New farmers’ market coming to Woodstock
South Street Barn Market appears set to make its debut in March along historic downtown Woodstock.
Local residents Judy Rhodes of Country Rhodes Farm, Christie Osborne of Mountain Valley Nursery, Terry Smith of Terry the Cookie Man and Claire Holladay of Fancy Bolts Aprons founded the market at the end of 2014.
“Basically, we wanted a place for local people to buy local products … and build something really good, hopefully,” Rhodes said.
According to Rhodes, the idea for the South Street Barn Market was first discussed last November and started to become a reality in December.
This new market, differing from the Woodstock Farmers’ Market, will be located in downtown Woodstock on property owned by Johnston and Rhodes Real Estate.
In addition, Rhodes noted that American Legion Post 99 in Woodstock will be providing extra parking during the market’s season.
Rhodes said that they are still looking to finalize the full list of vendors for the market’s inaugural season.
“We are going to have our first vendor meeting … in late February,” she said, “At that time, we are going to have our line-up pretty much in order.”
According to Rhodes, it is hard to put an exact number on how many vendors may be participating since some will only be available during certain times of the season.
“You usually have a core group of vendors, and then you have part-time and occasional vendors that add to it each week,” Rhodes said.
This constant shuffling of vendors, Rhodes said, “keeps customers coming back and keeps them interested … in what you have to offer.”
Rhodes, co-owner and operator of Country Rhodes Farm, has been a vendor at various area farmers’ markets for the past five years.
For this new market, Rhodes said that she plans on bringing pork and beef products from Country Rhodes Farm and, if possible, dairy or milk products from Mount Crawford.
“We try and keep products as local as we can,” Rhodes said.
Even with the goal of “keeping it local,” Rhodes noted that there is an element of tourism associated with any farmers’ market — given Shenandoah County’s proximity to the D.C. Metro area.
“I think you have a lot of tourist travel through Woodstock … a lot of people just visiting the county,” Rhodes explained, adding that the hope is that the market will attract these visitors.
At the same time, Rhodes noted the impact that area residents have on farmers’ markets.
“We have a lot of really great local people that support the farmers’ markets,” Rhodes said.
Without this local support, Rhodes said, “It would not be the same because we look forward to seeing them every week.”
She noted that there is a growing interest in local and organic products and that while some organic and locally grown products can be more expensive than store brands, she said that she believes it is worth the cost.
“You’re buying something that is a local product, that is fresh and it’s not like it is shipped in on a truck,” Rhodes said. “I think that is worth something.”
The South Street Barn Market’s first season will begin March 7 and continue every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 31.
Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com