News Column

Bountiful harvest: Farmers' Market offers fun-filled day

July 27, 2014

By Bill Archer, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.

July 27--BLUEFIELD -- With the sun smiling down on local gardeners, the popular Bluefield, Va., Farmers' Market was swinging into the season with produce galore, plenty of activities and the well-played bluegrass and old time songs of Crawdad Creek filling the market venue to overflowing.

"We may have to ask the town to set up a tent for us next week," Sue Carr, market manager said. "It's doing well. We have a few new vendors this week, and of course, the Crawdad Creek band always seems to bring an extra bit of excitement to the event. We're totally about having fun here."

In a town where the chamber of commerce gives away free lemonade when the temperature hits 90 degrees, Halaya Bradshaw, might have been doing a little wishful thinking by setting up a lemonade stand, but her grandparents -- Robin and David Marcus -- praised their 10-year-old granddaughter for her commitment to raising funds for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.

"We helped a little, but she came up with the idea, and made the cupcakes and the lemonade -- sweetened and sugar-free -- to sell here," Robin Marcus said. "She even made these little pillows to sell."

Coen Beck picked blackberries at a friend's farm in Bramwell, and made blackberry cobbler, as well as lemon squares to sell as well as selling the wild blackberries by themselves.

"The blackberry cobbler was the most popular," Beck said. "It has been a lot of fun out here today."

The Lyons brothers -- Hayden and Hunter -- had a sampling of vegetables that looked good enough to use as models for a still life painting. Hayden just graduated from Virginia Tech with a major in crop and soil sciences. He and his brother own two farms and rent some other farms to grow the produce they sell at the farmer's market.

"We haven't had too much rain this year, so everything is doing well," Hayden Lyons said. He said that warm weather dried their broccoli too much for the stores they sell to. The brothers resolved the issue by harvesting the crop wearing coal miner-like lights on their hats and harvesting their crop at 2 a.m.

"This is just like any farm -- some days are good and some aren't," he said.

Carr said that the market will host its annual "Corn Roast and Band Appreciation Day" on Aug. 22 -- after she cleared it with Hayden and Hunter.

"That's always a fun day at the market," Carr said.

-- Contact Bill Archer at


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Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV)

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