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Kerrs Creek Community Market connects small farmers with customers

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - It looks like a farmers’ market, and in a way it is, but it’s also a solution to an economic problem.

“The hardest thing we have is how do we reach a customer,” said Steve Hart, Kerrs Creek Community Market organizer, “and we got together and said, look, let’s just do this. Let’s put together a market here in our community, for our community.”

It’s a gathering of small producers, like Lisa Martone of M&M Farms (“We raise fresh-cut flowers and fresh lavender and make homemade soap products”); Carol McClure of Whistle Creek Pet Nutrition (“I make all these myself”); or Emily Hall of Razzborne Farm (“We’ve made cheese for eight years now”), who have pulled together to bring their products to customers.

“Everybody here is a farmer, a producer, a baker, an artisan, that lives somewhere between Lexington and the end of Kerrs Creek,” Hart explained.

“So we’re just neighbors serving neighbors,” said Hope Bird, who with her husband raises beef cattle. “I just want to produce a great product for the locals and for our neighbors, and hopefully do it at a price that hopefully they can afford and we can make a little money on the side.”

“Everybody here is small,” said Hart. “But we, with very few exceptions, have to follow the exact same rules as Kroger.”

So they made their own market, to make their products available to a growing number of happy customers.

“This was the right thing for our community,” Hart said. “It was the right thing for the vendors. It was the right thing for my family. It was right on a lot of levels, so alright, we’re just going to go do it.”

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