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Madigan, Vance Co. Regional Farmers Market Manager, Reflects on 2018 Season

With only three Saturdays remaining before the Vance County Regional Farmers Market (VCRFM) wraps its 2018 season, Market Manager Tracy Madigan urges customers to stock up on fall produce – such as sweet potatoes, collards and greens – while they still can.

The market will close after 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 8th and will remain closed until mid-April of 2019. Rental of the VCRFM is available all year long and is particularly popular during the holiday season.

According to Madigan, it has been a great year for vendors and produce variety. “We had a really good year as far as increasing the number of vendors,” said Madigan. “That has provided more variety and greater quantities of produce.”

In addition to produce, Madigan said the number of regular craft vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to candles has increased, along with the offering of baked goods.

Madigan reported that the customer count has remained steady at 9,000 – 10,000 visitors despite a surge in numbers during the peak summer season. This year’s pattern of inclement weather, especially during the spring and fall months, may have contributed to the customer stagnation.

“It has been a really strange year for the farmers weather-wise as well, but they have still come through with a lot of good produce and variety,” Madigan said.

Another draw to the market this season includes recent landscaping improvements courtesy the Cooperative Extension-based Master Gardeners.

“The Master Gardeners came into a grassy area around the market that previously flooded all of the time and made walkways and benches. Now it’s a nice area to enjoy and get some ideas of plants and flowers for your own yard,” said Madigan.

The addition of Gavin’s Grub Hub, a food truck operated by owner Gavin Jackson, is also bringing visitors in. “Gavin is a huge draw,” Madigan said. “Anytime we advertise that he’s coming, people show up to get their breakfast, brunch or lunch and are always pleased. He has also catered several events for the market.”

Of course, the best feedback comes directly from the mouths of visitors. “We get feedback all of the time from people who say they enjoy it and have made friends. It’s a relaxed, fun and local environment. I truly appreciate the patronage and support from the community,” Madigan said.

Madigan is pleased with the progress VCRFM has made over the years and said she can see its reach extending. “It is a regional market. The first two or three years it was mostly Vance and Granville county patrons; we are getting more visitors from Warren and Franklin now.”

In the future, Madigan would love to see VCRFM become a full-time operation. “I wish we could get someone full-time and get enough customers to run it six or seven days a week. That would really make it an alternative to fast food and grocery stores.”

For additional information on renting the VCRFM for your next event, please contact the Vance County Cooperative Extension Center at (252) 438-8188.

This Weekend is Your Last Chance to Shop VCRFM Before Thanksgiving!

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

This Saturday’s market will be your last opportunity to purchase locally grown fresh produce to enhance your Thanksgiving feast! Saturday is also our annual Handcrafted Holiday Market, so you will find lots of unique gifts, decorations and goodies for the holidays as well!

Our local farmers will have a variety of fall produce including apples, beef, beets, butter beans, butternut squash, cabbage, collards, eggs, eggplant, fresh herbs, mixed greens, mustard greens, onions, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes.

You will also find baked goods, local wines, canned vegetables, chow-chow, sauces, jams, preserves, honey and molasses.

Don’t forget to add a couple of bottles of wine to your shopping list to enjoy with your turkey and fixings or as gifts for special friends!

Meet and mingle with your friends and neighbors in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere while you shop. Be sure to ask the vendors about their produce and products and leave knowing you have purchased the freshest foods and most unique crafts our area has to offer.

The Vance County Regional Farmers Market is located at 210 Southpark Dr. off of Beckford Dr. and is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. through December 8, 2018.

Contacts:

Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814

Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188

**VCRFM accepts and welcomes SNAP/EBT**

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Don’t Miss VCRFM’s Handcrafted Holiday Market – Sat. Nov. 17

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

The Vance County Regional Farmers Market Handcrafted Holiday Market will be held Saturday, November 17, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. The annual event will feature some of the area’s best craftsmen, artists, bakers and farmers.In addition to fantastic fresh fall produce, meats, eggs, local honey, jams, jellies, sauces, baked goods and plants, there will be 25 craft vendors with one-of-a-kind handmade items. Find the perfect gift for that special someone, or even yourself! Peruse the vast array of unique handmade crafts including knitwear, glassware, pottery, candles, soaps, wines, wreaths, woodcrafts, jewelry, original artwork and much more.

