Without Leader, Crozet Farmers Market Could Be in Jeopardy

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March 31, 2010

With the warm weather arriving, farmers markets are beginning to open.

The Charlottesville market opens this weekend, but the future of another popular market could be in jeopardy.

Every summer, about 10 local farmers and vendors fill a church parking lot in downtown Crozet with their goods.

"I'll be driving into work one morning, and I'll see all the tents set up, and I know it's time to go over and start getting my produce from there," said Mark Cosgrove, chef and owner of Fardowners.

The tradition could change. Vendors said they can only hope the market will start the first Saturday in May. The organizer is stepping down, and someone needs to take her place.

The problem is a new leader hasn't been chosen yet.

Crozet residents may not know exactly when the farmers market starts, but they look forward to it every year. They use the fresh produce in their dishes at local restaurants, and it's the convenience that keeps them coming back because the farmers market is right across the street.

"I love fresh produce," said Margot Diaz, the pastry chef at Mudhouse. "My husband's a chef, and we cook with it as much as we can. And to have it so close to our house and in season, it's really meaningful."

Cosgrove can cross the street to get local food daily in the summers.

"We go there and pick out different produce and meats and pick them out for specials on the weekends," Cosgrove said. "It's great when I can go over there and walk there and then come back to work, so it's really nice."

Vendors said they'll be there, and the church where they set up says it's fine with them.

If you can't wait until May for fresh local produce, the Charlottesville farmers market starts Saturday, April 3, at 7 a.m. in the Water Street parking lot by the Downtown Mall.

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