Emily Battle recently featured area Farmers Markets in her article “Time is ripe for market shopping.”
Here is an excerpt:
This year, three of the largest markets in the area have teamed up to better promote themselves and to offer new services to their customers.
The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania and King George county markets now have an online home at thefarmersmarket.co.
All three are working to implement technology that will allow customers to use debit cards and SNAP food assistance, also known as food stamps, at all three markets. A grant will allow SNAP customers to double their money at the market on fresh food purchases of up to $10 a week.
Customers would use their debit or SNAP cards to buy tokens, which would be redeemable at vendors at all three markets.
This partnership is seen as a boon for both consumers and farmers in the area by the managers of the three markets, all of whom have new initiatives of their own in the works.
Donna Leahy is Fredericksburg’s newly hired part-time farmers market manager. She hopes to step up enforcement of rules about local produce at the market, which was moved under the purview of the parks and recreation department this year.
Leahy and other city officials think the farmers market has untapped potential to draw tourists and area residents from outside the city to downtown. They plan to collect data this year on how and when the market is used, and the city is working on an August event aimed at bringing families with children to both the market and downtown’s restaurants.
To learn more about the film series and to read more about all area farmers markets, visit the Front Burner blog at blogs.fredericks burg.com/frontburner.