Farmers Markets are popular with thousands of Fairfax County residents who wish to buy locally produced food for their families. While the Farmers Markets are supervised by the Community Horticulture Office, based at Green Spring Gardens, most patrons do not realize that the daily operations of the Markets are the responsibility of volunteer Market Masters. These volunteers are essential to the development and promotion of the Markets. As liaisons between all of the participants in the Market program, they provide valuable advice to the Community Horticulture Office on ways to develop and improve the program. Their varied backgrounds bring a unique style to the individual markets.
Market Masters also serve as ambassadors for the Farmers Market program. Many serve as civic leaders within their communities and are constantly promoting the Farmers Markets. Through the efforts of these dedicated volunteers, the Fairfax County Farmers Markets have become a model for “producer only” markets throughout the nation.
The Markets have a long, rich history with the county. The Fairfax County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension started the first market in 1978. Eleven weekly markets at locations across Fairfax County now provide area residents the opportunity to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, dairy products, meats, honey, cut flowers and container plants. This ability to “buy local” supports sustainable agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As a “producers only” market program all vendors and products come from within a 125 mile radius of Fairfax County.
Attend a Fairfax County Farmers Market and enjoy the bounty of the harvest. Meet the wonderful volunteers who serve a Market Masters and say “Thank You” for contributing to the success of this program to benefit the residents of Fairfax County.