The Friends of the Farmers Market, a 501c3 nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, provides support to the Blacksburg Farmers Market by educating the community on the benefits of locally grown and sustainably produced food, providing development and business support on behalf of vendors, providing effective market management, and fostering a vibrant local economy and community gathering place.
- To support and promote vendor opportunity, retention, and financial viability.
- To promote public health by increasing knowledge about the value and enjoyment of locally produced and sustainably grown food.
- To assist people with limited income to access affordable, healthy food.
- To implement effective strategies for internal market management and communication.
- To contribute to the vitality of downtown Blacksburg.
- To strive to become a producer-only market.
Address: 100 Draper Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone: (540) 239-8290
January-March: SAT. 10AM – 2PM
April-October: WED. 2PM – 7PM | SAT. 8AM – 2PM
November-December: WED. 2PM – 6PM | SAT. 9AM – 2PM
History of the Blacksburg Farmers Market
From farmers in the 80's selling their goods in a parking lot on Main Street to the conception and creation of Market Square Park, learn about the local roots of a national local food movement.
Beginning in the 1980s
In 1996 the Town of Blacksburg and the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg came together to build nine semi-covered brick and steel open-air structures at the edge of a public parking lot and adjacent to Roanoke Street. The Market continued to attract new vendors and more shoppers.
The leadership of the town requested that the Friends of the Farmers Market [the FFM], a volunteer advocacy group, take over management of the BFM.
Vendors and patrons have benefited from the FFM overseeing market operations. The regulations are better enforced, thus providing shoppers with consistent quality goods from within the established 50-mile radius limit. The vendors have gained a collective voice in the operation of the Market as six vendors serve on the FFM’s Board of Directors. The growth of the BFM and changes in management also prompted discussions between the FFM and vendors about the need for a new structure and different configuration of vendor stalls.
Market Square Park
On December 4, 2009 Market Square Park was completed, just in time for the town’s annual seasonal celebration “Winter Lights” that includes the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree and a parade. New and veteran patrons came out on April 3, 2010 for the Grand Opening festivities and the return of full market hours.
The design of the Market Square Park and its timber frame pavilions is distinctive by its simplicity and economy of means. The town-owned corner lot measures 135 feet x 160 feet or half an acre; yet it accommodates a 60 x 90 foot or 5400 square feet pocket park with 12 trees, 19 parking spaces, 4 terraces with dining tables, 210 lineal feet of curving benches, and a new 4500 square feet open-air structure for the year-round, twice weekly market, and other community events.
On non-market days people can be found enjoying the park while children run around, sitting on a bench with friends strumming a guitar, or lounging on the grass with a picnic lunch.