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Forming a farmers market in Stafford just got easier

Several times a week, Jeff Adams packs up meat that he’s raised on his family’s Walnut Hill Farm, and takes it to sell at farmers markets in the region.

But none of those markets is in Stafford County, where the Hartwood farmer raises heritage livestock with his wife, Ginny. Selling outside the county’s lines, he’s also taking revenue that could be going to his hometown. (Here’s a great story about Walnut Hill Farm that reporter

Cathy Dyson wrote in 2010.)

Jeff Adams (foreground) begins processing chickens while Byron Spicer looks on. Birds are butchered, scalded, put in a spinner that removes feathers, and then eviscerated. (Photo by Pete Cihelka/Free Lance-Star)

“I leave the county four days a week and pay sales tax revenues to all the surrounding localities and pay nothing to Stafford,” Adams told county supervisors on Tuesday. “I’d like to keep some of that money at home.”

The board approved an ordinance following Tuesday’s public hearing that makes it easier for farmers markets to be established, including in parks and on school property. That doesn’t mean Stafford is creating a market. Rather, if a group wants to create one, then there are now definitions and zoning regulations in place, explained Kathy Baker, assistant director of Planning & Zoning.

Farmers markets in the region have gained popularity with the statewide “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaigns to help families connect with where their food comes from. Markets in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and King George are run by managers who oversee vendors. Each market sets its own standards about where products may come from.

See the full story in the paper later this week.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2012/06/22/forming-a-farmers-market-in-stafford-just-got-easier-2/

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