Farmer's Market opens

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2011

By Cynthia Hooper
For the Salisbury Post
The gray skies and rain may have kept some people away from opening day at the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning, but there were plenty of smiling vendors there to greet the customers who braved the weather.
Locals had been waiting all winter for their favorite area farmers to return to the Farmer’s Market and a little bad weather was not going to keep them away from the produce they had been looking forward to.
“We have been waiting since they closed in December, I love getting the organic beef,” Shelly Deneen said. Deneen and her daughter, Heavenly, were pleased to see T&D Farms back at the market this year.
Doyle Mauldin of China Grove’s T&D Farms was happy to be there. They offer grass fed and finished beef, pork and chicken as well as free range eggs.
“My son Todd started about six years ago with the idea in his mind to provide healthy meat for his friends and neighbors around China Grove and that is what he has done,” Mauldin said.
The market features plants, vegetables, baked goods, meat and more.
Carla Anne’s Homestyle Bakery brought a variety of baked goods, from their sugar-free line of pastries to home made peanut butter. There was a wide selection of breads, Danish pastry and fresh coffee in addition to their award winning chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.
Carla Anne and husband, Mark Whaley, from Spencer, once lived in California and learned the secret to making a perfect sourdough. They quickly sold out of their San Francisco sourdough bread on Saturday, but this year offer a sourdough starter so people can bake their own bread right at home.
“It is not an easy venture,” Carla Anne said of the sourdough starter, “but well worth it.”
Bluebird Acres Farm also braved the weather on Saturday.
“I knew my loyal customers would be here,” Cathy Reynolds said.
When Reynolds retired from teaching, she started growing plants. Bluebird Acres Farms offers a variety of plants, including a romaine lettuce that can be eaten right out of the planter, with continual harvesting for another two to three weeks.
Reynolds said customers can bring gently used plant containers to her for reuse, as the recycling center does not recycle them and when they are in good shape she can put them to good use.
By 10 a.m. the sun started peeking out from behind the clouds, just in time for the “Page Girls” arrival at the farmer’s market. Judy Page and her mother, Alice, of Salisbury, came out looking for some plants as well as some sweets. Once they got there they headed right towards Kristine Turco’s minivan and the smell of sweet delights.
Turco, who operates How Sweet It Is, has been selling her fresh baked goods at the local farmer’s market for the past 17 years.
Keeping dry in the back of Turco’s van were a selection of cut-out cookies decorated for Easter, butter and chocolate pound cakes, brownies, eight different kinds of muffins, pepperoni cheddar rolls as well as apple and cherry pies. Turco uses many of her Grandmother’s recipes from long ago and graciously donates any leftovers to her friends and neighbors.
Some people think that spoiled chickens lay the tastiest eggs, at least that is Neta Monroe’s understanding of them. Monroe has 12 different types of chickens, all free range.
They live in an insulated chicken coop in Salisbury and provide Monroe with the eggs she sells at the market. Fresh eggs cost $3 a dozen or two dozen for $5. Monroe also sells hand painted gourds, hummingbird feeders and carry all bags made of mainly recycled materials.
Monroe will do nearly anything to keep her chickens happy. “I even got rid of the rooster, so he would stop bothering them,” she said.
The Farmers Market is located at the corner of Main and Bank streets and is open from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.