Summertime means fresh produce such as melons, sweet corn, tomatoes and cucumbers.
“Summer is farmers market season for sure,” said Tracy Frey, executive director of the Williamsburg Farmers Market. “Throughout the season we have over 85 different varieties of produce at the market.”
Pick up these and other items at any one of the area’s local farmers markets
Williamsburg Farmers Market
Saturday mornings Merchants Square comes to life with vendors and visitors filling the street.
“It’s like a little village inside a shopping center,” Frey said. “All of a sudden there’s 40-50 additional businesses setting up to greet customers.”
One reason Frey said the market is a good place to visit in the summertime is it generally has a wider variety of produce than the grocery store.
“And its all grown by the people selling it, so of course, you can ask them questions,” Frey said.
“So if you see a patty pan squash, if you’ve never had one it might look a little like an alien ship, but when you ask the farmer how they make it 'll give you tips, like sauteing it in olive oil and cutting it thin.”
The Williamsburg Farmers Market is 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, at Merchants Square, 402 W. Duke of Gloucester St.
A short trip down the Colonial Parkway will bring you to the Yorktown Farmers Market.
Kevin Ritchie, the entertainment coordinator with Yorktown Market Days, said on an average week there are anywhere from 30-35 vendors.
“The customers can enjoy a great benefit of what they’re buying is made by hand, or a secret recipe, a family-run farm,” Ritchie said.
“So Yorktown we not only have the benefit of beautiful on the historic York River, but we also have the local products that the farmers bring to the customer.”
The market’s hours are 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Yorktown Riverwalk Landing, 331 Water St.
Toano Farmers Market
Up in Toano a farmers market operates under a wooden structure next to the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department, open seven days a week.
“It’s someplace where you can sell your vegetables to the community where you have a good traffic flow,” said Bill Apperson, spokesman for the department. “You can pull up there and open up the tailgate of your truck and stay as long as you want to. You don’t have to call ahead … all you have to do is sell what you raise or buy from a farmer.”
The market runs on an honor system according to Apperson, with sellers giving 10% of their profits, up to $25, to the fire department.
The farmers market is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week next to the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department, 3135 Forge Road.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.