Farmers Market Seasonal Opening at St. Stephen’sPosted: May 5, 2011
This Saturday, May 7, starting at 8 a.m., one of my new favorite rituals reopens. Begun three springs ago, the St. Stephen’s Farmers Market has rapidly become a Saturday morning gathering place for the neighborhood and beyond. The Farmers Market sets up in the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church back parking lot at the corner of Grove Avenue and Three Chopt Road in Richmond’s near West End and draws farmers and other vendors from Central Virginia as well as the beach and the Shenandoah Valley.
Ever since reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/) and See You in a Hundred Years: Discover One Young Family’s Search for a Simpler Life . . . Four Seasons of Living in the Year 1900 by Logan Ward (http://www.loganward.com/index.html) over the last couple of years, I have been obsessed with buying the freshest local products available, including local colored eggs. Having grown up a uniform-size, white egg only girl, I find the individuality of each colored egg so beautiful. One farmer at the Market informed me that, when you purchase eggs fresh from the chicken, they do not even need to be refrigerated. That’s how our ancestors did it. While not a locavore in the Kingsolver sense of the word ( I don’t think that my family could go even a week without bananas), I delight in the opportunity to buy and learn from the local farmers who are so in touch with the land.
The St. Stephen’s Farmer’s Market is the perfect place to do this. The vendors (see latest list http://www.saintstephensrichmond.net/templates/System/details.asp?id=47922&PID=744134) love to talk and often have cooking suggestions for their products. A party atmosphere truly fills the air as a live band often plays while the visitors shop, talk, eat, drink coffee and catch up with friends and neighbors. As stated on its website, the Market seeks to connect our choices about the foods we buy and eat to our call to be stewards of God’s creation, as we build community and support local farmers. . . . Its goals include:
- connecting God’s call to environmental stewardship to the foods we eat, stewardship of resources, and reducing the carbon footprint of what we eat;
- building community by providing the city of Richmond and our local neighborhood with a healthy way to gather and connect with each other on a regular basis;
- educating patrons with practical ways to maintain the connection with the sources of their food; and
- helping fill the growing demand for fresh, locally grown and prepared foods in Richmond.
This Saturday’s opening will have even more of a festive atmosphere as St. Stephen’s celebrates its Centennial with a May Fair put on by the Women of St. Stephens. “The fair will include a Bake Sale, a Country Store, a Children’s Carnival, a Craft Booth, a Plant Sale, and Billie Wills, renowned silhouette artist!” http://www.saintstephensrichmond.net/fair. Plus there will be gorgeous flower arrangements spread throughout the Church that are being created by some of the Church’s most talented women.
Every Saturday morning from May to October 8 a.m. until noon is a great time to visit the St. Stephen’s Farmers Market, but this Saturday morning will be even better. Hope that you can join this Avad Fan early to find the best local goods for your family to use and enjoy and to celebrate God’s bounty.
Top pic from Avad Fan; other two from http://www.saintstephensrichmond.net/templates/System/details.asp?id=47922&PID=744134.