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Farmer's Market opens Saturday

SALISBURY — The wait is almost over for those longing for local produce, baked goods and plants.
The 2011 Salisbury Farmer’s Market officially opens Saturday morning at 7 a.m. The Farmer’s Market is easily located at the corner of South Main and Bank streets in downtown Salisbury. The market is easy to find by the two large, green shade canopies which identify the area where local producers will be selling local produce and meat, flowers, baked goods and local handmade crafts.
The Farmer’s Market will again be open two days a week, Wednesdays from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until noon.
The major objective of the market is to supply the public with fresh, locally grown products. Rowan County producers strive to give customers variety and continuous supply of fresh produce with staggered plantings. Tomatoes, green beans, sweet corn and squash are staggered throughout the growing season so growers are not inundated with too much produce at once.
The Salisbury Farmer’s Market is one of eight farmer’s markets that accept WIC and Senior Vouchers as well as EBT cards, debit and credit cards. These are in place and will be available at the market later this spring.
One of the great benefits of this market is the chance to visit and converse with local growers, bakers and meat producers. Market vendors enjoy sharing their knowledge about their crops and are eager impart information.
Those who shop at the market should keep an open dialogue with vendors and growers to learn about future availability of produce and other crops. Growers also need your input to help them determine future plantings. Many vendors have proven recipes and are happy to share cooking tips along with their produce. The well seasoned shopper realizes it’s best to establish a relationship with growers early in the season.
Harry Agner returns again this season as the market manager, coordinating the logistics of the market, and is available to help customers if necessary and enforce market rules and guidelines, including food safety.
Food safety is an important component and strictly enforced. Because of food safety concerns, pets are not allowed in the market area.
Master Gardener Volunteers will return again this year providing weekly market updates in Wednesday’s Salisbury Post.
One of the biggest changes for the market is the new website makeover. The website has been completely retooled, providing more pertinent information about the market and vendors. There’s even a field to enter your e-mail and receive a weekly market e-newsletter update.
It will be well worth your time to visit www.salisburyfarmersmarket.com and explore the new site for more updated information about the market.
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Learn more about Cooperative Extension events and activities by calling 704-216-8970 or online at www.rowanextension.com
www.rowanmastergardener.com
rowan.ces.ncsu.edu

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