Farmer's markets are a booming business in Virginia, and it's an industry that's grown significantly in the last few years. More people are buying products close to home, and it's making a big economic impact.
According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the commonwealth has more than 240 farmer's markets, which is a 180 percent increase since 2006. VDACS quotes a Cooperative Extension survey that shows if every household in the state spent $10 a week on locally grown products, they'd be investing more than $1.5 billion back into Virginia's economy.
This growth in farmer's markets is a trend not only seen statewide, but also right here in central Virginia. The people at Vintage Virginia Apples in Ivy have been selling produce at the Charlottesville Farmer's Market for 12 years, and they say it's fun to see how the industry has grown.
"I think we're finding more and more interest in food and the sources of our food in the country generally, so it's become fashionable even to go out and meet the grower, and the farmer's market is a wonderful place to do that," said Charlotte Shelton, a principal at Vintage Virginia Apples.
And with the growth of farmer's markets, the city of Charlottesville has been looking for a more permanent home for its City Market. The city has been getting proposals from companies on how they can create a mixed-use development project downtown that would house the market.
The public now has a chance to hear from the companies that submitted ideas to the city at a council work session Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
Farmers Markets Are On the Rise in Central VAMore>>