By Annie Young
Seventy-five percent of the products come from within 20 miles
Are you ready to enjoy a shopping experience away from the stuffy, crowded malls? Are you wanting to support the Buy Local movement but not sure where to start? Are you looking for a place that provides you with a variety of products in one location? Look no further than Mt. Airy Farm Market.
Working on farms and landscaping for his entire life, Bill Eyles started looking into the future for a retirement project. He and his wife Karen saw a need for local producers, craftsmen, and artisans to have a local market to sell their products. So they facilitated a gathering of a wide array of locally made, natural products. Then they opened Mt. Airy Farm Market over a year ago and stocked it. “Over 75 percent of our products come from a 20-mile radius,” Eyles said. You can’t find everything at the market but I was hard pressed to think of something that I wanted that was not there.
The farm market is more than seasonal produce; it has something for everyone. Actually, it has a lot for everyone. There are eggs, milk, yogurt, meats and fresh baked breads, muffins and cookies. Gluten free baking mixes and flours are available. Not tempted yet? How about Amish made old fashioned candies, chocolates, dried fruit and locally roasted coffees? You can enjoy the ready to eat food and sandwiches or take home meats and cheeses for your meal. All of the meat is steroid, hormone free and grass fed. There is a variety of BBQ sauces and hot sauces to spice up your meat too. Don’t forget to peruse the locally canned jams, jellies, salsas and syrups. I was tempted into trying the apple salsa. What will you be tempted to try?
If you are not hungry, you can still find something to suit your fancy. A local artist makes stained glass sun catchers. Locally made soaps and body products are available. Some soap is made from goat’s milk and other beauty products have local honey as ingredients. Of course, there are several kinds of local honeys to try including Falling Bark Farm’s infused honey with flavors such as lavender or jalapeno lime. I’m dreaming of a White Christmas filled with local honey laced hot toddies.
Speaking of brews, there is beer and wine available for sale, including a selection of locally produced varieties. Eyles is on the lookout for more local wineries to sell their products at the store, too. Locally brewed honey mead is also for sale.
Many of these products make great holiday gifts, but Mt. Airy Market also provides foods for your holiday gathering. The market is taking orders for turkey and ham. Although they do not cater, they are available for special orders. They have barbecue, fresh broccoli salad, potato salad, macaroni & cheese as well as lasagna, natural sliced meat and veggie platters. Don’t forget the pies. You can preorder your food by calling the market.
Here’s a few more seasonal offerings at Mt. Airy Market: fresh cut, Virginia grown Frasier firs, wreaths and pine roping can be bought at the market. Also, starting on December 6th they will become a Village Post Office. This means that stamps and Priority Ready Mail boxes are available for sale. Fill up a box of local goodies for a loved one far away and then you can mail the box right from the market. Avoiding waiting in lines at the post office is a new holiday tradition you can try along with shopping locally. The market takes credit cards and is open Monday through Thursday 10:00-6:00, Friday and Saturday 10:00-7:00 and Sunday 11:00-5:00. A website is under construction but you can find them on Facebook.
I am sure you hear a lot about supporting local businesses. By buying from these producers you become a “job creator” in a very real and local definition. You provide income and support for local farmers, artists, store owners. My family is one of these local farmers, and we are so thankful to our local customers.
I wish you and your loved ones a magical holiday season, and hope you enjoy buying locally made treats, eating delicious foods, and making new memories.
Mt. Airy Farm Market, 8204 John Mosby Highway, Boyce; 540-837-2043.