An almost disappointing Farmers Market trip

I’m glad that the local farmer’s markets in Hampton Roads are opened year round. I am. But it would be nice if the business hours were either updated on all the signs and Web site or the stand owners actually followed said hours.

VA Beach Farmers Market button

Baby J, myself, and my friend Nicole with her two kids headed to the Virginia Beach Farmers Market yesterday for some produce shopping and a little fun. We ate breakfast at the Princess Anne County Grill, located inside the market. Every time I’ve visited the market, the restaurant looked packed for breakfast, so I figured it had to be tasty. Well, it was delicious, but my omelette was also what Nicole called a “calorie bomb.” It would be good if they’d add fruit, granola, or yogurt to their menu…or just some lower fat options. I’m not saying I’d actually buy the lower fat options- but it’d be nice if they were available. =D Anyway, I chose the seafood omelette with shrimp, Chesapeake crab, cheddar cheese, and topped with Hollandaise sauce. I was impressed with the crab. It definitely tasted fresh, so I’d like to come back in an afternoon or evening and try their crab cakes.

Web site screen shot
Web site screen shot

After breakfast we intended on browsing the produce stands that open at 10am, but when we left at 10:30, none of them had opened. We were, however, able to visit a couple of the bakery shops and an organic grocery store. That’s why I titled this post an “almost disappointing” trip- because we still had fun together and did do a little “green” shopping.

Farmers Market Collage

There are two bakeries there. One of them is also connected to an Amish furniture store, and it sells different baking items and snacks. I was pleased to read the labels on many of their snack mixes, like chocolate covered pretzels. There weren’t that many ingredients, especially compared to your standard grocery store brands. If there’s anything I’ve learned while trying to make healthy choices, it’s that fewer ingredients generally equals healthier foods.

The Virginia Garden Organic Grocery is also located at the market. They have a wonderful selection of local organic produce, meats, and eggs, including those from the renowned Polyface Farm. Shelves are also stocked with organic snacks, drinks, cereals, grains, personal products, vitamins, and more. I’ll definitely be visiting them again.

I’m looking forward to warmer weather, so we can actually peruse the in-season, local produce stands!

Do you visit famers markets? What’s your favorite thing to purchase there?
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A cool day at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market

Did you ever have a fun experience and afterwards think, Man…I should’ve taken more photos! ? That was me today, so I don’t have any photos of the actual market to show you. I just have photos of what we bought.

According to the Virginia Beach Farmers Market Web site, their special events (and I’m guessing the most prolific time of year) is between April and October. We were definitely there during the off-season today. There were only a few vendors, and they appeared to have permanent stalls. We still had a great time! The weather was fantastic…in the upper 60s, clear sky and sunny.

Hubby, Baby J, and I met several of our friends there, and we had a good time chatting and rummaging through the fresh produce, most of which was local to Virginia. Besides the produce, there was a seafood market, butcher shop, bakery, dairy and ice cream shop, restaurant, wild bird store, and more.

Click on Photos to Enlarge:

Look at this hilarious and cute swan neck gourd Hubby spotted!

Swan Neck Gourd

I also wanted to mention a small stand called “Vy’s Pies.” Seriously, it was the best pecan pie I’ve ever tasted! I also tried a sample of the coconut cream and carrot cake pie, and bought a slice of apple. They take special orders for Thanksgiving, and we’re planning on purchasing at least one!

Some of the produce we bought today:

Fresh cranberry beans- We watched them being shelled!
Locally-grown broccoli, picked yesterday
Fresh, locally-grown spinach
We used the cabbage we bought to make a slaw this afternoon!

They also had lovely jams, jellies, preserves, molasses, honey, etc. by local makers for sale.

We’ll definitely be going back, and I’m looking forward to the Spring when there are more vendors and products for sale!

Does your city/town have a farmers market? What’s your favorite product to buy?

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