In the market: Fresh options abound from area vendors

Downtown Charlottesville’s City Market, located at the corner of Water and South streets, is packed with more than 100 vendors every Saturday from 7am to noon. Photo by Downtown Charlottesville’s City Market, located at the corner of Water and South streets, is packed with more than 100 vendors every Saturday from 7am to noon. Photo by

From shumei-raised produce at Stonefield, to Piedmont Master Gardeners’ advice in Crozet, this round-up of farmers market finds includes insider tips for everyone.

Green Market at Stonefield

2100 Hydraulic Rd.

With about a dozen local vendors per week, the Green Market at Stonefield has high-end, healthy produce, meats, bath products and more to suit a variety of tastes.

The details: Open Thursdays from 4-7pm and Saturdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm, May through October.

Pro tip: Looking for hyperlocal? Family Ties & Pies bakes its goodies about a quarter mile from the market.

Don’t miss: Anything from Legacy Farm; the owners farm their crops using shumei, a spiritual-based Japanese technique of growing and eating food.

Charlottesville City Market

100 Water St. E.

The go-to market downtown has been around almost 45 years, and is packed with more than 100 vendors every Saturday. Want to compost, but have nowhere to put a pile? The market also has a compost and recycling program to keep C’ville green.

The details: Open Saturdays from 7am-noon, April through November.

Pro tip: The market’s downtown location draws a crowd, so get there early and stay awhile.

Don’t miss: Homemade, authentic Korean kimchi from new vendor Sussex Farms.

Farmers in the Park

300 Meade Ave.

As a smaller cousin of the Charlottesville City Market, Farmers in Meade Park doesn’t skimp on its selection of homegrown eats.

The details: Open Wednesdays from 3-7pm, May through September.

Pro tip: The market has a niche selection of only food and produce, so if you’re looking for your next salad mix or local, ethically raised meats, this is the place.

Don’t miss: Bear Bottom Farm’s pork products, such as breakfast sausage or in-house smoked bacon.

Forest Lakes Farmers Market

1706-1710 Ashwood Blvd.

Vendors new and old come out to the market to sell everything from fruits and veggies to wine and freshly squeezed lemonade. There’s a bi-weekly $10 coupon giveaway drawing, so you have a chance to save at the next market.

The details: Open Tuesdays from 4-7pm., April through October.

Pro tip: It’s located in the Forest Lakes South neighborhood and features typical farmers market fare.

Don’t miss: Mexican tacos; try the spicy chorizo, with both the corn tortilla and spicy meat made from scratch.

Albemarle Farmers Market

340 Towncenter Ln.

This new market featuring 16 to 20 vendors each Saturday opened in May at Hollymead Town Center. Its diverse mix of artisans, farmers and freshly prepared foods will keep the summer bountiful.

The details: Open Saturdays from 8:30am-1pm, May through September.

Pro tip: There’s plenty of free parking, so no need to get there extra early to nab a spot.

Don’t miss: Liberty Mills Farm; not only is its produce noteworthy, but the farm is also home to the largest corn maze in Virginia.

Crozet Farmers Market

1156 Crozet Ave., Crozet

Held in the parking lot of the Crozet United Methodist Church, this market also gives back to the community by donating vendor fees to the church’s food pantry.

The details: Open Saturdays from 8am-noon, May through mid-October.

Pro tip: Piedmont Master Gardeners volunteer every other Saturday, and answer questions about raising produce and dealing with pests.

Don’t miss: Everything needed for a backyard barbecue can be found at the market, from sweet corn to tomatoes and summer squash.

Earlysville Farmers Market

4133 Earlysville Rd.

Get out of town at the Earlysville Farmers Market and peruse its selection of dedicated, diverse vendors. Look for eggs, honey and peaches this summer.

The details: Open Thursdays 4-7pm, April through November. Winter Market is open Saturdays 10am-2pm, November through March.

Pro tip: Cell service is spotty, so make sure you have plenty of cash on-hand because vendors can’t swipe your plastic.

Don’t miss: There are new vendors almost every week, so stop by brand-new stands for sweet and savory surprises.

Fluvanna Farmers Market at Pleasant Grove

1730 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy., Palmyra

With a bright array of freshly cut flowers and picked produce, the Fluvanna Farmers Market does not skimp on pleasant offerings. Pleasant Grove is also on the National Historic Registry, so bring along a local history buff.

The details: Open Tuesdays 2-6pm; Saturdays 9am-1pm

Pro tip: Be sure that products are farm fresh; there’s no resale allowed at the market.

Don’t miss: Blueberry-infused honey from Mountain Dream Farm. Enough said.

Madison Farmers Market

1110 Fairground Rd., Madison, Virginia

This community-oriented marketplace has the usual market fare, but also offers gardening classes, occasional live folk music and a special sampling of vendors’ products once a month. Stop by in August for a taste-test of local roasted sweet corn.

The details: Open Saturdays from 8am to noon May through October.

Pro tip: Beat the heat under the venue’s large oak trees and bring a blanket to join the conversation at this weekly community hangout.

Don’t miss: Homemade scones from Radiant Springs Farm, but get there early—they often sell out by 10 am.

Mineral Farmers Market

81 Louisa Ave., Mineral, Virginia

Head to downtown Mineral to pick up your weekly veggies and then check out a selection of crafts. The market doesn’t skimp on fun—it occasionally holds pizza parties and cookouts. The Curbside Mini Market hosts vendors at the same location, selling produce, pies, jams, eggs and honey.

The details: Mini Market open Tuesdays from 5 to 7 pm June through August; regular market open Saturdays 8am to 1pm. 

Pro tip: You can bring your fur baby to the market; the entire space is dog-friendly with water bowls and room for plenty of playtime.

Don’t miss: Janey Gioiosa’s sweet and fresh fruit pies are fan favorites.

Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative

3079 Rockfish Valley Hwy., Nellysford

It’s been 20 years since the Nelson Farmers Market was officially founded, but its core values remain the same in the hands of local farmers. The for-profit organization provides a safe, legal place to sell high-quality produce.  

The details: Open Saturdays 8am to noon, May through October, 

Pro tip: The market is under tents in Nellysford, so it’s open rain or shine (live music included).

Don’t miss: Check out Renaissance woman Katherine Herman at Gathered Threads. She sells everything from produce, teas and spice mixes, to natural skincare and fermented products such as kimchi and kraut.

Community Market at Rockfish Valley Community Center

190 Rockfish School Ln., Afton

This market in Afton is non-traditional in that there are no hours during the summer months. But, beginning in November, stop in for live music, local produce, meats and plenty of crafts from local painters, potters and more.

The details: Open the first Saturdays of February, March, April, November and December, from 9am to noon.

Pro tip: Look forward to cozy pancake breakfasts during the market’s season.

Don’t miss: Internationally-acclaimed cheese from Caromont Farms, such as the Farmstead Chevre.

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