The Greenbrier Valley is home to a plethora of farmers’ markets, all of them nourishing and enriching the communities they serve. In celebration of the beginning of outdoor farmers’ market season, I gathered the following perspectives from some of the folks who make it possible.
“I just love the simplicity and universality of it: a beautiful place right next to the river where people take the time to talk with one another, listen to music, and support local farmers. It’s as though we have a town square that suddenly springs up once a week, during market season.” Anna Osborne, Alderson Community Market
“I love vending at the Greenbrier Valley Farmers Market. It really is a joy to mingle with customers excited to eat local, fresh food – real food. It’s a great feeling to converse with the people who appreciate your product. I sell natural, grass fed meats, and am constantly amazed at the feedback I receive from people regarding the health benefits they notice within themselves after making the choice to change what they eat. The market offers the public access to a variety of products, and the producer is right there, standing in front of them, ready to answer any questions about how that product was grown or made. How great is that, to link the producer and consumer, and provide that feedback loop! And the market gives the public another opportunity to invest in their community through the ‘Buy Local’ mindset; you can keep your food dollars invested right here in the Greenbrier Valley; those dollars you exchange for your corn or beef or cake goes to seed or fencing or equipment right here in our community. It has become a ritual for both the producers and many customers to come to the market on a weekly basis. The atmosphere at the market provides a wonderful start to each weekend… with friendly and engaging people on both sides of the booth!” – Joanna Kiddle, Greenbrier Valley Farmers Market.
“Farmers Markets provide an exceptional opportunity for perpetuating a sense of community based around an interest of every single human being – food! At the Lewisburg Farmers Market, you will find fascinating cultural and political diversity amongst both producers and consumers, and will see everybody getting along despite differences. Food is a great unifier, and the interplay between local producers and consumers is a vital part of our local community as well as our local economy.” – Willow Kelly, Lewisburg Farmers Market
“Rainelle Farmers’ Market is important to the community because they can say they have their own farmers’ market, and they can get fresh food. Rainelle Medical Center supports the market because people in Rainelle don’t have access to fresh local food, which is so vital in promoting health. And it’s very important to children too – that they eat fresh food. Local food might cost more than what you find at the grocery store, but it tastes better and you know who your money’s going to.” – Mary Surbaugh, Rainelle Farmers Markets. Rainelle Farmers Market opens April 2nd. Lewisburg Farmers Market opens April 9th. Greenbrier Valley Farmers Market opens April 16th. Alderson Community Market opens May 14th. Pocahontas County Farmers Market opens May 7th in Marlinton and May 27th in Linwood. Look for the new Greenbrier Valley Grown logo at participating farmers’ markets. For more information, visit www.GreenbrierValleyGrown.org.
– India Keller, LBSPY #76. April 2016.