Welcome to Spring at the Market at Ix Art Park in Charlottesville. As the days get longer, warmer, and brighter we are beginning to see the return of growers with greens and live plants at the market. We are grateful to our stalwart vendors and customers who kept the local food supply going all winter. The delicious options of baked goods, breads, meats, mushrooms, apples, root vegetables and tempting prepared dishes has sustained us.
You may still walk through this market, but ordering on line gives you time to peruse the offerings in comfort. If you know what you want, why not preorder, reserve your choice in case supplies are short, and avoid the lines or bad weather at the market?
You can still come in to see what's new when you pick up.
Thanks so much for your continued support of this market and the farmers, producers, artisans and sponsors who make it possible. And celebrate yourselves too for supporting local food businesses. Donations at https://www.marketcentral.org to our non-profit work helps keep vendor fees down, and food prices from going up.
The Market at Ix in Summer
The summer produce is abundant now: squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers too. Agriberry has peaches, and raspberries, though due to the late cold, I haven't seen any melons yet.
Although customers can walk in our market at Ix Art Park, we also have several vendors, Hydropure Microgreens, Maroon Creek Crafts, Nature's Bridge Farm/the Farming Artist among them, who do not set up at the physical site. You can only order here on the Lulu's market hub to buy from those vendors. They will deliver the orders to the Ix Art Park site for pick up on Saturdays. Using the Lulu's site is one of the best venues to support our local artists.
If there is a certain item that you just have to have, your best bet is to buy it on Lulu's to reserve it. There are other advantages to the Lulu's site. You can see photos, and read the ingredients, vendor profiles, and production information without having to touch the products. You have a few days to think about ordering. The vendors keep more of the payment when you use Lulu's. The customer pays the sales tax, and the non-profit partner (Market Central) is paying for the payment processing and web support fees out of donations and fundraising. The Lulu's site was a very important fail-safe when the markets all closed except for pre-order and take out. Using it occasionally will help keep it active in the event of another emergency. Thanks for supporting local farms and producers, whether online or in person.
Markets in June
Phase Two of reopening in Charlottesville has arrived just in time for summer weather. More vendors are applying to the Farmers Market at Ix Art Park to take advantage of our outdoor, appropriately spaced market venue. It's a pleasure to be at this market with the eclectic and colorful planters and welcoming atmosphere. Even though it has become safer to walk in to shop, online ordering is convenient and useful. Shopping online allows time for browsing, reserves your selection in case the vendor sells out, and is convenient for pick-up. You can only access some vendors' products through Lulu's because they do not set up at our physical space. Even as the Covid restrictions are relaxed, we are happy to offer the advantages of both options.
We welcome new vendors and shoppers. Artists are joining, as well as more prepared food vendors and farmers. We welcome input from the market community as we plan for the future of this market.
The Market With Options
The Market at Ix Art Park is the farmers market with options! After 6 weeks of extending our winter market into spring, people are discovering that we are not a drive through market. You many walk right into this market (with a mask on), check out the farmers' and producers' offerings, and buy with cash, cards, tokens, or SNAP. Or you can order from many vendors on this Lulu's Local Food ordering hub. Some vendors on Lulu's are not physically at the market, so you may want to try both options: order on line and and check out more offerings at the physical market site when you come to pick up. A third option is to order from individual vendor websites. More information on your options can be found at https://www.marketcentral.org
We are the only market in Charlottesville that can process SNAP, and we also offer a dollar for dollar SNAP match that can be used for fruits, vegetables, and edible plants. In other words, whatever amount you take out in SNAP, get an equal amount in free coupons. It is a great way to stretch your SNAP dollars, stay healthy, and plant a garden. more info at https://www.marketcentral.org/
Finally, thank you for supporting local farms and producers. It helps you and your community in so many ways: health, environment, economy, social connections, etc. And shopping outdoors is the safest choice available. For future solutions to the challenges facing farmers markets, Market Central would love to have support and input from our community. Please consider joining our board or making a donation at https://www.marketcentral.org/
Spring Market at Ix April 18, 2020
Market Central and Ix Art Park continue to sponsor a spring market during the Corona distancing protocols. The Local Food Hub and City Market are sponsoring mid-week and Saturday markets at the old KMart and Penn Park respectively. These markets are restricted to pre-paid orders on Lulu's Local Food and are drive through only. We are lucky to have access to the large amount of space and parking at Ix Art Park which allows adequate space between vendors, and room for customers to walk through without crowding. The landscaping at Ix is something we can enjoy in spite of the pandemic. At the Ix market, several vendors are members of the Lulu's Markets, whereas others will take orders through their personal web pages. And with the walk-in market, customers may still buy on site from the vendors, as long as they maintain their distance and comply with safety precautions.
We do not know how long this market will continue. As long as it helps vendors and customers, Market Central and Ix Art Park will work to sponsor it. If customers or vendors have any suggestions or comments, please let us know.