Competition Alley

We sell produce at two farmers markets each week.

On Saturday mornings we’re at the market in Danville, our nearest city. Danville has about 50,000 residents and the market there is vibrant and well-attended. It’s a friendly atmosphere and we enjoy being a part of it.

On Tuesday afternoons we’re at the market in Chatham, our county seat. Chatham is a quiet, pretty and friendly place, with a population of about 400.

The County courthouse in Chatham

The County courthouse in Chatham

Being a midday market in a very small town, the Tuesday market is much more intimate. There are usually only 4-6 vendors and far fewer shoppers, but it’s a friendly group and we enjoy it too.

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Chatham was named in honor of William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, who was considered by English colonists to be their friend and advocate back in England. Our county is named Pittsylvania, also in his honor.

But originally Chatham had a different name. In anticipation of the prosperity that they hoped free markets would bring, the early settlers named the village “Competition.”

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Our Tuesday afternoon market is in Competition Alley, the only street/alley remaining from those pre-Chatham days. A group of Chatham residents led the effort to restore the alley and earlier this year we were invited to help organize a market there.

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Yes, it's right next to the funeral museum. I haven't been to the museum yet, but I'm dying to visit. On second thought, I wouldn't be caught dead there.

Yes, it’s right next to the funeral museum. I haven’t been to the museum yet, but I’m dying to visit. On second thought, I wouldn’t be caught dead there.

They’ve done a nice job and we like being part of bringing some economic life back to the Alley.

The vendors at Competition Alley. Amy and Joel of Moses Mill Farm, Lynda of Loaded Goat Homestead, Bill and Cherie of White Flint Farm, and Matt of Tightsqueeze Farm. All chemical-free.

The vendors at Competition Alley. Amy and Joel of Moses Mill Farm, Lynda of Loaded Goat Homestead, Bill and Cherie of White Flint Farm, and Matt of Tightsqueeze Farm. All chemical-free.

New farmers markets are popping up all around the country these days, even in small towns like Chatham, Virginia. We find that encouraging.