The Catawba Valley Farmers Market (CVFM) plans to open on June 11, a bit later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New hours for the 2020 season are from 3- 6:30 p.m.
The market area won’t look the same as in previous years, as market staff is doing everything possible to maximize the safety of market staff, vendors and customers. Consumers will still find locally produced foods that have been touched by only a few hands and not trucked across the country.
CVFM will operate under protocols developed by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These include but are not limited to the following: do not enter if sick, keep six feet between people, no pets allowed, do not touch surfaces or products, do not linger, one-way foot traffic in the market area, one entrance and one exit, use of hand sanitizer, maximum of 10 customers at a time, customers should remain in their vehicle until notified that there is room to enter the market. Customers are encouraged to wear face coverings. The Community Center will remain closed, but the port-o-john located in the parking lot will be available for use by customers and vendors. Hand sanitizer will be located throughout the market area and table surfaces will be sanitized on a regular schedule.
Under present guidelines for Farmers Markets, no crafts are allowed. Vendors will be limited to those selling food and horticultural products or other handcrafted products critical for hygiene and sanitation, such as handmade soaps and face masks.
Local vendors planning to be present on opening day include Alice Ricucci of Bear Tree Farm, (540) 309-8573, selling eggs, baked goods and face masks; Kristy and Lindsey Sowers of Flower Haven, (540) 598-1784, selling plants, produce and baked goods; Meg Hibbert, The Cookie Lady, (540) 354-8616, selling baked goods; Pam Garman of Walnut Hill Farm, (540) 312-7037, selling grass-fed beef, sausage, bacon, fatback; the Bower family with Hillside Plants and Produce, (540) 537-2840, selling produce, garden plants, flower plants; Steve and Pam Hall of Hall Gardens, (540) 580-1313, selling produce, homemade granola; Linda Brunk, (540) 312-5951, selling baked goods including angel food cakes and homemade noodles; and Elliott and Laura Muncey of Caldwell Mountain Kettle Corn, (540) 339-2981, with kettle corn.
These vendors have been selling their goods at their roadside stands and at other venues while waiting for CVFM to open, and customers can still purchase vendor’s products in this fashion. More information on the vendors, their locations, etc., may be found on the CVFM Facebook page.
The Catawba Valley Farmers Market is located under the picnic shelter at the Catawba Community Center, 4965 Catawba Creek Road (Rt. 779), in Catawba.
CVFM is a collaborative project of the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center, County of Roanoke, Catawba Valley Ruritan Club and the Catawba community.
For more information on the market, contact Ann G. Harrell, manager, at (540) 765-8750, via the Facebook page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CVFM’s website (catawbafarmersmarket.com) and the Facebook page will be updated frequently, to keep consumers informed of any changes in the operating guidelines, products available at the market, etc.