Blacksburg pushes to rezone town, allowing more farmers markets - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Blacksburg pushes to rezone town, allowing more farmers markets

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Farm fresh apples, homemade jams and jellies, pasta sauce made with locally grown ingredients; just a handful of the homegrown options that stock the shelves at the Roost Market store in Blacksburg.

WSLS spoke with Don Langrehr, a member of the board of directors of the “Friends of the Farmers Market” in Blacksburg.

"We have vendors that supply us year round with fresh produce and locally crafted products," Langrehr said.

The Market Roost store is the shop front for the Blacksburg Farmers Market.

Thousands come to market square each day it’s set up shop.

Langrehr says the demand for locally harvested food is growing.

"We want to get more people involved with the local food movement. we want people to buy local and eat health nutritious food that is produced close to where we live."

The business is so good in Blacksburg, the community has shown interest in opening other farmers markets through town.

Now, town council is working to rezone so these farmers can set up shop in multiple locations.

WSLS spoke with council member Michael Sutphin about the process.

"So we are asking the planning commission to look at the farmers markets and a change to the zoning of where they are allowed and regulations affected farmers markets."

These regulations would ensure the quality of the produce, and prohibit retail sale of flea market items.

Sutphin says these regulations would be key in any new ordinance to distinguish the difference between a flea market and a farmers market. This would regulate that all items must be locally grown rather than store bought.

Langrehr  and Sutphin both agree, it’s a move that will help out the local economy.

"So the money that is spent here goes into local business peoples pockets rather than shipped to share holders or investors somewhere else across the country," Langrehr said.

While the local food movement continues to grow, Langrehr says he hopes for more retail opportunities to come.

Blacksburg town council unanimously voted for the resolution which will now go to the town planning commission for further approval.

WSLS will continue to keep you updated with the latest.

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