Local agriculture has been a defining feature of the New River Valley for decades, and the quality of proteins, produce and other treats has only improved over time thanks to influences ranging from Virginia Tech’s agricultural thought leadership to local farmers who have remained dedicated to their trade. Fortunately, you don’t have to forage very far to get your hands – and taste buds – on Montgomery County’s agricultural bounty, as there are several farmers markets and “u-pick” locations open to the public.
Blacksburg Farmers Market
Every week, the region’s farmers and makers gather to showcase regional produce, baked goods, meat, eggs, handmade goods and even locally made honey at the Blacksburg Farmers Market. All of the farms are located within 50 miles of downtown Blacksburg, ensuring only the freshest, local flavors are on sale. In addition to all the great food, the Blacksburg Farmers Market plays host to talented local musical acts from spring through fall that add an element of liveliness to this agricultural celebration. The market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from spring through fall, and on Saturdays during the winter months.
Christiansburg Farmers Market
Just a short drive from Blacksburg, the Christiansburg Farmers Market is open every Thursday from May through October and showcases even more of the New River Valley’s locally grown and made produce, flowers, baked goods and more. And if all of that shopping makes you hungry, visit one of the on-site food trucks to taste some of that local flavor from our talented chefs.
Three Birds Berry Farm
Spend some time on the farm foraging for sweet and succulent raspberries, blueberries and blackberries at Three Birds Berry Farms, just 7 miles from Downtown Blacksburg. All crops are pesticide free and organically fertilized, and you can fill up a pint with your hand-selected berries for just $3 (plus $1 for a reusable container). Once you have your bounty, check out their website (3birdsberryfarm.com) to check out their “berry care guides,” which provide great recipes you can make at home.
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival
What agricultural region would be complete without a massive festival celebrating it? Sinkland Farms is home to one of the region’s longest standing agritourism events, the annual Pumpkin Festival. Over a 6-week period each fall, visitors are treated to a variety of events on Sinkland Farms celebrating the region’s deep agricultural roots. Live music, kids’ activities, agricultural demonstrations and, of course, giant pumpkins make this one of the most cherished events of the year.
A grocery store, carry-out restaurant and caterer, Hethwood Market in Blacksburg brings the flavor of farms to you through foods crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Try something new like wild boar meat sticks or something more familiar like The Hokie Griller – a seasoned, grilled chicken breast on a Kaiser roll with all your favorite toppings. In addition to prepared foods, you can also pick up locally made dairy products, baking supplies and snacks. Be sure to try the kettle corn!
Hethwood Market also operates a farm stand in nearby Riner that serves barbecue meals to-go every Thursday, including pork, chicken, baked beans and mac-and-cheese. A portion of the proceeds from these meals goes to the United Way of the New River Valley.