Stafford County Sun: Vegetables abounded, flowers were in bloom and honey was there for choosing.
The first North Stafford Farmers Market also featured specialty breads and farm-raised lamb cuts.
Market manager Vanessa Griffin was very happy with the turnout.
“It was extremely successful and everyone seemed very happy,” she said about the market at Stafford Hospital on Sunday morning.
Rough estimates are that some 1,500 area residents dropped by during the four hours the market was open.
Stacey Petoskey of North Stafford navigated vendor’s stands in search of produce and plants.
“It’s better than the grocery store,” she said. “It’s healthier and good for the economy.”
Dee O’Baker, also of North Stafford, loaded up on some squash and zucchini that tumbled out of produce baskets at the C&T Produce stand.
O’Baker said she is planning to come back next week.
“It is so close and convenient,” she said.
Mary Winnett, of North Stafford, said she really came for the lettuce but is interested in all the natural foods. Hand-carved wooden spoons by Sy Jarvis of Fredericksburg also caught here eye.
Griffin said that so many people come out the vendors had to use supplies they had reserved for other markets later in the week to meet the demand on Sunday. She said that sales topped $10,000 during the five hours of sales.
Kristyn Hoy and her 6-year-old son Owen were making the rounds of the local vendors, getting honey, veggies and coffee.
“It’s great to see local vendors,” Hoy said, noting that she liked the local-to-table concept.
“And we say some of our neighbors here,” she added.
Stafford County’s Agricultural Committee approved the market for 20 vendors for this season, Griffin wrote in an email, but if attendance numbers continue to be high she will request additional vendor spots.
“I would like to bring in a few elements that we do not currently have at the market,” she said, “and there have been multiple Stafford County vendors that I have had to turn away.”
Homes for Heroes had a table, becoming the first nonprofit using the market to get their services out into the community, Griffin said. “One of the members of Homes for Heroes told me that he, himself, spoke to 60 or 70 individuals about how to assist veterans and other heroes with purchasing a home,” she said.
“As word spreads and more people are able to come to the market, I think there will be a huge boost in the county’s quality of life and community spirit,” Griffin said.
The farmers market is expected to be open through October in the hospital parking lot.