TOANO — Toano Open Air Market will be returning for its fifth season on Mar. 2.
The market was started by Maureen Anderson and her daughter in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic when Anderson decided to put a message on Facebook that her daughter, owner of Virginia Bread Company, would have her bread and Anderson would have her eggs and honey for sale.
“At that point, nobody really knew how safe or unsafe it was to gather,” Anderson recalled about how they had done their best to keep the market a safe environment during that time. “Other vendors had seen my Facebook post and they came out and my driveway at [my farm] at that time was a circle and so it got to the point as weeks went on where people could order online and they would pull up in their car, open their trunk, and we would put what they needed in the trunk.
“It really gave a place where people could gather and chat and talk where it was safe and it wasn’t a massive crowd,” Anderson continued.
Currently, the market rents the field next to Hohl. Anderson describes it as a community-oriented grassroots market that is farmer-owned.
“I feel like my perspective on how to run the market is very different because I know what a pain it is to milk in the dark and tote 50-pound bags of feed and then your car up for the farmer’s market and go and set up,” Anderson comments. “I know the pain of being a market vendor as well as the bliss.”
She notes that the vendors at the market are the producers of the product so they can answer any questions about what is produced and how.
- Tommy Leggett Seafood
- Greens ’n’ Things Microgreens and Mushrooms
- Tasha’s Own Goat’s Milk Soap
- The Home Farm Honey and pastured, non-GMO eggs
- Allen Farms Produce
- Pomocray Farm pastured Lamb and poultry, yarn
- Poplar Springs grass-fed beef
- BeesKnees pastured pork, goat cheeses
- Norma’s Produce
- Cultivation Gardens organic produce
- Bouquets of Blessing Flowers
- Jola’s Garden
- Fern and Thorn Apothecary
- Magnusson’s pickles and Jams
- The Herbalist’s Garden
- Achillea Valley Farm
This year the market will take place every Saturday starting on Mar. 2 until Dec. 21. from 9 a.m. to noon. For more about the market and to keep up to date, visit the official Facebook page.