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Apr 22, 2011 06:05 AM

Best farmers markets in the mid-atlantic region?

I'm realizing that my hobby is visiting great farmers markets to see what's local and delicious. I'm looking for great ones within day or weekend trip range of the DC area for road trips this summer.

Tell me about any noteworthy FMs in the area, please. Farmstands or cool local markets are fair game!

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  1. Here's a couple that you can try.

    In Virginia Beach, there's a farmer's market at the corner of Princess Anne Rd. and Dam Neck Rd. It's been there for a long time, and is fairly large with many different little shops. Go on a Friday night during the warmer months, and you'll be in for a musical treat. In the parking lot, many groups of musicians form impromptu groups. Most play bluegrass or country music, but it is fun just to walk around and listen to the music while shopping at the markets..

    When I lived in Waynesboro, VA in 2008, there was a farmer's market that formed once a week downtown. It was not a typical farmer's market in what was offered, but it was genuine. They had organic meats, honey, flowers, etc. Nearby close to the Krogers, there was a produce market with fresh fruits and vegitables. I don't know if they still do all of this, but it's worth you investigating it online.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodjack

      Thank you, exactly the type of local intel I was seeking!

    2. not sure if it is the BEST but the Sunday morning Baltimore Farmers Market is great

      1 Reply
      1. re: dining with doc

        Thanks for the reminder. I've heard it is good and have never been.

      2. toss this at the PA board -- I'd wager State College has something fantastic. (go cow college!) Pittsburgh's bound to have some nice stuff too. [I use CSA, sorry, can't be more specific, but I know where the farming geeks live.]

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chowrin

          Great idea, thanks. I have to go up that way for drop off/pickup at a baseball camp this summer anyway. I use a CSA too so this urge to visit more markets really addiction.

          1. re: tcamp

            ya need to get some GoldRush apples. That's worth a trip to PA. And we sell sour cherries around here (from Michigan, but FRESH!).

        2. Check out Charlottesville. Only 2 or so hours away and the Saturday morning city market has over 100 vendors. There's produce, meat, cheese, crafts, wine, popsicles, tacos, bread/baked good, saltenas, samosas, pickles etc etc. Its insane. A little overwhelming, actually. But definitely something to revolve a day trip around. Its twice the size of any market I've been to in the DC suburbs.

          I'd happily list some of the best vendors if you decide to head down there.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CoconutMilk

            Wow, I may have to plan a day trip for this from Richmond! Sounds fun.

            1. re: CoconutMilk

              Thanks, that sounds trip-worthy. Hey, coconut, have you seen Babes in the Woods forest foraging pork at that market? They came briefly all the way up to Alexandria but stopped several years ago. The owner was very nice and I think from down Charlottesville way. I still dream about some pork chops I bought from him.

              Please do list some of your favorite vendors. I have a big birthday coming up and am thinking about insisting upon a road trip (to markets) with spouse and kids. Or maybe solo would be more fun...

              1. re: tcamp

                Yes, Babes in the Woods is at the Cville City Market. I buy from them on occasion. Good stuff.

                My favorite veggie vendors are Radical Roots, Waterpenny, Whisper Hill, Appalachia, and Broadhead Mountain...although there are many others. All of the fruit vendors seem pretty comparable. The sheep's milk cheese from Everona Dairy is superb and the samples are plentiful (and the two nameless vendors next to him-- a woman with some produce and a woman who sells a ciabatta-like bread-- are also great).

                Most of the prepared foods are overpriced and underwhelming. Most of the scones, treats, cookies and what not are skippable. There's a popsicle guy that has cool flavors with local fruit. Very good but not cheap. "Jam According to Daniel" is pretty much the best jam I've ever had, but its also not cheap (sample them all-- some are too sweet but some are nice and tart-sweet, which is what I prefer). The taco stand is crowded but is just ok (there are much better tacos down the street from the market at a place called La Michoacana).

                If you come down to cville and your into markets and local stuff you might as well check out Feast as well-- its a speciality foods store that, while ridiculously overpriced, does have good local cheeses, lots of cool salumi, and usually a good selection of free samples.

                1. re: Littleman

                  Haha. I'm well aware of that list. I was going to direct the OP to that as well but its not up to date at all. There are many, many vendors not listed in it.

              2. Lancaster, PA farmers market. It's quite a production, but well worth the trip.