Capitol Market Celebrates National Farmers Market Week
It’s National Farmers Market Week, and USDA Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development, Doug O’Brien, visited the Capitol Market in Charleston to help celebrate.
A number of USDA officials are visiting farmers markets around the country this week to highlight opportunities and community benefits farmers markets provide. Doug O’Brien, USDA Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development came to celebrate with West Virginians at Charleston’s Capitol Market.
“This really is a unique market. It’s been here for nearly twenty years, and the vision of the community coming together, and using this great historic space for this great community benefit, I mean I think it pays dividends in so many ways. I think it’s really fantastic that a community the size of Charleston can support a seven-day market like this.”
The Capitol Market is a big part of West Virginia’s local food economy, generating an estimated $7.5 million in annual sales and attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually.
“Farmers markets provide a lot of community benefits. They provide an outlet for small entrepreneurs who grow food and plants. They provide a great meeting space, a community space for people to come together. They provide access to healthy, nutritious food for the community.”
Kelli Melton, daughter of Rita Lovejoy, an owner of a small business called, Granny’s Greenhouse, says she and her family have been holding up their business at the Capitol Market for fifteen years. Melton says the Market had been a huge impact on her family. She hopes more people take advantage of what farmers markets have to offer.
“I think people need to be more active in farmers and local people growing their own food and growing their own stuff and help populating the Earth with trees and shrubs, and just doing more growing. I like it, I love this. There’s nothing else better.”
The Capitol Market is one of 8,268 farmers markets listed in the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, and the number of farmers markets listed in the Directory has increased 76% since 2008.