By Nathan Ham
The Boone Winter Farmers’ Market has returned for a fifth year with 19 vendors and loads of fresh meats, vegetables, eggs as well as baked goods, crafts and much more.
“Customers are excited about the variety of products. This year we have a number of new vendors offering everything from value-added things like sauerkraut and pickles to hot food from F.A.R.M. Café. It’s exciting to see the growth of the winter market,” said Dave Walker, who is the Development Director with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.
The winter market operates each Saturday, December through April, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Agricultural Center, located at 252 Poplar Grove Road in downtown Boone.
Vendors and customers are required to wear masks. Proper social distancing protocols are also being met by spreading out the vendors throughout the Agricultural Center’s parking lot, inside the conference center and warehouse. No more than 50 people are allowed inside the indoor portion of the farmers’ market.
“Customers really appreciate how farmers’ markets can be a socially distanced way to get fresh vegetables. In the wintertime, that is hard to do in the mountains but a lot of farmers have invested in season extension infrastructure on their farms. Things like greenhouses allow them to grow vegetables year-round. You can buy most of your groceries from the winter farmers’ market,” Walker said.
As a reminder, the winter farmers’ market will be offering the Double Up Food Bucks program for customers that are receiving SNAP benefits from the state. All customers have to do is to bring their SNAP/EBT card, W.I.C. or Senior FMNP vouchers to the manager’s booth and tell them how much they would like to spend and then the customer will receive double the amount in tokens for market shopping.
According to Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, families have doubled $21,900 to purchase local food at the winter and summer farmers’ markets over the last year.
2020-2021 Winter Farmers’ Market Vendors
* Information for vendors can be found here.
Mountain Memories Farm
BRF Beef Inc.
High Country Clay
Black Birch Her-Pothecary
Mountain Flowers Hemp
Against the Grain Farm
Mountain Roots Farm
Randy Ouzts Floral Design
Sunshine Cove Farm (First and third week)
Carringer Farm (First and third week)
A Berry Patch Farm (First and third week)
F.A.R.M. Café (Second and fourth week)
Fermenti Foods (Second and fourth week)
Sweet Dreams Patisserie (Second and fourth week)
Devorah Chocolate (fill-in vendor)
Shady Grove Gardens (fill-in vendor)
Community Well Chocolate (fill-in vendor)
Pictures from this Saturday’s market: