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FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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It’s market time

Area farmers markets are poised to open (if they haven’t already) very soon.

These markets are a great Saturday outing, and you can find more and more of the items on your grocery list while you’re there. In addition to fruits and vegetables, many also offer meats, baked goods, cheeses, honey, soaps and a variety of plants for the home and garden.

Farmers markets are a great way to teach kids about the seasons, like how it takes a whole summer’s worth of sunshine to grow a big juicy watermelon.

After the jump are listings and start dates for all of our area markets, but first, here are a few additional resources to help you take advantage of the local markets.

Here is an interactive map listing many of the markets in our region and beyond. Are you a produce seller or market manager with a market to add to this map? If so, e-mail me and let me know.

The three largest markets in our area–Fredericksburg, King George and Spotsylvania, have teamed up this year to offer new services and better marketing. find their joint website here.

Check back here all season for updates on the markets, recipes and tips on what’s in season and more information on local growers.

And here are your listings:

Culpeper Farmers Market

Where: East Davis Street parking lot in downtown Culpeper

Open: Saturdays starting April 30 – Nov. 19, 7:30 a.m. to noon

What: Goods must be home-grown or hand-made within a 75-mile radius. Market

manager visits farms to verify.

Fredericksburg City Farmers Market

Where: Hurkamp Park, at Prince Edward and George streets

Open: 7 AM – 4 PM, Monday through Saturday; 12:30PM to 4:00PM, Sunday; managed season began April 1.

What: 75 percent of goods must come from within a 75-mile radius of the market; 25 percent may come from elsewhere in the USA, but must be pre-approved and clearly labeled.

Eastern Orange County Farmers Market

Where: Locust Grove Town Center, intersection of State Routes 20 and 611

Open: Sundays, starting May 1 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What: Goods must be grown or produced within 100 miles of Orange County, in Virginia; site visits required of all vendors.

*Market is still looking for vendors, contact Manager Andy Fraser at haredom@juno.com if interested.

Orange County Farmers Market

Where: On Short Street, next to the train station in downtown Orange

Open: Saturdays starting May 7, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What: Goods must be grown or made in Virginia.

Mineral Farmers Market

Where: 81 Louisa Ave. in Mineral, across from the Little League field

Open: Saturdays, starting May 7; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What: Home-grown produce and goods including alpaca wool, goats’ milk soap and hand-churned ice cream.

Bowling Green Community Farmers Market

Where: Front lawn of Union First Market Bank, on Main Street in downtown Bowling Green

Open: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon; opening date still to be determined, but could be as early as April 30.

What: Goods must be grown or produced within a 75-mile radius of Bowling Green.

Spotsylvania Courthouse Farmers Market

Where: Spotsylvania Courthouse Village

Open: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting April 23.

What: Goods must be grown or produced within a 100-mile radius, in Virginia.

Spotsylvania Five-Mile Fork Farmers Market

Where: Commuter lot at State Route 3 and Gordon Road

Open: Saturdays, starting April 23, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What: Goods must be grown or produced within a 100-mile radius, in Virginia.

King George County Farmers Market

Where: King George Elementary School, at the intersection of state routes 3 and 205

Open: Saturdays starting April 30, 8 a.m. to noon

What: Goods must be grown or produced within King George County; site visits required of vendors

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