Farmville's Community Marketplace Opens On Saturday

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FARMVILLE — The Farmville Community Marketplace will spring into action Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its 213 North Street home adjacent to High Bridge Trail.

Until the end of October, Saturdays will see a variety of homegrown, home-baked and homemade items on sale at the Town of Farmville’s farmers market facility.

The marketplace’s manager, Rodney Lewis, is hoping area residents will come by and socialize, visit and shop.

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And though the growing season has hardly begun to grow, he expects greens, herbs, spring onions and berries will be available, along with locally-grown meat products, such as grass-fed beef, free range pork, goat, chicken and rabbit

There will also be fresh eggs, dairy products, including cheese, yogurt and the opportunity to secure local milk by purchasing cowherd shares.

They will be joined by baked goods, local jams and jellies, bedding plants, shrubbery and flowers, along with arts and crafts, including artwork by Timothy Wallace of Dillwyn, who’ll have his work on display—prints and framed pieces. Wallace will be joined by local wood carver/artist Pablo Paluskza.

“We are excited about the 2015 season, as vendor interest has been high,” Lewis told The Herald via email on Monday. “We have vendors from Buckingham, Prince Edward, Lunenburg and Charlotte Counties participating. This is our second year and the market will have more vendors and local produce, meats and crafts available.”

The palpable enthusiasm has been evident since Lewis was named by the Town to manage the market.

“I’m excited about the market. I’m excited about the opportunity to do this. It’s gonna go,” he told The Herald after his winter hiring. “It’s something the Town of Farmville and the citizens are going to be proud of.”

Horticulturist John Hines, from Whispering Pines Nursery will also be on hand with seasonal nursery bushes and plants and will answer gardening questions.

Anyone wishing to participate as a vendor can call the Town Office at 392-5686.

The fee is $5 per Saturday, or one can purchase a season-long spot for every Saturday for $60. Other deals are also available.

The one thing the Town doesn’t want is for the Farmville Community Marketplace to turn into a big yard sale.

“The Town of Farmville is pretty solid on the idea that they don’t want yard sale items there,” Lewis noted.

Nor is the Town promoting it as a Farmers Market, even though signs on the building declare it as such.

“The mission is the Farmville Community Marketplace, that’s going to be important,” Lewis emphasized. “It’s not the Farmers Market. We’ve been calling it the Farmers Market for years. It’s the Farmville Community Marketplace and that’s how it’s going to be promoted this year, even though the sign says Farmers Market.”

The Town is promoting a multi-faceted facility that showcases the community by providing a venue for outdoor events, including a farmers market, a multi-dealer open market, festivals, reunions and weddings.

Lewis and the Town will be working with a focused budget this year that will see specific advertising, week to week, so that residents will know what’s going.

In an email to The Herald this month, Lewis underscored that “buying local helps grow and strengthen our communities.”

And it is important, he said, “that citizens who desire fresh local produce, meats, dairy, eggs and other farm items, as well as local crafts and art, have a safe, clean shopping area within downtown Farmville in which to shop.”