There's a common thread that attracts vendors and shoppers to the Purcellville Community Market. According to Juanita Tool, who organizes the market, "it's about connecting with the community and eating healthy food."
About 15-20 vendors come to the market every week, selling everything from fresh produce to homemade soaps, kombacha (a fermented drink), local cheese, pickles, meats and baked goods.
Chilly Hollow Farm's Matt Lander started farming in Berryville three years ago with his friends Justin Carrasco and Christopher Dalton to "grow good stuff and give people healthy food to eat," he said.
The three met in middle school, went away to college and found each other again after graduation. When Carrasco's grandparents were looking to sell their farm, they decided it was a great opportunity to start their dream of living off the land.
The farm is chemical free and grows some of everything, including tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, squash, okra, cucumbers, spinach, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and much more.
"We took on 30 CSA (community supported agriculture) members this year which really helped us in the start of the season with the money coming in upfront," Lander said.
Lander said the hardest part of farming has been "staying motivated when you are your own boss and trying to help people understand the true price of food."
Vera and Floyd Blethen of Lovettsville come to the market with their log grown mushrooms, a time-consuming art that is dependent on the weather.
"We soak the logs in water and drill holes for the mushrooms to grow," said Vera Blethen. "It takes six to nine months before they produce anything," she added.
Liberty Hill Farm comes to the Purcellville market every week with breads made from freshly milled flour, pasture raised chickens, free range eggs, chicken pot pies, coffee cakes and more.
The owners of Liberty Hill Farm of Berryville echoed Lander's reasons for farming.
The Matich family started living off the land four years ago because "we became interested in eating healthy and wanted a family business, so we developed our production so we could do both. We are getting the best of both worlds," said Ken Matich.
For more information about the market, visit http://www.purcellvillecommunitymarket.com
The m.arket is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and is at 130 E. Main St. at the Purcellville Marketplace.