VERONA — Local markets are celebrating National Farmers Market Week with live music, food trucks, food demonstrations and more. The North Augusta Farmers Market celebrated on Wednesday and Waynesboro will do so this weekend.
National Farmers Market Week runs Aug. 4-10.
“Farmers markets play a vital role in forming healthy, local food systems,” Jen Cheek, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition, said in a press release. The coalition is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets across the United States.
“By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers,” she said. “Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture, sharing recipes, and exposing them to new foods. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”
Project GROWS, a nonprofit with a mission to improve the health of children and youth in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County through garden-based education and access to healthy food, runs the local farmers markets.
Musicians Jerry Kelly and the Lowa Brothers performed while shoppers visited the different vendors on Wednesday at the North Augusta Farmers Market. There were 13 vendors selling items from tomatoes to honey. Katelyn Barker, family nutrition intern from Virginia Tech, made fresh garden wraps as a food demonstration.
In Waynesboro, the celebration will be on Saturday. There will be live music, food trucks, food demonstrations, games, children’s activities and a raffle. The event will be at the farmers market from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the pavilion in Constitution Park.
The Waynesboro market has 15 farmers selling products including mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, duck eggs, chicken, beef, lamb, corn, flowers, baked goods, peaches, honey and more.
The market has grown this year.
“We are spilling outside of the pavilion with vendors and our customers couldn’t be more thrilled,” Megan Townley, Project GROWS Food Access Coordinator, said. “Our market is not only a place where you can get your local produce, but it is a place where you can meet your farmers, establish relationships and build a sense of community.”
The Waynesboro Farmers Market is open every Saturday until the last Saturday in September. The North Augusta Farmers Market is open every Wednesday until the last one in October.
Both Markets accept and double SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits and WIC/Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Vouchers. If a SNAP participant puts $10 on their EBT card they get $20 to spend at the market. This year Project GROWS has given out over $2,000 to SNAP participants to spend on local foods.