Roanoke supports and encourages access to locally grown food. There a variety of sources of fresh, locally grown produce in the City of Roanoke. The historic Roanoke City Market is the oldest continuously operating open-air market in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It began in 1882 when licenses were issued to 25 area "husksters" (vendors). The market remains a busy place, known for its amazing selection of locally grow plants, fresh vegetables, as well local arts and crafts. The city is also home to two neighborhood markets in Grandin Village Community Market and the West End Community Market.
The Roanoke Community Gardens Association, started in 2008, has six permanent gardens located in city neighborhoods. These gardens allow city residents to have home-grown produce available throughout the growing season. Community members can participate in the gardens in a number of ways or just enjoy the fresh produce sold at neighborhood markets.
LEAP is a non-profit that focuses on bringing fresh and locally produced local food to those in the community that do not have access to fresh produce. LEAP can be found regularly at the Grandin Market and the West End Market, and they have recently launched the LEAP Mobile Market that can travel to neighborhoods bringing fresh produce to your doorstep.
The Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op has two locations in the city, one is located in the downtown market and the original Co-op is is the heart of Grandin Village. The Co-op has its own urban farm Heritage Point Farm, which grows vegetables, fruits and herbs that are sold at the Co-op stores and the recently opened Farm Store located on the property.