The South of the James Farmers Market might stir up some neighborhood envy. Not only was it chosen as Best Farmers Market in the central region by Virginia Living magazine and one of the fifty best in the nation by Cooking Light, but it regularly garners hordes of locavores come rain or come shine…or in the case of this summer, temps in the nineties.
With close to one hundred vendors of local produce, pasture-raised meats, artisan cheese, hand-crafted goods, all-natural products and food trucks, the South of the James Farmers Market is an excellent reason to roll out of bed early on a Saturday. We’ve known folks whose single motivation was sinking into the pillowy goodness of Mrs.Yoder’s doughnuts. But hey, we’re not judging. The market is held year-round and rolls up its tents at noon. So don’t dawdle too long over your morning coffee–everybody knows the good stuff goes first.
Crib notes for some of our favorite vendors (in the approximate order of tent location):
King of Pops This is a given. It is summer. It is hot. King of Pops rules.
New Normal Apparel Amp your street cred with Bubinga wood sunnies, artist-designed tees, or a bullet casing necklace.
International Dumpling Co. If you get there early, you can snag the Spring Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli.
Black Creek Farm has a plentiful display of gorgeous veggies–take some home.
Boonyclabber Cheese at Sullivan’s Pond Farm Taste their luscious goat cheese in a mind-boggling array of flavors. Cheesemaker Rona Sullivan is famous for her Moonshine cheese that has been wrapped in “White Lightnin” moonshine-macerated corn husks and aged over 60 days.
Bon Air Naturals Soap Co. We are all about the Lemongrass bath bomb. Pick up some of the adorable Peppermint Coffee Sugar Scrubs too.
HaaShrooms/Steve Haas Mushrooms These wild crafted and foraged mushrooms will be super impressive at your next dinner party. Where else are you going to find Lion’s Mane mushrooms?
Zou Zou’s Basement We love the original oil painting and paper collages by Susannah Raine-Haddad and her cheery handmade cards.
Greenleaf’s Ice Cream Sandwiches Mmm, their Strawberry Shortcake Sandwich is a heavenly concoction of fresh strawberry ice cream and coconut shortbread. Not too sweet, it’s just right.
Butternut Press Artist Maria Galuszka creates some rad ceramic vessels, plates and planters.
Amy’s Garden Summer is not summer without the vivid hues of Amy’s Zinnias, Gomphrena, and Cockscomb. Her mixed bouquets will brighten your entire week. Amy’s Garden sells awesome organic veggies as well.
Kitchenette’s Bagel with the Works served from a bright red vintage trailer brings us to our happy place.
Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen serves completely legit homemade doughnuts.
Bella Grove Farm You’ll find lots of goodies at this pretty petite stand including fresh eggs, herbs, rustic Italian breads, and seasonal sweet treats.
Goatocado’s quinoa bowls are a game changer. This is true love in a recyclable paper boat.
Alchemy Coffee We are upright; therefore, coffee is essential. Alchemy is the master.
Hog Haven Farm This pasture-raised heritage pork from Columbia, Virginia tends to sell out quickly. For assurance you’ll find the cut you’re looking for, stop by this tent early in the morning.
Balm of the Earth Our “gotta have it” item of the summer is Balm of the Earth all-natural Sentinel Herbal Repellant. You don’t have to remain a mosquito magnet forever, friends.
Gulp Juicery Fruits and Roots is our jam. We’re diggin’ Glow right now; the turmeric root gives it a little something extra. You will love these cold-pressed, organic juices. Return the bottle for $1 off your next juice. You know you want more…
Sausage Craft is RVA’s favorite hand-crafted artisan sausage.
Wandering Cow Farm sells adorable felted wool animals that would make perfect gifts for the kiddos you know. Pick up a felted soap to exfoliate while you get cleaner than a whistle.
Old Church Creamery Our favorite micro-dairy is at the market this year–whoop whoop.
Ninja Kombucha Yes, the Tanuki RootBooch (sassafras, vanilla and ginger) will give you some bad-ass moves. Nah, just kidding. But it will make you hella healthy. Try the popular Monomi Mist (hibiscus and berries).
Real Country Sausage Dockery Branch Farm in South Hill produces crowd-pleasing sausage from a 100 year-old family recipe. You’ll want to get in on that.
Two and a Half Irish-Men Try their Tea Brack and the Traditional Guinness Cakes. Save yourself the heartache, and get more than one loaf.
Ginger Juice Power your morning with two and a half pounds of produce, conveniently squeezed into an 8 oz. bottle. Sample South of the James’ favorite quencher–Giving–a beet, pear, apple, ginger and lime combo.
Reginald’s Homemade Stop by for some gourmet, all-natural nut butters. Wedding Pretzel Crunch, Nana Honey, Hazelnut Amaretto, Bourbon Pecan–need we go on?
Monique’s Crepes–all the joy of the savory French crepe with none of the pan-sticking nonsense.
Markiss Blowfish You’ll find him sitting in a pleasantly shaded spot close to the parking lot jammin’.
Convinced yet? Make a plan to head out to the Southside this Saturday. All the South of the James Farmers Market action starts at 8 a.m. 42nd St. and New Kent Ave.