The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Virginia Among the Top Ten States with the Most Farmers Markets

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

According to a recent article in the Daily Press, farmers markets are alive and well in Virginia, which was cited as a top ten state for the number of markets available in a new United States Department of Agriculture markets in Virginia

With 249 markets listed, the Commonwealth comes in at No. 9, with California (764 markets), New York (638 markets) and Michigan (339 markets) rounding out the top three states with the most farmers markets.

Elaine Lidholm, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said she thinks the diversity of products grown around the state is one reason markets are prosperous in Virginia.

"Many states hang their agriculture industry on one or two products, say potatoes in Iowa or corn in Nebraska," she said. "We have fruits, nuts, peanuts, beef, pork, poultry, dairy, vegetables, eggs, seafood, sweet corn as well as corn for grain to feed animals, you name it. Many times our farmers' market growers are really diversified with heirloom tomatoes, eggs from heritage chickens or turkeys, vintage apples and other products. Virginia is diversified in terms of climate, topography, soil types and growing conditions so we can produce a wide variety of crops — think peanuts in the sandy soil and warm temperatures of Tidewater versus the rocky soil and cool weather of the mountains in the southwest where cattle thrive and cold weather crops do well."

Based on listings of markets on the website, central and northern Virginia seems to have the largest concentration of markets in the state; there are 10 markets listed in the Tidewater area.

It's not just the number of farmers markets that is impressive in Virginia, but the rate of growth. From 2007 to 2014, the number of markets in the state jumped from about 100 to more than 240.

Nationwide, the number of farmers markets has increase by 76 percent since 2008, with 8,268 markets listed in the most recent USDA report.

The nationwide numbers come from voluntary reporting on the USDA website. The markets are then entered into a database and are searchable by geographic location, product type and category.

The Peninsula Town Center in Hampton added a farmers market at their location last year. There are also farmers markets on Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, on Main Street in Smithfield, in City Center in Newport News and in Riverwalk Landing in York County, among other spots on the Peninsula.

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Smithfield, Virginia - Born on the Banks of the Pagan River

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Aug 05, 2014 @ 03:08 PM

homes for sale in SmithfieldSmithfield, Virginia and surrounding Isle of Wight County are as old as Virginia itself, having been first colonized in 1634. Located on the banks of the Pagan River, and lying on the opposite shore of the James River, across from Jamestown, the area was soon discovered by Captain John Smith and other early settlers. Smithfield and surrounding counties saw action during the Revolutionary War and Civil War, mainly because of its proximity to the James River.

Smithfield was born on the banks of the Pagan River and incorporated in 1752 by Arthur Smith IV. "Nurtured by trade and commerce, Smithfield was, from its very beginning, a 'river town', and its whole life and growth have been conditioned by the river." (Smithfield A Pictorial History, Segar Cofer Dashiell). Arthur Smith IV parceled out his family farm into 72 lots and 4 streets to house British merchants and ship captains. Today, as you walk the streets of the Town, you will find that Smithfield still has it's historical charm. Smithfield's Historic District boasts over 70 buildings of exceptional architectural importance, including residences of the Colonial, Federal and Victorian periods.

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