The owners of a Smith Mountain Lake alpaca farm have opened a market offering a variety of agricultural products.
Harvest Moon Market opened last month in an old church in Moneta. Owner Robbin Martinelli said grocery shortages in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a desire to support agriculture, prompted her to start the business.
“We have to be sustainable and self-sufficient and we have to support our farms,” she said, noting that people should recognize the importance of agriculture in daily life.
Martinelli brought his alpaca products and other agricultural products, such as cheese, honey, moonlit pickles and apples, under one roof to create a “full-fledged agrimarché”.
She described Harvest Moon Marketplace as “kind of like an indoor farmer’s market” which also offers high-end products like alpaca wares and jewelry.
Much of what the market has to offer is local, but Martinelli said she’s also looking for out-of-state growers who are the best in their fields, mentioning Amish from Pennsylvania and syrup from Vermont. . A community-supported agriculture (CSA) program is also underway.
In the spring, she plans to open a wine garden where patrons can taste a bottle from a North Carolina vineyard that Harvest Moon has partnered with. Finally, Martinelli also hopes to add bluegrass on Friday night.