6643 Virginia Avenue, Pembroke, VA 24136
Ron Holdren grew up watching his father and grandfather farm, and in 1991 he and his wife Lisa established their nursery, The Green Market, and began growing an assortment of bedding plants. In 2000 they added two gardens, one in Pembroke and the other in Newport on Ron’s mother’s land, to grow vegetables that they could sell at local farmers markets.
Ron’s mom also contributes to the goods for sale by making fruit preserves as well as apple and peanut butters (her Damson Plum preserves are very popular!). Ron is endearingly known at the Market as “the Apple Man” due to the large assortment of apples he offers throughout the fall and winter months; his apples, as well as nectarines and peaches in season, are picked from Ayers’ Orchard near Fancy Gap, VA.
Ron finds a lot of joy selling at the farmers market as he is a storyteller at heart, but he equally enjoys hearing about others’ adventures. He says, “I learn a lot from the customers because we have international travelers visiting Blacksburg every week. I get to take an imaginary trip to Spain or hear about someone’s trip to Prague for a music concert. You feel like you’ve been on a trip after a conversation at the market. Also, one minute I am selling coriander to someone from Southeast Asia, and the next minute I am selling someone a jar of homemade plum preserves. The mixture of people gives you a sense of being involved with a world community even though I haven’t left my home.”