Shepherdstown Farmers Market to remain open this winter
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Shepherdstown Farmers Market has become a seasonal staple in the community, with over a thousand Shepherdstown residents and visitors coming out to shop at there, during the busiest Sundays of the summer.
This past week, Shepherdstown Farmers Market announced a change to its regular schedule, of opening every Sunday behind the Shepherdstown Public Library, from mid-March through Christmas. According to organizer Natalie Friend, of Tudor Hill Farm, the market will now be running all year long.
“We definitely thought our customers would like it,” Friend said, mentioning her customers have indicated their interest in the market’s extended season. “I’m a little bit nervous, but I do think it will be successful. We’ve been talking it up, and our customers have been excited.”
This Sunday, 14 of the market’s 19 regular vendors will be inside of the War Memorial Building, selling everything from produce, to meat, to honey.
“It’s going to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every-other-Sunday, starting on Jan. 5,” Friend said, mentioning the biweekly market will give the vendors time to relax from the stress of the regular market schedule.
“We kind of need a break, you know, because for many of us, we don’t have help all the time,” Friend said, mentioning that the vendors are running their booths from set-up to tear-down, during the regular season. “We may hire someone else to help us at our stand, but we’re usually always there, as well.”
According to Friend, holding the market throughout the winter will give the sellers more financial stability.
“Any time you do seasonal business, your cash flow in the off-season gets a little tricky. So this will lessen the burden for our farmers and merchants,” Friend said.
Since most plants depend upon a specific length-of-day structure to grow, Friend said the produce customers will find at the winter market may be different from what they’re accustomed to buying during the warmer months.
“A lot of us operate out of high tunnels, and so we have the greens, especially, to sell. There’ll be a wide variety of greens – kale, spinach, beets, maybe some radishes. It’s nice that we can bring the fresh produce from our high tunnels into winter,” Friend said, mentioning the high tunnels can extend plants’ growing season. “We’ll also have wintered-over produce – butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and apples. All of the wintered over produce has already been harvested, but has been stored. And then we have the products that are made year-round, like the goat cheese and the meat and the honey.”
According to Friend the Shepherdstown Farmers Market is her favorite market to sell at, because of the faithfulness of local customers.
“I’m hoping our loyal and wonderful customers will come out and help us,” Friend said. “I definitely hope it catches on.”
The 14 winter market vendors will be: Tudor Hill Farms, Rivas Salsa, The Cottage of Herbs, Megan Webber Flowers, Rooster Dirt Farm, Cultured Leaf Kombucha, Green Gate Farm, Farmer’s Daughter Butcher, Cutler Tigh Farm, Shade’s Farm, Appalachian Chocolate, Shepherd’s Whey Creamery, Stone Hearth Bakery and Town & Country Nursery.