Grab breakfast, brunch or lunch during your visit at Gavin’s Grub Hub. Chef Gavin Jackson will be serving a number of delicious meal choices to suit any palate.

Check out the array of delectable desserts entered in The Daily Dispatch’s Taste of Tri-County Dessert Contest. Entries will be on display in the farmers market classroom. The judging will be from noon to 1:00 p.m.

The fall produce season is in full swing with a variety of fresh, locally grown produce available. Apples, beef, beets, butter beans, butternut squash, cabbage, collards, eggs, eggplant, fresh herbs, mixed greens, mustard greens, onions, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes, are just a few of the tasty foods you will find at the market.

Fill your pantry with baked goods, local wines, canned vegetables, chow-chow, sauces, jams and preserves, honey and molasses.

Meet and mingle with your friends and neighbors in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere while you shop. Be sure to ask the vendors about their produce and products and leave knowing you have purchased the freshest foods and most unique crafts our area has to offer.

The Vance County Regional Farmers Market is located at 210 Southpark Dr. off of Beckford Dr. and is open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. through December 8, 2018.

Contacts: 
Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814
Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188
(This is not a paid advertisement)

Go With the ‘Flo’ – Vance Co. Farmers Market Will be Open This Sat.

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

Looks like we may have dodged the wrath of Florence. Based on the forecasts for our area, it appears it will be safe for us to open this Saturday. Hopefully, our power will be on and we will be operating BAS – Business As Usual. (Check our FaceBook page Saturday morning to be sure). This means it will be the perfect opportunity for you to get out and shop for fresh local produce, meats, eggs and unique crafts. (By Saturday morning you will probably be going stir-crazy cooped up inside, so come on out and visit with us awhile.). Though it may be a bit windy and rainy, remember, our farmers market is enclosed so you will stay dry and comfortable while you shop. See you at the VCRFM on Saturday!

What You Will Find at the Market This Week

Apples, beets, butter beans, collards, cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, herbs, kale, lettuce, mixed greens, mustard greens, okra, onions, peaches, peppers, pork, potatoes, peas (crowder and purple hull), squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes (green, red and heirloom), turnips, & zucchini. You may even find watermelon!

We also have plenty of canned vegetables, honey, molasses, salsa, chow-chow, BBQ sauces, jellies, jams, soaps, bath salts, scented candles, jewelry, cupcakes and unique handmade crafts.

Anticipated Vendors – September 15

Adcock Farm 
Donation Station
Eclectic Peacock
Jerri’s Things
JW Creek Farms
LouMag Ent.

Pretty Tough Stuff
Short’s Family Farms

Vann’s Jams & Produce
Winter Soap Co.
Woodwick Designs
and perhaps a few more 
Contacts:

Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814

Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188

VCRFM open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 210 South Park Dr., Henderson

VCRFM Welcomes SNAP/EBT

The Farmers Market building is available for rent. Contact Annette Roberson, Vance County Cooperative Extension Center, 252-438-8188 for pricing and available dates.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Begin Your Labor Day Weekend at the Vance Co. Regional Farmers Market

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

This Labor Day, take time to remember your local farmers by shopping at your VCRFM. Along with hunters and gatherers, farmers were the original laborers.

We are experiencing challenging times in American agriculture. However, our local farmers have stayed strong and resilient. That’s why, as we gather with family and friends to mark Labor Day, it couldn’t be a more appropriate time to say “Thank You” to the folks who provide affordable, abundant, and safe foods for us.

It takes hard work to plant seeds, care for crops and raise livestock. It takes hard work to harvest our food. It takes hard work to pack it, transport it, display it and sell it at your farmers market. Every day, our farmers get these jobs done well, and their commitment benefits us all.

Love getting local fresh honey at your VCRFM? Did you think there’s “no real maintenance involved” in caring for beehives? Think again. Owning a colony is a huge responsibility. Safely transferring a queen and her family into a hive, protecting them from environmental dangers, and bottling an appropriate amount of honey from them is serious and often hard work.

