I just received a press release about a new farmer’s market opening in Richmond at the William Byrd Community House in Oregon Hill. It will be open in the evenings, making it much easier to shop their for working folks than the current market at 17th st. which closes at 2 p.m.
And, of course, like every new business these days, they’ve got their own blog: www.byrdhousemarket.blogspot.com
However, there’s absolutely no mention of collaboration or partnership with the existing farmer’s market- they even describe the opportunity to meet the farmers as “unique,” which it clearly isn’t. While I’m thrilled (actually I’m ridiculously excited about this) to have expanded options to buy local produce- I hope this doesn’t create problems for the 17th St. Market or their vendors.
Here’s the press release in full:
The Byrd House Market Hatches May 1st
Richmond’s Newest Farmers Market offers Fresh and Local Produce, Arts & Crafts
and lots of Homemade Fun Every Tuesday , 3:30-7 pm!
RICHMOND, VA The Byrd House Market invites families, neighbors and friends across the Richmond region to celebrate the area’s newest farmers market on Tuesday afternoon, May 1 st from 3:30-7 pm. Located at the William Byrd Community House in Oregon Hill, the Byrd House Market is open every Tuesday afternoon through the end of October and provides Richmonders access to an ever changing array of fresh and local seasonal produce including fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, tea and coffee, breads, pastries, flowers, plants, and handmade arts and crafts – and the unique chance to meet the producers themselves. The public is invited to the Market’s Opening Day to rejoice in all the beautiful and fresh produce that the region has to offer, together with homegrown music by local musicians, kid’s arts and crafts activities, and the chance to win a bounteous market basket.
Organized by the Farmers Market Advisory Council (FMAC) in partnership with the William Byrd Community House (WBCH), the Byrd House Market provides selling space each week for area growers, producers, crafters and artists, in order to increase the economic and social vitality, livability and sustainability of the Richmond area. The Market’s weekly evening hours make the Farmers Market experience especially accessible to working individuals and families. The new market will be complemented by tastings, talks, tours, live music throughout the season. “William Byrd Community House is excited about this new opportunity to expand our interaction with the residents of the Oregon Hill, Randolph and Maymont neighborhoods as we join together to create a fresh and healthy environment for children, families and older adults,” says Reggie Gordon, WBCH Executive Director.
In a creative approach to broaden Richmond’s access to local and fresh foods, the Market invites youth programs, community gardeners and even the smallest of backyard growers to try their hand as market vendors. William Byrd Community House youth as well as members from the adjacent Grace Arents Community Garden will participate as gardening and market entrepreneurs, and will sell some of their products later in the season at the Market. These youth and community gardeners will serve as a pilot project to encourage youth and budding community gardens to bring additional and much needed local foods to area Farmers’ Markets.
Sally Brown, FMAC chair adds “We are doubly thrilled to be able to coordinate this with a community garden to help promote self-sufficiency and eating “fresh and local” products. Together, the Byrd House Market and the Grace Arents Community Garden provide programs that allow children as well as adults to experience the steps from seed-to-market and enable all participants to have a better understanding of what they eat. This collaboration of the William Byrd Community House, Farmers’ Market Advisory Council and community members engages our whole neighborhood and hopefully becomes a model for other communities.”
The project partners in conjunction with horticulturist John Wise, have also developed an Urban Gardening Gurus program, to help create a knowledgeable group of volunteers to serve as volunteer staff for the Byrd House Market and to help support the Grace Arents Community Garden. The classes are held at the William Byrd Community House library each Wednesday from 9AM to noon through May 30 th and are free and open to the public.
The start up of the Byrd House Market is made possible through a grant to the William Byrd Community House (WBCH) in partnership with the Farmers’ Market Advisory Council (FMAC). The grant is one of ten projects supported by Project For Public Spaces’ (PPS) highly competitive initiative to diversify farmers’ markets nationwide. Undertaken in partnership with the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), the grants are part of a three-year, $3 million grant-making program, which began in 2005 and is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The number of farmers markets across the United States has doubled in the last decade to an estimated 4,300, selling products ranging from local produce to meat and dairy to crafts.
About the Byrd House Market: The Byrd House Market is open every Tuesday, May through October, 3:30 to 7 pm, Rain or Shine. Free Parking. The Market is located behind William Byrd Community House, at the corner of South Linden Street and Idlewood Avenue and is easy to get to from the Belvidere Street Exit off the Downtown Expressway/I-195.
Byrd House Market | 224 South Cherry Street | Richmond, VA 23220 | phone: 804-643-2717, ext Byrd House Market