a visit to the South of the James Farmer’s Market

IMG_6268This summer, we are visiting as many farmers markets in our region as we can.  After living here for nearly two years, it was time to get out and see what the area has to offer.  On a lovely summer morning, we drove up to Richmond to visit the South of the James Farmer’s Market to see what was in season.  The market is held in Forest Hill Park and while there is parking available, street parking is also easy to find.

When you enter the market from the parking area, you will notice that there is a long and narrow path of vendors lined on both sides as you walk through the market.  It starts out with a few food vendors and as you walk in, the offerings run from produce, plants, hand made crafts, wine, seafood, meat, cheese and so much more than I can recall.  This is another producer-only market so do not expect to find everything you are looking for-farmers aren’t magicians and they can’t make it happen if it isn’t in season!  Another aspect of the producers only rule is that local artisans can also sell their work at the market and if you are looking for something unusual or simply not mass produced, you could quite possibly find it at the market too!

IMG_6271The folks at Drumheller’s get around!  They sell in Williamsburg at the market too and I love their apple cider but it’s peach season and they were selling them by the bag.

IMG_6273When in the Chesapeake area, expect to find crab cakes-we have seen them at several markets and they always look so tempting but I am not a big fan of crab cakes for breakfast.

IMG_6276The stems of swiss chard are so beautiful-I know, I take pictures of chard at every market.  What’s not to love about peppermint chard?  Those stripes…

IMG_6277Local cheeses are abundant in the markets.

IMG_6279Finding Kombucha at the market is pretty easy here, we have seen it at the Charlottesville market too.

IMG_6286Gotta love the trailer,  too bad some jerk stole their generator!

IMG_6288Fresh coffee anyone?  Another great little trailer that was equipped with an espresso machine for that morning fix.

IMG_6294Summer has arrived; berries anyone???

IMG_6295Or maybe some fresh picked beans?

IMG_6296Although they always taste the same, I always reach for the yellow ones and the purple ones first.

IMG_6297Not sure what variety this cauliflower is but when ours looked fuzzy like this, I thought something was wrong with it.  Apparently, this variety is a bit fuzzy.

IMG_6299Also available was everyone’s favorite fractal; Romanesco along with cheddar.

IMG_6302Carrots by the bunch

IMG_6304And goats too!  These goats weren’t for sale but they were very friendly and optimistic.

IMG_6305They assumed that any edibles were there for the taking as this little guy found out when the goat reached over and cleaned up his snack tray!

IMG_6306There were plenty of options for food and we had noodles for lunch.

IMG_6315Freshly stir-fried and served with shrimp.

IMG_6309As we walked out of the market, we saw this odd pack on a man’s back.

IMG_6307Apparently, they test products and this was a carrying case for a cat!  What a cute cat he was too!

IMG_6308Get out there and explore the markets!  Learn about the real offerings of the season and not what the grocery store carries, it’s fresher, it tastes better and it’s a great way to spend a couple hours!  My only other suggestion, skip the restrooms up at the top of the hill in the parking area-one of the worst rest room experiences we have had!!!