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Hurray for spring! Farmers’ Market opens Saturday

Finally, the Salisbury-Rowan Farmers’ Market is back. It’s been a long winter and we are craving spring and all the things that come with it — flowers,  sunshine and fresh vegetables.

Just imagine the salad you can make with the variety of lettuces that will show up at the market, all locally grown and handled with care. What will we find at the opening day of the market this Saturday April 14?

Well, for one thing, you’ll find that the market has moved pending construction of Bell Tower Park. This year, the market will be at 520 S. Main St., in the parking lot next to Sidekick Karate. It will not be across from the library. The hours will be the same, 8 a.m.-noon on Saturdays.

The market board decided to go ahead and move anticipating the start of work on the park later this summer, rather than starting in one place and then moving.

There will be signs posted at the Fisher Street location telling people about the move, and plenty of signage at the new location.

So head south on Main to find the vendors and their tents. There will be lots of off-street parking, too, and fewer disruptions for other downtown events.

JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST
The Rowan/Salisbury Farmers Market will be here for the 2018 season because of construction to create the new Bell Tower Green. It opens this Saturday, April 14, in the parking lot of Sidekick Karate, 520 S. Main St.  Monday, April 9, 2018, in Salisbury, N.C.

You’ll see your favorite vendors returning to the market, with the possibility of more vendors coming as their crops mature.

David Correll of Red Barn Market/Correll Farms, says his vegetables are about three weeks behind due to the very unusual weather we’ve had over the last several months. He guesses others will be similarly affected, but he has heard there might be strawberries at the market, if not this weekend, then soon.

Correll is vice president of the market board.

Lindsay Stallings will be the new market manager, taking care of vendors, helping to set up and working on publicity, which will include the market’s Facebook page, SalisburyFarmersMarket. Check back regularly for information on special events, new offerings and more.

Correll said Stallings has good ideas and is task-oriented. “She’ll be a great asset for the market, once we all figure out what we need and what’s best.”

Chase Reynolds will have his food truck, Rustic Roots, at the market regularly, offering food made with products from his farm, Two Pigs, and other local sources.

Here’s a list of vendors you can expect at the market.

• Lee’s Fresh Flowers & Vegetables, offering gorgeous flowers and vegetables including lettuces, herbs, radishes, sugar snap peas, bok choy, Napa cabbage and more. Look for delicious Asian varieties.

• Two Pigs Farm will be back with a variety of pork, chicken, sausages and more, along with eggs and some vegetables.

• Miller Produce is known for their sweet corn and great strawberries along with seasonal items including tomatoes and cantaloupe, as well as potatoes, peppers, beans, cabbage and more.

• How Sweet It Is specializes in baked goods such as cookies, harvest, lemon and more muffins, pound cakes, rolls, pies and coffee cakes.

• Treehouse Soaps will be there with special ingredients such as natural clay, avocado and other natural ingredients.

• Upside Down Farms brings shiitake mushrooms, handmade bird houses, ciders, household helpers and more.

• Hutchens Homestead offering vegetables, eggs and some poultry.

• Correll Farms will have a big selection of lettuces, greens, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, maybe celery, kohlrabi, onions, potatoes, peppers and more over the season. Get there early if you want Brussels sprouts.

• Better Loafing Artisan Bread Company brings baked goods from bread to sweet treats.

• Downing Farm sells fresh vegetables.

• The Soap Shack and its herd makes goat’s milk soap, bath bombs, lotion and other personal care products.

• Twin Oak Farm brings strawberries, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, green beans, squash, corn.

• All Grown Up is a hydroponic grower who brings lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, and more.

• McCombs Cheese has the famous pimiento cheese in a couple of flavors, chicken salad, crackers.

• Teachers Can Too is a mother-daughter team of jelly makers, who created Cheerwine Centennial Jelly, which was an instant success.

• Thomas Family Farm features pork, beef and some chicken, along with sausages and other specials.

• Spring Lake Farm is an aquaponic grower of lettuces, herbs and other greens.

• Larry Pruitt is known for his greens, turnips, apples and sweet potatoes.

• Off Grid and In Color is a young family raising tender pork and some chicken.

• McGillin’s Fruitcakes are based on an Irish wedding cake recipe. These fruitcakes have become a Salisbury favorite.

Here’s what you need to do to prepare for the market. Bring reusable bags, although most all vendors have plastic bags, it’s good to recycle.

Bring cash — several vendors will accept credit cards or checks, but for smaller purchases, say $1 for a bunch green onions, cash is best.

Buy what’s fresh and design your menu around it. The very freshest spring vegetables won’t wait for you to get around to them. Buy what you will use and use it soon.

Talk to the vendors. Ask questions. Ask for recipes or cooking methods. Don’t be afraid of veggies or herbs you haven’t used before. Vendors enjoy forming relationships with their customers, and it helps you get the best of what you want the most.

Set aside time for visiting. Many of your friends and neighbors will be there and you’ll want to catch up after the long winter.

The early shopper will get the best selection, but there’s always plenty to choose from throughout the day.

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