By Chelsea Moore | Photos courtesy of Cindy Pearson
Along with warm weather and longer days, comes market season! The Middleburg Community Farmers Market begins May 6 and will run every Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon, rain or shine, through Oct. 28. It is located at the gravel parking lot behind the Middleburg Community Center.
As the economic development coordinator for Middleburg, Cindy Pearson has overseen the Middleburg Farmers Market for the past 11 years. So, she has watched the market grow and change over more than a decade. While this season has fewer vendors than previous years, she noted that the vendors attending are “very strong.”
“The market is a great place to purchase local produce and support our local vendors,” Pearson said.
Returning vendors include C. Hess Orchard and Produce, Over the Grass Farm, Aqua Heirloom LLC and Cobbler View Farm LLC. New this year are MTO Kombucha, Frog Stitches, Eloise’s Pastries and The Heirloom Bakery. Frog Stitches sells handmade quilted items; Eloise’s Pastries offers a rotational selection of baked goods, including whoopee pies, quiche slices and cinnamon rolls; MTO Kombucha has a selection of 19 flavored kombuchas (blueberry kombucha, anyone?); and Cobbler View Farm offers produce, jams, pickles, dried teas and hops-flavored candy. The market will also continue to offer local honey, grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range eggs and a variety of local produce through its vendors.
Pearson recommends that visitors walk through the market, talk to each of the vendors, and listen to their stories, as they are often fascinating.
In addition to food, the market offers an “artist tent,” designed to showcase the work of potters, photographers and artists. Featured artists are eligible to showcase their work twice per season. Since the market draws many visitors, Pearson noted that the artist tent is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to take souvenirs home. The artist tent is offered weekly, and a nonprofit tent is available as well, but must be scheduled in advance.
This year’s market has two longtime Middleburg residents as new on-site market managers, Paul Eden, who works for South Riding Nurseries in Bristow, and his wife, Sandy Steele. The couple will be on-site every Saturday to answer questions and offer information about events in Middleburg.
Sally Bolton, the owner of Middleburg’s Corner Garden, started the market in 1994. She began with a few local farmers and grew the market into what it is today. Although she retired several years ago, “her legacy lives on through the market,” said Pearson.
While some aspects of the venue have changed over the years, others have remained the same. C. Hess Orchard has been a vendor since the market’s inception and continues serving fresh produce, jellies and pickled foods at the market today. The market still offers local goods and serves as an opportunity for the community to get to know their farmers and bakers.
During the 2017 market season, the Middleburg Community Farmers Market plans to offer a handful of special events, including the fire department visiting to interact with adults and children. Dogs are always welcome at the market, but must be on a leash.
Vendor applications are still open!
To apply, contact Cindy Pearson at [email protected] or