2013 PRESS RELEASES
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July 26, 2013
CELEBRATE VIRGINIA FARMERS’ MARKET WEEK AUGUST 4 – 10, 2013
~ Markets have grown by more than 160 percent since 2006 ~
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686
Farmers’ markets in Virginia continue to grow in popularity, from 88 markets in 2006 to more than 230 markets this year. How many other segments of the economy have seen growth of more than 160 percent in just seven years?
There’s a reason for this dramatic growth: farmers’ markets fill a need in today’s community. They provide consumers with ready access to high quality, locally grown farm products that are fresh and nutritious. They are good for the economy, giving farmers opportunities to sell directly to the public and keeping those dollars within the local area. And they are improving community health by bringing diverse groups of people together through a shared social space. Add to that cooking classes, special events, art contests and children’s activities and it’s no wonder that new markets are opening all the time.
For all of these reasons and more, Governor Bob McDonnell has recognized the week of August 4 – 10, 2013, as Farmers’ Market Week in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) offers these suggestions for ways that Virginia consumers can celebrate Farmers’ Market Week:
- Buy an unusual fruit or vegetable and ask the farmer about its nutritional benefits and how to prepare it.
- Give your children a few dollars and encourage them to buy their favorite vegetable for dinner and let them help prepare it.
- Ask a farmer how he or she grows a specific plant and what part he harvests: the root, the leaves, the stem, the part hanging from the vine, etc.
- Have a potluck neighborhood dinner where everyone brings a dish or two from products bought that day at a local farmers’ market. Up the ante by asking everyone to bring one item from the market to decorate the tables. Give prizes for the most unusual dish, the best-tasting dessert or the most creative decoration.
- Sign up for the $10 a Week Pledge, or continue to fill your punch card. Find out how you can take the Pledge at your local market and fill it in for a chance to win a Virginia Grown/Virginia Finest prize package worth $250.
The continuing growth of Virginia farmers’ markets helps maintain agriculture as the Commonwealth’s number one industry with an economic impact of $52 billion annually and 357,000 jobs to its credit. The markets also help sustain Virginia’s working farms that provide green and open spaces and help preserve the high quality of life enjoyed by Virginians.