ABINGDON, Va. — As many as 51 vendors will sell their wares when the Abingdon Farmers Market opens for the regular season Saturday.
Greens, mushrooms, butternut squash, potatoes, jewelry, face masks and paintings will be among a large variety of items for sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Remsburg Drive and Cummings Street.
The Tuesday market opens 3-6 p.m. April 6.
For eight of the past nine years, the Abingdon market has received the Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia award for Farmers Market for Southwest Virginia, something David McLeish, manager of the market, hopes will continue to attract more new customers.
McLeish said he anticipates another busy season, offering a safe environment for consumers who prefer to shop in an outdoor setting during the pandemic.
COVID-19 regulations will continue to be observed, requiring all vendors and customers to wear face masks unless customers are exempt due to medical conditions.
For the safety of visitors, no dogs are allowed at the Abingdon Farmers Market, except for service dogs.
Preordering is still a popular way to shop at the market. Ordering ahead is simply done by visiting www.facebook.com/groups/AbingdonFarmersMarketDirect and messaging vendors on their posts.
“Our vendors update posts every week,” said McLeish.
After customers select online the items they want to purchase, the vendors set aside those items for pick up at the market. If requested, items can be brought directly to the customers in the parking lot across from the market.
Hogging the business
Tyler Leonard and his wife, Courtney, are full-time vendors excited about the upcoming season at the Abingdon market.
The Bristol, Virginia vendors will bring bratwurst, sausage patties, pork roasts, sliced pork belly and boneless pork chops on opening day. In addition, they will sell ground beef, various beef roasts and steaks.
The young couple has raised hogs for five years. They also keep cattle on pasture during the warmer months. The husband said growing up around farm animals has made this an ideal supplement to his construction business, TL Builders.
In addition to specializing in pasture-raised pork and beef, the small family farm offers weaned piglets and whole hogs. The Yorkshire and Hampshire cross sows are bred to Duroc boars, producing a three-way cross for the piglets.
The high school sweethearts started their journey as farmers in 2011, later adding two daughters, Evie and Emmie, to the family.
The couple started their farm in 2016, raising just a few pigs on pasture to sell meat at the local farmers market. During the past four years, they have expanded the operation to include a herd of 25 old line breeding sows.
“Our goal was to be able to raise our own piglets as well as provide surrounding farms and individuals with quality pigs to grow for themselves,” he said. “In the spring of 2020, we expanded again when we purchased our first herd of beef cattle. We are now happy to offer our customers pasture-raised pork and beef as well.”
Meet the Leonard family at the Abingdon Farmers Market or go online at www.worshamspringfarm.com to arrange preorders.
Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at email@example.com.