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OPINION: Abingdon Farmers Market brings healthful produce, other foods even in winter

OPINION: Abingdon Farmers Market brings healthful produce, other foods even in winter

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There’s something comforting about knowing that in the middle of the winter and a tiresome pandemic, the Abingdon Farmers Market is still offering fresh produce and other food items from local farmers.

The market opened Jan. 2 on its winter schedule and will operate from 10 a.m. until noon on the first and third Saturdays of the month through March 20, before the regular season opens in April, according to a story by Carolyn R. Wilson in the Washington County News.

Of course, many of our summer seasonal favorites won’t be available, but the story noted that “root vegetables, greens, meats and baked and canned goods” are among the items offered at the market, at the corner of Remsburg Drive and Cummings Street in downtown Abingdon.

Fresh vegetables provide some healthful food choices, and it’s nice to know that we can still find some of them available direct from area farms to market even when there’s snow on the ground.

The operators of the farmers market also stress the safety of shopping in their open-air environment as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage. Social distancing protocols are in effect, of course, and the promoters point out that local goods sold at a farmers market go through fewer hands on their way to our dining tables.

About 20 vendors were on hand for the kickoff of the winter market, the story noted, but more are expected to participate, and more produce is promised. That includes hydroponically produced lettuce and tomatoes from Pop’s Veggie Basket in Rural Retreat.

There’s also spinach, Asian greens, carrots, walnuts, dried cowpeas and shiitake mushrooms from the Moyer Family Farm in Castlewood, as well as ground beef, bratwurst and chorizo from his grass-fed beef. Ashley Young sells parsnips, carrots, turnips, mustard and spinach.

Fresh-ground cornmeal from White’s Mill, as well as lamb’s meat, are sold by Abingdon’s Grandview Farm, and The Balkan Bakery offers traditional European baked goods, including baklava and assorted breads.

Even if you’re not up to going to the Abingdon Farmers Market during the limited summer hours, the market offers a way to order online at the market’s Facebook page, which notes:

“Simply join https://www.facebook.com/groups/AbingdonFarmersMarketDirect on Facebook and place your order by commenting on the producer’s weekly posts.

“You will then be able to pick up orders weekly at Berry Home Centers (parking lot), 1090 Ole Berry Lane, Abingdon, VA, or at the vendors’ designated pickup spot at a designated time.”

The bottom line is that by helping yourself to healthful fresh produce and other foods from farmers within a 50-mile radius of Abingdon, you’ll also be helping to keep those farms going by buying local.

It’s a winning combination for all of us.

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