Gardening Tips: Farmers Market Open

— Written By and last updated by Chrissy Poole

Farmers Markets are a great way to connect the public with their local farmer. Customers at the farmers market can select from a wide variety of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables while interacting directly with the farmer who grew their produce. Customers can ask the farmers questions about how the produce was grown and give feedback directly to the farmer, thus influencing future plantings. Spending money locally on produce helps support small farmers who provide produce to the market and aids the local economy.
Halifax County has several farmers markets including two that I work directly with. The Roanoke Valley Farmers Market, located at 378 Highway 158 in Roanoke Rapids, has been a part of the community for many years, and Halifax County Cooperative Extension has helped run it for the last seven years. Over the past several months, a great deal of time and effort has been put in to giving the Roanoke Valley Farmers Market a facelift. This includes building renovation and improvements, painting, landscaping, grounds beautification and more. Much of this work has been completed, but many more improvements will be made throughout the 2013 market season. A big thank you for assisting with part of this work is owed to my colleagues in Cooperative Extension, the Halifax County Operations, Finance, and Health Departments, as well as the County Manager, County Commissioners, our market vendors, and several volunteers. I know that it would mean a lot to me and all of those who have helped with these improvements to have a big crowd see them firsthand when the market opens with a new look on Saturday May 4th. The market will be open through November on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 to 6. In addition to fruits and vegetables, you will find baked goods, plants, cut flowers and crafts at the market.
A satellite market will also be held at the Kirkwood Adams Center Mondays from 3 to 6 p.m. starting on May 6th. This market started in mid-summer last year and features several of the same vendors who sell at the Roanoke Valley Farmers Market. The time and location of this market make it ideal for those who work and shop in downtown Roanoke Rapids to purchase some fresh local produce on the way home, in order to make a great dinner with local flair. We hope that this market will continue to grow and improve during its second year. There are also farmers markets in Hollister and Enfield, open on Fridays and Saturdays, respectively.
If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Roanoke Valley Farmers Market or Kirkwood Adams market, please contact me for more information. We are interested in any vendors who have home grown produce, home-made foods, or hand-made crafts, and will also accept yard sale and other vendors on an occasional basis.
Matthew Stevens is the horticulture extension agent for Halifax County Cooperative Extension. If you have any questions about this article or other aspects of your home gardening, please contact Matthew at 583-5161 or matt_stevens@ncsu.edu.