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Two new farmers markets open, and it’s National Farmers Market Week

Mayfield resident Tracey Barahona (left) picks up produce with help from Andrea Alvarez at the new farmers market. / Photo by Robert A. Martin

It seems fitting that the area is seeing two new Thursday afternoon markets this summer, since this week specifically is recognized as National Farmers Market Week.

The Department of Agriculture made the declaration last month to celebrate farmers, and raise awareness of farmers markets, during the week of Aug. 4-11. Find more information about how people across the country are celebrating on the Farmers Market Coalition website..

Through the end of September, the Mayfield market will be open 3-6 p.m. Thursdays across from the Dixon Park Pool in Fredericksburg, next to Grace Redemption Church. Find more updates on the Fredericksburg Farmers Market Facebook page. It’s first day was Aug. 1.

And a little farther north, a new market will open at Quantico this Thursday. The four-vendor market will set up at 2 p.m. Thursdays, between the Marine Corps Exchange and McDonald’s on Russell Road. You’ll be able to pick up produce, baked goods, eggs and meat through Nov. 21. Vendors include C&T Produce, Nancy’s Desserts & Pastries, G. Flores Produce and Papa Weaver’s Pork. The market is part of the Healthy Base Initiative, a Department of Defense program to support healthy eating and active lifestyles on military bases.

Four days worth of farmers markets means you have no excuse to stop by at least once this summer. Try a new vegetable (roast some okra?), bite into a juicy peach, pick up a beautiful heirloom tomato, chat with the vendors, buy a dozen farm eggs–and know you’re supporting local families and businesses. You can also pick up punch cards from market managers so that the money you spend gets you entered for chances to win prizes each month.

And be sure to keep up with our occasional series profiling the vendors you’ll find at the area’s farmers markets. Coming soon: homemade baguettes!