For the past several years, area residents have visited the Catawba Valley Farmers Market (CVFM) beginning in early May, in time for Mothers Day shopping. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CVFM will not open until at least June 10, although this date is subject to change. CVFM is sponsored by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center; therefore, the market is following Virginia Tech’s safety guidelines regarding the pandemic. CVFM will open as soon as it is deemed safe to do so, for vendors and customers alike.
In the meantime, vendors are still producing vegetable and flower plants, hanging baskets, baked goods and crafts. Some of the vendors are selling their products in other locations, including from roadside stands at their homes. Here is information on those vendors:
- Hillside Plants & Produce – opening May 1; Dean, Laura and Jeff Bower, Fincastle, (540) 537-2840. The Bower family will be selling their vegetable plants, hanging baskets, decorative planters and other flowers from their greenhouse and high tunnel hoophouse located just outside of Fincastle. They will be open only on Fridays from 3-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m, beginning May 1. Call for directions, plant varieties, etc. No calls on Sundays or after 9 p.m.
- Flower Haven – open now; Lindsey Sowers (540) 598-2047 or Kristy Sowers (540) 598-1784; no calls on Sunday. The Sowers mother and daughter team is selling hanging baskets, vegetable and flower plants and baked goods from their home/greenhouse in North Roanoke County. Some delivery may be available. At this time, they have these flower varieties – impatients, petunias, calibrachoa superbells, verbena, ephorbia diamond snow, hydrangeas, dahlias, feathertop ornamental grass, lavender, marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias. They have hanging baskets, pots, planters, 4-packs and 6-packs, not all varieties are available in all sizes. Vegetable plants include tomatoes, squash, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, cantaloupe and watermelon.
Baked goods include fresh apple cake, cream cheese pound cake, chocolate chip pound cake, angel food cake – whole or halves. Cookies include peanut butter chocolate chip, preacher, molasses and peanut butter – by the dozen. Call for directions, business hours, availability of plants, or to place your order for baked goods, etc.
- Meg Hibbert, The Cookie Lady, (540) 354-8616. Meg has her baked goods at the Salem Farmers Market, for pickup only, on Saturdays between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Call or message her by 7 p.m. on Thursday to place an order. Salem Farmers Market is operating on Place Order – Pickup Only basis, no browsing or shopping allowed. Payment is by credit or debit card only. Items available – blueberry muffins, cinnamon pecan rolls, sourdough rolls, dark chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin cookies.
- Wanza Spradlin, e-mail email@example.com; WanZa’s Treasures on Facebook. See Wanza’s facebook page for examples of her many paintings on canvas and painted wooden pieces. Contact her by e-mail for more information.
- Hall’s Gardens, opening soon; Pam and Steve Hall, (540) 580-1533 (Pam), (540) 580-1313 (Steve). The Halls expect to have lettuces, radishes, onions and greens ready around the middle of May. They will be selling from their home on Rt. 311 in Catawba. Call and leave a message, they will get back to you.
- Pam and Frank Garman, Walnut Hill Farm, Catawba. Opening soon. (540) 312-7037, (540) 384-5009, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Garmans are not open yet. Check for their opening date to purchase their grass-fed beef and pork products.
Buying from the individual vendors through these “new” methods will not only enable them to continue their businesses but will assure consumers of getting foods and products that have been touched by very few hands. Also, the open-air markets and farm stands are considered to be safer shopping venues than crowded stores.
Updates on the vendors and on their products may be found on the Catawba Farmers Market Facebook page and on the website (catawbafarmersmarket.com).