Today's post is much different than any I've done before, but I'm really excited about it! I am constantly learning and being educated whenever I can, and a course I watched from CreativeLive a couple months ago sparked the idea for this blog post, along with a few others. It was all about being helpful to people - not just by taking pictures, but providing resources to those in your area.
It was incredibly frustrating to me when I first got the desire to buy local meat, eggs, and produce that I could not find a good, solid list of farmer's markets in Hampton Roads. I wanted to see their hours, where they were, and what they sold. After a few months of searching for the list, I'm simply going to write my own! I have not been to every single farmer's market in the area, but I can tell you a few places to go and why you should visit. So, in no particular order, here are some of the best farmer's markets in Hampton Roads.
Williamsburg Farmer's Market
Hours: Saturdays (April-October); 8am-noon (seasonal hours available)
This farmer's market is so much fun to visit. Everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - brings their dogs out, so if you have a furry friend then this is the perfect place. The market shuts down a few streets in Williamsburg while it is open, and there is a ton of variety. They have produce, meat, eggs, baked goods, and even a few flower shops. It's perfect for spending a few hours browsing around, and then finding somewhere fun for lunch afterwards.
Smithfield Farmer's Market
Hours: Saturdays (April-October); 9am-noon
For this one, I'd recommend going later in the season. There are a lot of knick-knack type shops (handmade soaps, wool products, etc.) and the produce/meat doesn't come in until later. But come late May and early June, there is a pretty decent variety of meat, eggs, and produce. It's also fun to visit downtown Smithfield if you get a chance. I'd say this isn't worth driving far out of your way for, but definitely worth dropping by if you can.
Carrollton Farmer's Market
Hours: Wednesdays (mid-June-August); 3-6pm
This is technically part of the Smithfield Farmer's Market, but it's closest to my house so it deserves an honorable mention. It's a much smaller market, but a great choice for mid-week shopping trips for produce especially.
Yorktown Market Days
Hours: Saturdays (May-December); 9am-1pm or later
This is the only market on this list I haven't actually visited, so I asked a few friends for their advice. They said it's good with plenty of nearby parking, but there is a pretty high amount of knick-knack type vendors (if you're into that!). Overall it's great for the location if that's where you live, but not necessarily the best one on the Peninsula. The biggest advantage is the fact that it's open a little later and a lot longer than the other markets.
Game's Farmer's Market (Hampton)
Hours: Daily; 7am-7pm
I don't technically consider this a farmer's market since it has canned goods and an established facility, but it is open year round. They have all kinds of produce, groceries, and great options for buying meat in bulk. The big downside is that their products are often not local or organic.
5 Points Community Farm Market (Norfolk)
Hours: Thursday & Fridays 11am-7pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm; Sundays 10am-3pm
This is a recent gem I discovered! I love this place because it is open year round and it DOES have local and organic produce, meat, eggs, and anything else you could want. They also have dried goods like rice and beans in bulk, and even a little cafe that you can visit for lunch (and fresh-made cookies for dessert!). There is a CSA program that we plan to take advantage of if we ever live closer to it, and produce is 20% off on Sundays.
Virginia Beach Farmer's Market
Hours: Daily; 8:30am-5pm (some vendors are seasonal only)
Another win for a year-round farmer's market! They are well established in a building and have not only a lot of produce, but probably the most 'other' goods as well (soaps, art, etc.). If you visit keep in mind there are a ton of vendors, so visit a few before making any purchases. They also have live music on Friday nights during the summer, which is a lot of fun if you can visit. It's definitely worth a trip if you live near Virginia Beach or are visiting sometime soon!
Hours: Daily from 7:30am-6:30pm or later
An honorable mention for a farmer's market that is not quite in Hampton Roads, but it is on the way to the Outer Banks. They have tons of seasonal produce along with local jams, jellies, and more. I wouldn't count on getting great meat here, but it is definitely a great place to visit on your way to or from your Nags Head vacation! They are also year-round, and have online ordering for certain products.
Tell me: did I miss any that should be on this list? What is your favorite farmer's market where you live?