China Grove Market at the Mill begins Friday

  • Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:39 a.m.

CHINA GROVE — The Market at the Mill will kick off its fourth season Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the China Grove Roller Mill on Main Street and is open every Friday from May through September.

“I hope that we can bring a renewed agricultural awareness to the community this year. We have a rich history of agriculture in Rowan County, but I hope we can highlight the agriculture of today and encourage folks to be a part of that by gardening and shopping at the farmers market,” said Alan Goodman, market manager.

The local farmers market looks to add vendors and special events this year.

The market will hold two contests this year — largest watermelon and best tomato, organizers say. The watermelon contest will be open for entries throughout the market season and the winner will announced Sept. 9. Participants must pre-register and bring their melon to the market to be weighed. Multiple entries are allowed. Melons must be grown in Rowan County. Goodman Farm Supply is sponsoring the watermelon contest, providing a $100 cash prize to an adult and youth winner.

The tomato contest will be judged at 2 p.m. July 20 as part of the Farmers Day celebration. Participants must submit five tomatoes for judging. All must be grown in Rowan County. The criteria for judging will include appearance, taste, meatiness and the absence of a core. L.L. Goodnight and Son’s is sponsoring the tomato contest, providing a $100 cash prize to an adult and youth winner.

The China Grove Farmers Market offers fruit, vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, plants and flowers. Vendors include full-time farmers who attend area markets daily, home gardeners who are first-time vendors and local high school FFA programs. Vendors must produce 50 percent of the product they sell and produce not grown by the vendor must be labeled with origin. In addition to Friday evenings, the China Grove Farmers Market will be part of China Grove’s annual Farmers Day Celebration. The Market at the Mill is sponsored by the Historical Society of South Rowan and is supported by the China Grove town board.

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