Highland Farmers Market opens June 1
Monterey, VA – The Highland Farmers Market started its thirteenth year of operation earlier this month. Market master Scott Smith talks about this year’s market calendar.
“The market is going to be opening June 1,” he said. “This will be the market’s fifteenth year of operation. It was the first program of the Highland Center. It started back in 1998. It runs every Friday, June through September, from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Highland Center pavilion, which is right down here in front of the Highland Center. We also have some special markets, later in the year, for the Hands and Harvest Festival and the Wintertide, but the regular season does run June through September.”
Scott goes on to mention what’s new for this year.
“Pretty excited about some of the new things we have going on this year,” he said. “I’ve always had it – since I started running the market – where we had a different theme every day, where we had a little bit different going on, that people could come and do and see. To kind of expand on that this year, we going to be doing a lot more food and cooking demonstrations, as well as some live entertainment. We got a PA system down in the pavilion last year, so, we’re looking to put it to good use. Each day of the market, there will be one or the other of those things going on. So, I think that’s going to provide a lot more of the social aspect and things to do and things to learn, there at the market. So, I’m pretty excited about that coming on.”
This year’s themes include local meats, artists, photographers and crafters, as well as fiber products and recycling. The opening of the Highland Agricultural Center is providing new opportunities for the market, as well. The theme on opening day is local meats.
“Another thing that we’re working very hard toward, this year, with the focus on local foods and local meats, especially with the ag center coming on, people are thinking about that a lot more,” Scott continued. “One of my goals here is to have local beef and lamb available at the market, every day this year. I think that’s something our customers have always told us they wanted, on a consistent basis. So, that’s one of my goals – to have that present – each day this year.”
Scott welcomes new vendors, anytime during the market season.
“I’m always looking for new vendors,” he said. “I’ve been talking to a variety of people, gauging their interest in it. I’m always very happy for people to come onboard and become vendors, It’s a wonderful opportunity for people that would like to take advantage of it. I would urge anyone that’s listening to, please, get in touch with me and I can surely give them the information on how it’s done and what they need to do and we can go from there. It’s a pretty simple process for anyone that would like to get involved. Especially would like to see some baked goods or prepared food vendors. Along with meats, that’s something that’s always been very popular at the market and could use more of.
“People today are so very cognizant of who raises their food, how it’s prepared, how it’s handled, where it comes from. There’s really no better place, unless you visit the farm directly, to have that advantage of being able to see the person that grew your food and make that personal connection with them. I think all across the nation, people are showing that that is an important factor.”
Last year’s Highland Farmers Market came close to setting an all-time record for sales and Scott is looking to break the record this year. For more information about the Highland Farmers Market, call Market Master Scott Smith at 468-1922.