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Market managers want you to buy local

We have entered the season of farmers market openings. You’ve been reading here each week about which markets are set to open. In addition, many of our area farm stands, pick-your-own berry patches and CSA operations are getting started for the year.

That makes it a good time to highlight something that has been a big topic of discussion among area farmers market managers and others in the local food economy.

Earlier this year, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued what it called a $10 Buy Local Challenge to promote Virginia produce and other goods. VDACS officials estimate that if each household in Virginia spent just $10 a week on locally grown agricultural products, consumers would put an additional $1.65 billion back into the local economy each year.

The managers of the Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and King George markets have been promoting this challenge through their web site. You can even sign a buy-local pledge online here.

If you’re looking for a farmers market where you can spend these dollars, check out this guide. For a wider guide to farms and pick-your-own operations in our area, check out the Buy Fresh Buy Local Fredericksburg group’s food guide. You can download it here.