When I recently heard that there was an initiative to bring back the Martinsburg Farmers Market, I was cautiously optimistic. We had one a few years back, but I was never able to attend. Because it was only open on Fridays during regular work hours, it was next to impossible for me to go. That was the reason for my cautious optimism. As someone with a full-time job who does not happen to work in the downtown area, I was concerned that this would be another event that I would have to miss.
I was thrilled to hear that the 2016 Farmers Market would actually be open Friday evenings during the “Fridays at Five” concert series. I enjoy farmers markets, and I have been happy to patron those that are open throughout the Eastern Panhandle. Shopping in downtown Shepherdstown on a Saturday is nice, but having a farmers market close to my home is preferable. I live in Martinsburg, and I am passionate about supporting growth, positive change and improvement. Spending my free time and money in surrounding cities is not a great way to support my town.
Plans for the 2016 season of the Martinsburg Farmers Market are in development with help from the Burke Street Promise Neighborhood, Healthy Berkeley, Main Street Martinsburg, Martinsburg- Berkeley County Public Libraries and WV Freshealthy Bucks. The initiative is a direct result of these organizations coming together to respond to the community demand for the return of the Martinsburg Farmers Market.
Our vision for the new market is Community, Access, Education & Fun. Farmers markets are just as much a social exercise as they are a shopping venue. Our goals are to increase access to local agriculture, educate, advocate and promote local products and healthy options. By partnering with Main Street’s Fridays at Five concert series, we think we can accelerate and build upon the positive atmosphere that is growing in our downtown.
Support the Martinsburg Farmers Market on Facebook, and share the page with your friends and family. They are currently accepting applications for the 2016 season and expect about 8 – 10 vendors. A meeting will be held on February 24th at 6:00pm at the HUB, located at 126 E Burke St in Martinsburg, WV. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, but the primary target is potential vendors. Plans for the 2016 season will be discussed and information on how to become a vendor will be provided. You can check out the event page for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.