Apr 04 2016

Pearisburg Community Market Assists Producers to Realize Economic Growth

Pearisburg Community Market Assists Producers to Realize Economic Growth

The Pearisburg Community Market closed the 2015 season with total sales through November 29, of $33, 872, 76- based on weekly vendor gross sales reported to the Market Manager.

These sales were attributed to a variety of factors including the interest of shoppers in learning more about how and where their food is produced. In addition, the market offered a variety of other activities that helped boost market attendance and increase shopper’s awareness and utilization of local foods.

Some of the initiatives launched in 2015 to assist producer’s sales include:

Two workshops were offered by Cooperative Extension Service to producers to assist them to build their sales capacity. These were as follows: Value Added Product Development and Evaluating Risk on Free Produce Production.

Farmers/producers were met with by a Graphic Artist Brand Consultant, Zeppa Studios, to develop logos and labels for their products.

Seasonally themed hands-on and demonstration-cooking classes that focused on locally and regionally produced products were offered to the community.

 

Pearisburg Community Market CornChef demos were held at the market on a regular basis. Three of these were provided in partnership with the Carilion Hospital Health Educator, Shenika Dillard. In addition the market received a grant for $2000 from Carilion Hospital to provide Double Value SNAP coupons.

A Farm to Fork Demonstration stand was established at the Community Market and at community events. This booth is referred to as the Farm Table. Local produced, non-processed foods (available for purchase from the farmer vendors) were featured as main components in the items demonstrated and subsequently sold. Below is a list of vendors whose products were featured in 2015:

  • GREEN MARKET products used: Peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, various greens, various squash, zucchini, yellow zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes (sweet and normal), onions, peaches, apples, nectarines, broccoli, eggplant, etc.

Recipes demonstrated: Chilis, various sandwiches, tempura, Cajun jambalaya, chicken and dumplings, various Panini’s, various burgers, eggplant parmesan, hummus plates, soups, breads, scones, and other baked goods, chutney, relishes, sauces, soups, etc.

  • GILES AG LAB products used: Tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, corn, potatoes, green beans, Roma beans, chutneys, relishes, sauce, etc.

Recipes demonstrated: Chilis, various sandwiches, various Panini’s, various burgers, hobo style meals, soups, etc.

  • PEAR TREE HILLS FARM products used: Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers, chili peppers, beans, etc. Recipes demonstrated: Salads, various sandwiches, relishes, chutneys, jams, various burgers, various Panini’s, soups, etc.
  • NANNYS GARDEN products used: Various flavored vinegars, spice rubs, relishes. Recipes demonstrated: Various braised meat dishes, hobo style meals, salad dressings, marinades, sauces, relishes were put out on the booth as condiments to meals being served.
  • REAL COUNTRY SAUSAGE products used: Various kinds of sausage links, various ground sausage. Recipes demonstrated: Soups, chili’s, sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, omelets, etc.
  • RELIANT FARMS products used: Various cuts of pork, ground pork, bacon.

Recipes demonstrated: Pulled pork, Cubans, breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, hash, soups, chili’s etc.

  • J&S Creations products used: Various hot sauces. Recipes demonstrated BBQ sauce, sauces, soups, chilis, assortment of bottled hot sauces were displayed on booth as condiments to meals being served.

In addition, the Farm Table increased exposure to local and regional foods at the community events such as Festival in the Park, ChildFest, the General Electric employee and their families’ event and Art on the Lawn.

Pearisburg’s efforts are being featured in the Virginia Tech “Save Our Town” video series as an “Example of Awesomeness.” Virginia Tech is following the market throughout the year and will do a video each month on Pearisburg’s accomplishments.

 

Pearisburg Community Market

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