Your VCRFM also offers unique, one-of-a-kind crafts from handmade soaps, cloths, towels, candles and clothing to wreaths, jewelry, woodcrafts, canned and baked goods. All of which took hard work and skill from local artisans.

So, as you begin your Labor Day weekend, stop by the VCRFM and pick up the items you need for your celebration. Whether you’re cooking hamburgers or steaks, ribs or roasts, you’ll find it at the farmers market along with your favorite fresh veggies and fruits. Grab a bite from Gavin’s Grub Hub for breakfast (or lunch) and some craft items to decorate your table.

This Labor Day, please join me in taking this chance to support your local VCRFM vendors and remember the hard work of folks who provide food and crafts for our community.

What You Will Find at the Market This Week:

Beets, butter beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, mixed greens, onions, peaches, pork, potatoes, peas, squash, tomatoes (green, red & heirloom), turnips and watermelon.We also have plenty of canned vegetables, honey, molasses, salsa, chow-chow, BBQ sauces, jellies, jams, soaps, bath salts, scented candles, cupcakes and unique handmade crafts.

Anticipated Vendors – September 1, 2018:

Cakes Delish
Culver Farms Honey

Donation Station
Gavin’s Grub Hub
Imperial Stitching
JASM Farms
Jerri’s Things
JW Creek Farms
LouMag Ent.

Short’s Family Farms
Winter Soap Co.
Woodwick Designs
Contacts:

Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814

Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188

VCRFM open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

VCRFM Welcomes SNAP/EBT

The Farmers Market building is available for rent. Contact Annette Roberson, Vance County Cooperative Extension Center, 252-438-8188 for pricing and available dates.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Vance Co. Regional Farmers Market Transitioning to Fall & Winter Crops

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

The Vance County Regional Farmers Market (VCRFM) is beginning to transition from summer produce to our fall and winter crops. While you will still find mouthwatering peaches, watermelons and cantaloupes, you will also begin to see turnips, mixed greens, and winter squashes – such as the cushaw squash –  showing up at the market.

The cushaw squash is not one that is readily found in the grocery store but is now available at your VCRFM. They are hard to miss with their vibrant green stripes and large size. This squash is extremely versatile with several delicious ways to use it!

The cushaw squash, also known as the Japanese pie pumpkin, cushaw pumpkin, and silver-seed gourd, is a species of winter squash originally from the south of Mexico. This annual herbaceous plant is cultivated in the Americas for its nutritional value; its flowers, shoots, and fruits are all harvested.

It is a large (sometimes up to 20 pounds) squash with a characteristic green and white striped pattern. It has a mildly sweet taste and behaves like a pumpkin or delicata squash when it is cooked. It is high in vitamins C and A, which make it excellent for your immune system.

The flowers are orange or yellow and bloom in July or August. The plant grows about 1 foot high and spreads 10–15 feet. It likes well-drained soil and has both male and female flowers.

It also has medicinal properties. The flesh of the squash may be used for burns and eczema.

The cushaw squash is easy to grow, resistant to pests, easy to store, versatile to cook with, good for you, inexpensive, and yummy! It preserves so well, you can enjoy cushaw all year long.

Perhaps the easiest way to use a cushaw squash (or any winter squash really) is to simply roast it in the oven. Any desired spices can be used and you can customize this however you’d like. Make big batches of roasted squashes and other vegetables on the weekend and have in the fridge to add to soups, casseroles, or other meals on busy nights.

Pick up a cushaw, cooking instructions, and sample recipes at your VCRFM this week!

What You Will Find at the Market This Week:

Beets, butter beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, garlic, green beans, mixed greens, onions, peaches, pork, potatoes, peas, squash, tomatoes (green, red & heirloom), turnips and watermelon. We also have plenty of canned vegetables, honey, molasses, salsa, chow-chow, BBQ sauces, jellies, jams, soaps, bath salts, scented candles, cupcakes and unique handmade crafts.

Anticipated Vendors – August 25, 2018

Adcock Farm
Culver Farms Honey
Donation Station
The Eclectic Peacock
Gavin’s Grub Hub
Imperial Stitching
JW Creek Farms
LouMag Ent.
Material Blessings
Pretty Tough Stuff Jewelry
Short’s Family Farms
Winter Soap Co.

