We hadn’t been to the Five Points Community Farmer’s Market in Norfolk for a full year. Realizing that not every town has a huge farmer’s market like the one I grew up with in south Georgia, I decided to revisit it with a fresh attitude and stop being prejudiced against small, overpriced markets that are doing the best they can. After venting in the organic food post about what Norfolk didn’t have, I decided to write about what they do have.
I stepped inside, surprised to see a used bookstore. The books were inexpensive, only $3 a hardcover, and a pretty good selection at that.
I didn’t remember a used bookstore and asked a couple when it started. “This is our first time here. We just googled farmer’s markets and Norfolk,” the boy told me. Thrilled the couple looked to be in their mid-to-late 20’s, I said to my husband, “They’re doing the same thing we are!”
A market employee overheard us and cheerfully piped in that the bookstore was the creation of a group of librarians who volunteer once a week to come in and sort the books. All books are donated, and all proceeds go to the market. God bless librarians.
I entered another world when I stepped through the next door. There was a booth on the right with flyers and advertisements, various business cards, and classes. (Including Healthy Cooking Lessons from Megan Hogan!)
Green Alternatives sells canvas lunch boxes and sandwich bags–no more Ziploc plastic! I even found the mesh produce bags I’ve been looking for all over God’s green earth. I couldn’t even find them on-line, but they had them here.
The shop is small and well laid-out, selling all sorts of alternatives to everyday life– fashionable grocery bags, stainless steel lunch boxes, even compostable plastic bags for doggie-do. In the far corner, they recycled the things the city of Norfolk doesn’t–yogurt cups, candy wrappers, granola wrappers, Preserve toothbrushes, and Starbuck’s coffee bags, among other products. The girl behind the counter was friendly and chipper and taught me how to make business cards using cut up cardboard from a Coors Light package and stamps from Staple’s.
The market sells a small amount of organic and local produce, including local honey, organic coffee and dogfood. There is a special section for the CSA and two refrigerated containers of grass-fed meat, grown in the state.
Adding to the mood, a band played country banjo music. It sounded a lot like bluegrass. When I asked if they had a card, they told me every Sunday afternoon is “jam session.” Everyone is welcome, you only need to bring your own instrument. One man pulled out a card from the Acoustic Railroad Bluegrass Band. Aha! It was bluegrass! My Kentucky ears didn’t fail me, after all.
On my way out, I asked the girl painting if the art sold at the store was hers. “No, but you can find my art at Kerouac Cafe, ” she said. Her name was Angelina, and she only painted on recycled material.
Yes, the Five Points Community Market in Norfolk on Church Street is small. But it’s a start. They’ve already initiated a community garden.
Feel free to stop by. Thurs. & Fri. 11-7 Sat. 9-5, Sun. 11-5
- Partner in Promotion: The USDA Farmer’s Market Promotion Program (dhcdvms.wordpress.com)
- Ala Moana Farmer’s Market (naturallyhi.com)
- The World’s Coolest Farmers’ Markets (thedailymeal.com)
- Who’s got fresh food? (freshrivervalley.wordpress.com)
- Some Vendors at City Hall Farmers Market are Pissed at Occupy L.A. For Cutting Into Sales (laist.com)