Market on Main opened Saturday with fresh produce, other options

Published 7:55 pm Monday, June 3, 2019

Market on Main opened on Saturday to a variety of local vendors selling vegetables, plants, jams, jellies and more.

Many farmers are still waiting for their first full produce harvest, but locals still had the chance to purchase early harvest crops and jams at the first market of the year at Flag Pole Park on Saturday. The market relocated to Flag Pole Park last year, bringing new and longtime vendors to the new location on the corner of Main Street and Lafayette Parkway.

“It is like a reunion,” said Marilyn Wallace of Emerald Acres Farm. “I am always happy to see people after the winter.”

Previously, the weekly farmer’s market was located on Main Street behind the AMC theatre building. Some of its vendors reminisced on the market’s past as they greeted customers this weekend.

“We started out by the fire station — the volunteer fire department on [Highway] 27 — and then we were Market on Main with Downtown Development for a number of years,” Wallace said. “We’ve been up here now for two years.”

Through those changes in location, the market also solidified a group of committed, local vendors.

“I think you see less produce and more baked goods, which is great,” said Linda Arrington of Country Condiments. “You don’t see the big farmers like you used to see. They would bring in bushels of peas and butterbeans, but you don’t see that anymore. You see single family happiness, so you’re dealing a little more with the backyard farmers and that sort of thing, which is where you get your better-flavored vegetables.”

Arrington said that because produce at Market on Main is picked fresh, it tastes better, and for some vendors that means waiting until just before the market to make sure customers can purchase freshly-picked produce.

“I cut it fresh in the morning,” said Shannon Powell of Gills and Greens. “Saturday morning is really busy for everybody, but if you come out here and take 15, 20 minutes and see all the vendors, [you can] get your fresh produce for the week. It is a good opportunity. We’ve got new vendors this year, a wide variety of foods — canned foods, fresh produce, plants.”

This is Powell’s second year at the market. He raises tilapia and aquaponic greens, including romaine, butter crunch lettuce, spinach and basil, and he said that he plans to be at the market throughout the summer, selling his most recent harvest.

The vendors also emphasized the importance of being aware of where food comes from and eating healthy.

“We love to support buying and eating local, and it is healthier when you are buying from your own community,” Wallace said. “We don’t treat any of our products with fertilizers or chemicals. It is all natural, and we know that there is a trend toward eating more healthily. We fully support that.”

Market of Main is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Flag Pole Park, on the corner of Main Street and Lafayette Parkway. For more information, contact Barbie Watts at (706) 298-4534.