Contacts:

Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814

Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188

VCRFM open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

VCRFM Welcomes SNAP/EBT

The Farmers Market building is available for rent. Contact Annette Roberson, Vance County Cooperative Extension Center, 252-438-8188 for pricing and available dates.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Lots of Good ‘Grub’ at the Vance Co. Regional Farmers Market This Weekend

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

Spend a relaxing morning shopping for fresh fruits and veggies at your Vance County Regional Farmers Market this Saturday – and don’t worry about fixing breakfast. We have it all ready for you. Gavin’s Grub Hub is back at the market this Saturday.

Not an early riser on the weekend? No worries. Gavin’s also has a selection of brunch/lunch items to choose from that will please any palate.

Gavin’s menu varies weekly, but you may find quiches with farmers market vegetables or ham and swiss cheese; buttermilk biscuits with sausage, egg, cheese or ham; sweet potato biscuits with your choice of fillers. Perhaps you want to try the Shrimp and Grits – sauteed jumbo shrimp with aromatic vegetables and country ham simmered in a rich pan gravy.

You may find fried green tomatoes, brined and breaded, then fried until golden brown. Delish! Of course, you will need a side of tater tots – russet or sweet potato.  Or maybe you’d prefer the french fry cut, chef dusted fried pickles. Like the fried green tomatoes, they come with your choice of ranch dipping sauce or Grub Hub sauce.

Gavin’s Grub Hub is also known for their mouthwatering sliders – beef & ham, BLTs, chicken salad, and tuna salad sandwiches. You may even find crab cake entrees with Gavin’s Grub Hub special sauce. Then there is always the chicken & waffle platter smothered in rich maple syrup or local honey.

So, are you hungry, yet? Well, come join us Wednesdays and Saturdays and stock up on the freshest, local, in-season fruits and veggies. Grab some Grub Hub chow, relax and visit with friends while you enjoy your meal, and feel good about purchasing delicious, nutritious, fresh local produce from your VCRFM.

What You Will Find at the Market This Week

Apples, beef, beets, butter beans, canary melons, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, garlic, green beans, onions, okra, peaches, peppers, pork, potatoes, purple hull & crowder peas, tomatoes (green, red & heirloom) and watermelon.

We also have plenty of canned vegetables, honey, molasses, salsa, chow-chow, bbq sauces, herbs, jellies, jams, soaps, bath salts, scented candles, cut sunflowers, cupcakes and unique jewelry and handmade crafts.

Anticipated Vendors – Saturday, August 18, 2018

Adcock Farm

Culver Farms Honey

Donation Station

Faulkner Family Farms

Imperial Stitching

JASM Farms

JW Creek Farms

LouMag Ent.

Material Blessings

Pretty Tough Stuff Jewelry

Short’s Family Farms

Contacts:

Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814

Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188

VCRFM open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

VCRFM Welcomes SNAP/EBT

The Farmers Market building is available for rent. Contact Annette Roberson, Vance County Cooperative Extension Center, 252-438-8188 for pricing and available dates.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Celebrate National Farmers Week at Vance Co. Regional Farmers Market

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

The 2018 National Farmers Market Week 2018 is August 5 – 11. This week would be a great opportunity to get out in the community, learn more about your local farmers and produce and go home with delicious goodies for the family. Shopping your Vance County Regional Farmers Market (VCRFM) offers many benefits for individuals and the community.

Farmers markets support local economies by eliminating the “middle man” and allowing more benefits to the farmer, preserving farmland and rural livelihood. Shopping at your VCRFM also allows you to engage with other community members and learn more about where your food is coming from and the farmers who are growing it.

Saving money is another benefit of farmers markets. Since the farmers are able to sell their products directly to the consumer, prices are often lower. The VCRFM also accepts EBT/SNAP transactions for fresh produce, thus increasing the availability of fresh food for low-income families.

The produce at the VCRFM comes from local farms, guaranteeing you receive the freshest in-season produce. In-season produce is higher in nutrients and often better tasting as it is picked at the peak of freshness.

Try choosing something unique each trip to the VCRFM. Get your children involved and try a new type of produce each week.

