The mild climate of central Virginia means that farmers can extend their seasons to produce their wares year-round. However, to find farm-raised foods in Richmond, VA and the surrounding counties of Henrico and Chesterfield during the winter requires a bit more searching. Fortunately, those shoppers who want to buy locally (“locavores”), who want organic products that weren’t shipped from half-way around the world, or who simply want great taste can find may options in the Richmond area.
While all the major grocery stores carry organic foods, they tend to buy locally only during the main growing season. During the winter, Richmond shoppers have to go beyond the chains to the locally-owned grocers. Perhaps the best-known local grocer to carry farm-fresh products is Ellwood-Thompson’s Local Market. Located at the intersection of Ellwood and Thompson Streets in Richmond’s Carytown neighborhood, Ellwood Thompson’s specializes in locally produced food. They even have a special Local Label to indicate foods produced within a 100-mile radius of Richmond. True locavores will find shopping at Ellwood-Thompson’s Local Market is a must!
Another local grocer that specializes in farm-fresh foods is Richmond’s own Good Foods Grocery. They have two locations: in Stony Point Shopping Center in the south-side and in Gayton Crossing Shopping Center in the west end area of Richmond. Good Foods Grocery offers locally produced, farm-fresh products and numerous products to benefit their customers’ health and well-being.
Most farmers’ markets in the Richmond, VA area close down during the winter. However, there are a few places that stay open as long as farmers have locally-produced wares to offer. The Byrd House Renegade Market is open each Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. till dark, weather permitting. They are located behind the William Byrd Community Center in the Fan neighborhood of Richmond.
Also near the Fan is the Market at First Fridays in the Quirk Gallery on Broad Street. First Fridays is open the first Friday of every month except January. The same organization, the Market Umbrella, also gives Richmond a Saturday option at the “South-er of the James” market on Forest Hill avenue. This market is open from December through April from 10:00 a.m. – Noon.
Richmond is fortunate to have so many options for farm-fresh food during the winter months. Of course, when spring arrives, the number of places offering local foods is much greater. Richmond nevertheless can boast that local food is available all year round.