About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Wednesdays are market days at Spotsylvania Regional

Wednesdays at the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center are unlike any other day of the week. That’s the day that the hospital hosts a farm market in its parking lot.

Here you’ll see a family carrying watermelons to their car, or a line of people waiting to buy homemade chocolate chip cookies. Tables of tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant and squash await buyers.

“No peaches today?” someone asked. Not today, was the answer. The man who brings peaches was on vacation.

Usually, there are about 15 vendors. Organizers ask that the produce be grown within 75 miles.

The hospital offers drinking water and opens its bathrooms to patrons. Two nurses are there for free blood pressure checks.

So far, more than 10,000 people have attended, or about 800 each week.

“We’re very proud to have this here. This is our community,” said Rob Toonkel, senior leader for guest services for the hospital.

(The market is held each Wednesday, through Sept. 26, from 3 to 7 p.m. Its website is here.)