Get to know your farmers — strike up a conversation with vendors and learn more about them. For example: Where is their farm? Do they grow organic? What is their favorite way to prepare their produce?

Plan your meals around your trip — search for recipes that allow you to implement the different foods from your trip in a different way. Your VCRFM also has seasonal recipes available for you to try.

Enjoy the weather – rain or shine (we are an indoor facility), snatch up some delicious food and support your local farmers’ markets for National Farmers Market Week.

* Excerpts taken from 8/1/18 article by Rachel Werner, registered dietitian at SSM Health/St. Mary’s

 

What You Will Find at the Market This Week – Saturday, August 4, 2018:

Apples, beets, blackberries, blueberries, butter beans, canary melons, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, garlic, green beans, onions, okra, peaches, pork, potatoes, purple hull & crowder peas, squash, tomatoes (green, red & heirloom), watermelon and zucchini.

We also have plenty of canned vegetables, honey, molasses, salsa, chow-chow, bbq sauces, jellies, jams, soaps, bath salts, scented candles, cut sunflowers, cupcakes and unique handmade crafts.

Anticipated Vendors – Saturday, August 4, 2018:

Adcock Farm

Cakes Delish

Culver Farms Honey

Donation Station

Faulkner Family Farms

Glover Gifts & Crafts

Jerri’s Things

LouMag Ent.

Material Blessings

Pretty Little Cakes

Pretty Tough Stuff Jewelry

Short’s Family Farms

Woodwick Designs

Contacts:

Market Manager: Tracy Madigan @ 252-598-0814

Extension Agent: Paul McKenzie @ 252-438-8188

VCRFM open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

VCRFM Welcomes SNAP/EBT

The Farmers Market building is available for rent. Contact Annette Roberson, Vance County Cooperative Extension Center, 252-438-8188 for pricing and available dates.

 

Farmers Market Site of Second Thurs. Food Distribution, Aug. 9

-Information courtesy Betty Boyd

The Second Thursday Food Distribution will be held at the Vance County Regional Farmers Market off Beckford Drive, Henderson, on Thursday, August 9, 2018, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

This is a partnership of St. James Missionary Baptist Church and First Baptist Church offered to supplement the food resources of Vance County citizens. Recipients remain in their vehicle. No identification is required.

Contact Betty Boyd at 252-432-3967 if you would like to volunteer or have questions.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Beat Summer Boredom and Bring the Kids to the Farmers Market!

-Information courtesy Tracy Madigan, Market Manager, Vance County Regional Farmers Market

Bring the Kids!

Have the kids become bored during their summer break yet? Need something to entertain them? Bring them to the Vance County Regional Farmers Market this week for a fun family outing.

The VCRFM provides you with wholesome, healthy food while you support our local community. Children are naturally curious. By meeting the farmers that actually grow the food you take home to eat, your children can ask all about where the food came from and how it was grown.

There is a huge disconnect between most Americans and their food. We’ve stopped asking where it came from or how it was raised. Bringing your kids to the farmers market lets them see what’s being grown locally and encourages them to become healthy eaters.

What You Will Find at the Market This Week

Beets, blueberries, butter beans, cantaloupes, corn, cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, garlic, green beans, onions, peaches, pork, potatoes, squash, tomatoes (green, red & heirloom), watermelon and zucchini.

We also have plenty of canned vegetables, honey, molasses, salsa, chow-chow, bbq sauces, jellies, jams, wine, soaps, bath salts, scented candles, cut sunflowers, cupcakes and unique handmade crafts.

Anticipated Vendors – Saturday, July 21:

Adcock Farm

Backroad Farm & Vineyard

Cakes Delish

Culver Farms Honey

Donation Station

Faulkner Family Farms

Glover Gifts & Crafts

Honeyberry Hills Farm

Imperial Stitching

JASM Farms

JW Creek Farms

LouMag Ent.

Master Gardeners

O’Relly’s Curry Q & Sauce

Short’s Family Farms

Woodwick Designs

VCRFM is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 210 Southpark Drive, Henderson. SNAP/EBT accepted and welcomed.

Contact Market Manager Tracy Madigan at 252-598-0814 or Extension Agent  Paul McKenzie at 252-438-8188 with questions or for more information.

(This is not a paid advertisement)