development.

AUGUST 21st is FIBER DAY

Join Deb Clemens for  “How to raise rabbits” from 10-11am for the monthly 3rd Friday Fiber Day August 21st.  On the 14th you can learn to make a needle felted pin.  And the month closes with a  demo mixing fibers using a carder.

 

JULY EVENTS AT THE INDEPENDENCE FARMERS MARKET

Chef Jen Cavey will conduct a free cooking demonstration July 3 during regular market hours from 9am to 2pm. Enjoy free samples and the opportunity to watch a real chef at work. Learn to use the fresh fruits and vegetables found at the Farmers Market in new and delicious ways.

Other July events include Wellness Day July 10. The Health Department will offer free. Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough). Be sure to get a 1-time dose of “Tdap” vaccine (the adult whooping cough vaccine) if you are younger than age 65, are 65+ and have contact with an infant, are a healthcare worker, or simply want to be protected from whooping cough, a growing concern in our schools and community.  Twin County Hospital and other area health professionals will also be at the Market.

July 17th is the Berry Festival. EVERYONE is invited to enter the Berry Pie contest. There will be 2 categories: true berry pie(ie crust and berry filling) and all other berry desserts including cream pies, cobblers, crumbles and crisps.  Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the true berry pie  as well as a 1st place for the all other category . Berries of all kinds will be featured and available for tasting.  The Farmers Market will be selling berry sorbet and ice cream with berry sauces as a fund raiser.  Fiber Day is also on the 17th.  Featured artist Karen Simpson will demonstrate wet felting flowers  from 10-11am.

The “Take a break from the Interstate” Highway 21 yard sale occurs July 24-26. The Farmers Market on Friday the 24th will include yard sale items as well as the usual offerings of locally raised fresh foods, and artisan crafts. Chef Jen will be cooking on Saturday the 25th as a fund raiser for the Market.  Come shop and enjoy lunch for a good cause! The Town Park is available for the public to use Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th. Please contact Michelle Pridgen, Market Manager, to reserve a space:   independencefarmersmarket@gmail.com or 276-768-0597.

The Market welcomes SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and offers a matching program up to $25 for fruits and vegetables thanks to a grant from Appalachian Sustainable Development, and Wholesome Wave.

GRAND OPENING AND SEED SWAP MAY 8th

Friday, May 8 is the Grand Opening of the 2015 Independence Farmers Market, beginning the regular market season every Friday from 9am to 2pm until the second Friday in October.  The Market is held in the Independence Town Park at the corner of Highways 21 and 58 across from the Historic Court House in downtown Independence, Virginia.

It’s been a long cold winter, with local farmers working hard to have fresh greens, meats, baked goods, jams, crafts, potted plants of herbs and flowers and vegetables, and other agricultural products available for purchase.  2015 will be an exciting year at the Market, showcasing the diversity of agricultural products and talents in our area.

To celebrate spring at the May 8th opening, a special seed display, staffed by Cynthia Taylor of Grayson LandCare, will have free milkweed seeds, Asclepias syriaca, for you to take home and plant.  Milkweed is the favored food of the Monarch butterfly, and LandCare is highlighting pollinator plants this year.

Additionally, that day, the Market will have seed displays, a demonstration on how to save your own tomato seeds, and free seeds of flowers and vegetables for kids to plant at the Market.  If you have free seeds to share, you are welcome to bring them along for others to use.

Special Fiber Days are usually the third Friday of the month, except for the very first Fiber Day, May 22.  Libby Kahn will offer a  mini-class on how to skirt raw wool.  Bring a fleece or two for skirting and cleaning. There will be wools and yarns and handmade items of lambs wool, mohair, and other natural fibers from local sheep, goats, rabbits, and alpacas.

Free cooking demonstrations with recipes are scheduled on the first Friday of each month, beginning  June 5.  These are co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Family Nutrition Program.

And the youngsters are not forgotten!  Free Kids Activities are planned each Friday from 10 to 11 am, with a special Kids’ Day on June 26.  Among other festivities that day, Don Call will be back to demonstrate roping and give free lessons.

More special programs are held monthly, with the first event on June 12, Herb Day, led by Ellen Reynolds of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm.

July 17 is the Annual Berry Festival, with berries on sale, and a chance for you to enter your favorite berry pie in the contest.

August 7 is the Annual Tomato Day.  Taste the variety of tomatoes to see what to grow or buy at the Market, and even enter the salsa contest!

September 4 is Pepper Day, featuring a chance to taste multiple types of peppers available at the Market.

October 9 is the final day of the Market, and it is Apple Day, featuring not only apples from local orchards, but you can bring along your apples and press them!  And of course, you can bring an apple pie for the apple pie contest!

The Market accepts SNAP benefits and offers a $10 match thanks to a grant from Appalachian Sustainable Development and Wholesome Wave.  For more information, please contact Michelle Pridgen, Market Manager at independencefarmersmarket@gmail.com or 276-768-0597.  Follow us on Facebook.