The Yadkin Farmers Market opened last week and vendors are thrilled.
“We’re excited about the new season and being back at the market,” said Cheryl Sheppard. She and her husband Bryan have had a booth at the market since its inception nearly 10 years ago. They sell various herbs and will soon have some vegetable plants for sale as well.
The market, which is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from May through mid-October, grew out of demand from area residents. The market is located at 1141 Tennessee St. in Yadkinville.
“After many inquiries from consumers as well as part-time farmers and local gardeners, a farmers market was started in 2008,” said Colleen Church from the Yadkin County Extension Agency. “This was the first-ever farmers market in Yadkinville. In 2009, there were an average of 18 vendors at the market on a weekly basis. In 2011, the Yadkin Farmers Market received a $30,000 grant from RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) which was matched with $30,000 from the town of Yadkinville. We currently have a permanent location for the farmers market which has ample parking, electricity and restroom facilities.”
Farmers Market President Glenda Edgell said they are looking forward to having some new vendors join the ranks this year.
A pork vendor will now be at the market on Saturdays and another meat vendor on Tuesdays. Another goal for the group is to encourage young people.
“That really is the market’s interest is to get young people interested in growing,” she said.
A special discounted rate is offered to anyone under the age of 18 who would like to have a booth to sell their homegrown produce at the market.
Aileen Steelman, one of the growers who helped to get the Yadkin Farmers Market started, said it’s a great thing for the community. Not only does the market provide a great venue for area farmers to sell their products, but it provides fresh local produce and other items to area residents.
Early in the season the market features greens, lettuce, onions and hydroponic tomatoes. As the season progresses there will be squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and much more.
“We have definitely seen an increase in customers the past two years which in turn helps the market attract and retain new producers,” Church said.
Educating customers on the products sold is another mission of the group as well as just chatting with customers who visit the market.
“They are a very community-minded group who love to educate others and offer a family-friendly, neighborly experience aside from just being a retail marketplace,” Church said. “Customers get the freshest produce at very reasonable prices produced and sold locally. They get to create a relationship with the farmer, ask questions, taste new products, get recipes, and make friends.”
The group has a Facebook page, Yadkin Farmers Market, where organizers post updates on the newest produce and other items which will be featured each week at the market. Vendor information is available on the local foods tab of the Yadkin County Cooperative Extension website https://yadkin.ces.ncsu.edu/.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.