The 2018 season for the Catawba Valley Farmers Market (CVFM) began on Thursday, May 10, with the largest crowd seen at the Market. Visitors came from the Catawba area, Craig County, Roanoke County, Salem, Troutville and Montgomery County, plus two hikers from Florida.
The baked goods sold out in nearly an hour, hanging baskets and plants moved at a fast pace and meats were snatched up. Produce was scarce, but growers hope to have a wider selection in the coming weeks. Growing conditions this spring have not been favorable. Customers purchased many gift items including soaps, lotion bars, candles, baskets, purses, pottery and hand-sewn items. Many hanging baskets, potted plants and bedding plants in addition to many of the native wildflowers, shrubs and trees grown by Carl Absher of the Catawba Valley found new homes.
A special feature on opening day was a drawing for two meals at the Homeplace Restaurant. Vendors gave customers a free ticket with each purchase with the drawing held at the end of the day. Adam Taylor of Craig County was the lucky winner.
The group Guitars for Vets again entertained everyone with a great variety of music.
Additional crafts will be featured at the Catawba Valley Farmers Market on Thursday, May 17, during a new event, Artisan and Crafters Day. Anticipated crafters include Angie Keffer and Tracy Early of Dairy Barn Primitives of New Castle, with handmade primitive, folk art and vintage-style items; Brenda Starkey, Starkey’s Signs and Such of Catawba, with primitive signs and other decorative items, using local, reclaimed barn wood; Connie Shelor of Cherry Hill Crafts in Catawba, bringing kitchen hang towels, microwave bowl koozies, old-fashioned bonnets, small wooden cars and more; Diana Morehart of CarDiMore Jewelry in Roanoke, with handmade gemstone jewelry; Elliott Muncy of Stone Coal Gap Farm near Troutville will be popping kettle corn; and Michael and Tammy Deane of Troutville will have handcrafted wooden flowers, various wooden plaques, as well as some Christmas items.
Crafters who regularly sell at CVFM include Alice Ricucci, Bear Tree Farm of Catawba, with quilts and other hand-sewn items, along with fried apple pies, cakes, cookies and other baked goods; Cassandra Ratliff, Heavenly Butterfly Kisses Boutique of New Castle, with goat-milk soaps, lotion bars, sugar scrubs and lip balms; Dean Bower of Troutville has wooden toys; Joy Carter of Salem brings scented candles; Meg Hibbert of Salem has catnip-filled socks for cats as well as baked goods for humans; Paul Comer of Salem brings wooden crafts; Rebecca McKeever, McKeever Pottery in Vinton, displays functional pottery and can sometimes be seen actually making some of her pieces at the Market. Steve and Pam Hall of Halls Gardens in Catawba have hand-made baskets along with their produce, pickles, etc.; and Ann Harrell, Creekside Creations of Craig County, displays her barnwood-framed photos and note cards.
A drawing for a basket of picnic goodies will be held at the end of the day on May 17. Goodies include three bottles of wine, two wine glasses, pretzels, crackers, raspberry jelly, Virginia Diner nuts, imported olive oil, peanuts, a $50 Wal-Mart gift card and more. Tickets are $1.00 each and the winner does not have to be present.
The farmers, growers, bakers and crafters associated with the Catawba Valley Farmers Market invite everyone to come to the Market for fresh foods that are locally grown or baked.
CVFM is held each Thursday, from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Catawba Community Center, 4965 Catawba Creek Road just down from the post office. The Market is held rain or shine. The location is a Roanoke County park, with playground and indoor restrooms. The Market is handicap accessible.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor may contact Ann G. Harrell, Market Manager, at 540-864-5913 or by email at [email protected] Anyone interested in becoming a vendor should use the same contact information. To keep up-to-date on happenings at CVFM, follow CVFM on their Facebook page or sign up for the emailed newsletter.
-Submitted by Ann G. Harrell