China Grove’s Market at the Mill opens Friday
China Grove is gearing up to kick off its fifth Market at the Mill season at 4 p.m. Friday at the China Grove Roller Mill on Main Street.
The event will conclude at 7 p.m.
The market is open at the same time every Friday May through September.
Sponsored by the Historical Society of South Rowan and supported by the town board, the local farmers market is adding vendors and special events this year.
“I hope that we can bring a renewed agricultural awareness to the community this year,” said Alan Goodman, the market’s manager. “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.”
The market will hold two contests this year – largest watermelon and best tomato.
The largest watermelon contest will be open for entries throughout the market season, with the winner being announced Sept. 8.
Participants must pre-register and bring their melon to the market to be weighed.
Multiple entries are allowed, and the melons must be grown in Rowan County.
Goodman Farm Supply is sponsoring the watermelon contest and providing a $100 cash prize to an adult and youth winner.
The tomato contest will be judged at 2 p.m. July 19 as part of the Farmers Day celebration.
Participants must submit five tomatoes for judging, and 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 are sponsoring the tomato contest and providing cash prizes for first-, second- and third-place winners to both adult and youth winners.
The China Grove Farmers Market offers fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, plants and flowers.
Vendors include full-time farmers who attend area markets daily as well as home gardeners.
Vendors must produce 50 percent of the product they sell and produce. Product not grown by the vendor must be labeled with its origin.
In addition to Friday evenings, the China Grove Farmers Market will be part of China Grove’s annual street festival, Farmers Day, slated for July 19.