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RICHMOND—Governor Northam announced today the opening of a weekly farmers market on Capitol Square as part of the OnTheSquareVA state employee engagement initiative.
Each week, more than 15 vendors from across Central Virginia will offer a mix of fresh and prepared foods, local goods, and fresh flowers and plants. The market begins June 22 and will be located at the corner of Bank and Grace Streets every Friday from 11 AM to 1 PM through September.
Farmers markets are an important part of Virginia’s local food system, delivering healthy eating options for consumers by providing access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and often serving as an economic and social bridge between Virginia’s urban and rural comminutes.
Virginia farmers markets have experienced dramatic growth in the last few years. Today, there are nearly 250 farmers markets across the Commonwealth with 3,500 farmers selling directly to the public.
“The agricultural sector is at the heart of Virginia’s economy, and the growing demand for locally-sourced ingredients has bolstered local investment and revitalization efforts in many parts of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “This market will play an important role in bringing fresh, Virginia-grown products to workers and visitors in the area, and allow our farm operators and agribusinesses sell their goods to those who live, work and visit Virginia’s capital.”
“The OntheSquare Farmers Market will provide a new venue for local farmers to sell their products,” said First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam. “State employees and the general public will have the opportunity to purchase local food that is not only healthy, but environmentally sustainable.”
“Farmers markets are an integral component of Virginia agriculture, the Commonwealth’s number one private industry,” saidSecretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Establishing the OnTheSquareVA Farmers Market will bring in-season, Virginia-grown products to Capitol Square and give state employees an opportunity to interact with local farmers from the Central Virginia region.”
“We started the OnTheSquareVA initiative this spring as a way to promote healthy activities for state employees, and the addition of a weekly farmers market helps further that goal,” said Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner. “The market will provide another opportunity not only for state employees, but also the public to get moving and enjoying Capitol Square.”
RVAg will have a Market Information Booth where shoppers may redeem SNAP/EBT vouchers.
Vendors for the opening market June 22 include:
Other activities taking place during the market opening include a cooking demonstration with seasonal vegetables provided by Edible Education and a performance by local folk artist Gerry Laverty. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host a welcome tent to support the launch of the new market.
For information about farmers markets located throughout Virginia, please visit www.VirginiaGrown.com to search by county, zip code or product. For more information on the OnTheSquareVA initiative, please visit OnTheSquareVA.virginia.gov.
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