Did you know Lynchburg’s Community Market is the third oldest farmer’s market in the United States? It was started in 1783 making this year its 230th! While the market is open year round, now that the weather is heating up it is time to check it out if you haven’t already as seasonal fruits and vegetables are now becoming available. The full Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm and on Saturday’s from 7am to 2pm but the community market is open on a smaller scale Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7am to 2pm. You can find the Community Market on Main Street in Lynchburg.
Typical farmers markets may have a few fruit stands, a couple of meat and cheese vendors, and perhaps some bakeries contributing to the market open only during the warm months of the year. Lynchburg residents are lucky in that they have access to this market year round and can enjoy food from a number of restaurants and various art and craft vendors in addition to the typical farmers market fare.
Shopping at your local farmers market provides benefits to farmers, communities, and consumers alike. For farmers, the general costs of getting their product to the customer is reduced due to less time transporting, handling, refrigerating, etc and therefore the farmers and producers enjoy greater profits. The consumers then benefit by enjoying fresher, healthier foods and products. Shopping at your local farmers market also provides benefits to communities by promoting greater social interaction for its residents and bringing in greater foot traffic to surrounding businesses.
While Lynchburg has enjoyed its farmers market for over 200 years and counting, the rest of the country is just starting to catch up! As Americans have become more concerned about the origins of the foods they eat and the way in which their food is produced, farmers markets having been popping up to provide consumers with fresher, local products. Twenty years ago, there were just about 1,750 farmers markets throughout the country. That number has skyrocketed to over 5,000 in 2009. New York City alone has over one hundred markets and Los Angeles has just under ninety.
If you find yourself with a day off during the week, stop in to Lynchburg’s Community Market as vendors tend to be less busy these days or if you are looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, check out the market when it is bustling!