Farmer’s market grand opening April 6

ajames@newsobserver.comMarch 30, 2013 

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Michelle Mayfield weighs the jalapeno peppers she bought Saturday at the Clayton Farm and Community Market.

PHOTO BY SARAH NAGEM

— Springtime means flowers are sprouting, and also, the Community Farmer’s Market is back in full bloom, and will be open every weekend starting April 6.

The farmer’s market will operate from Horne Square this year instead of its previous home, Town Square. The market will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a bouncy house for kids, and the streets will be closed.

Farmer’s market director Bruce Roach said they are planning for 16 vendors to be at the market. That includes seven produce vendors, two bakers, and several artisans.

The new location at Horne Square has brought more traffic already, Roach said. The market has been operating on a part-time schedule during the winter months. Roach said more people came out to the market this winter than last winter.

Good for farmers

One local farming couple, Michael and Caroline Lang, of “Let it Grow” farm, in Selma, say they appreciate the supportive atomosphere from other farmers at the market.

“One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about the Clayton market so far is that it’s very relaxed and very supportive,” said Lang. It’s not a competitive atmosphere. If a customer asks one vendor for a vegetable he or she doesn’t have, then that farmer will gladly point them to a vendor who does have it.

Lang and his wife are relatively new to the farming community. They started their farm last February and participated in the Clayton market in July. They continued to sell through the fall and winter, but some winter weekends, they didn’t have produce to sell. The cold weather took its toll on their produce. They plan to sell greens – a winter vegetable – at the market on April 6.

Lang said when spring fully sets in, they will have carrots, and later zucchini and squash. By the end of June, they plan to have tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.

The Langs don’t sell at other markets. Many of their customers are people who loyally buy from them each week.

“I consider what we’re doing less of a business and more of a lifestyle choice,” said Lang. They reach out to customers through an e-mail list, and then meet new people who are interested in their produce at the farmer’s market.

Along with selling fresh produce, vendors will also be selling local cheese, homemade goods, honey, and professional artwork.

The Saturday market runs through the last weekend in October. There is also a Holiday Market in November and December as well as a Winter Market.

James: 919-553-7234

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