RICHMOND, Va. — June 21 is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Virginia farmers will celebrate by doing what they do every other day of the year, providing a safe, wholesome, abundant and affordable food supply. Summer solstice is just another long day for them as they harvest Virginia’s bounty from fields, orchards, pastures and tidal basins. But they smile as they work because longer, sun-filled days ripen produce to perfection and extra time tonight means another load to the market tomorrow.
This is a great day to show your appreciation for Virginia’s hardworking, uncomplaining, economy-boosting farmers. Here are some ideas on how to do just that:
- Pick your own produce for a Virginia grown feast at a local farmers’ market, pick-your-own farm or roadside stand. Fresh right now are sweet corn, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, greens, onions, melons, potatoes, berries, herbs, peaches and so much more.
- While you’re there, pick up some fresh flowers to grace your table, a jar of honey to appease your sweet tooth and a locally-grown-and-acclimated plant for your yard or garden.
- At the coast or tidal rivers, find crabs, oysters and clams as fresh as they’ll ever be unless you dig them yourself. Find a place where you can eat them right at the wharf, or travel the Virginia Oyster Trail for a special day in the outdoors.
- Take a moment to connect the dots between Virginia’s farms and its economy. Agriculture is the state’s largest private industry — by far. Without it, we wouldn’t have our safe, abundant food supply or the invaluable contribution it makes to our economy.
- At the end of the day, stop by a local vineyard for a glass of wine and some local cheese to cap off your day of fun in the great outdoors.
Virginia’s farmers will thank you and you will return home content in the knowledge that today, you gave Virginia’s economy a good workout … and brought home a bounty of fresh, nutritious agricultural products.
— Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services