That's right. The Walker County Farmers’ Market, located on North Airport Road in Jasper, will officially open for its 33rd year Saturday, May 18, 2013, but several local farmers will be kicking off this year’s market season a little early.
“Despite the crazy weather we’ve been having, several of the farmers who have booths at the market are hoping to be in their stalls on May 4 and 11, selling strawberries and a few other vegetables,” said Joe McCluney, secretary and treasurer for the market. “But the market officially opens for business on Saturday, May 18, and welcome all of our old friends and new customers to this year’s opening day. We will be buzzing with local growers selling their fresh produce.”
The market is operated by the Walker County Farmers’ Association, which formed in 1979 and opened the market for the first time in 1980. Originally held at the Jasper Jaycees Fairgrounds, the market was moved a year later to an area near the Jasper Post Office, where it stayed for several years before moving to its present location on Airport Road.
Once the market moved to its present home, a building consisting of 10 sheds for growers to park their vehicles was built, and most the farmers will just pull their vehicles into their slot and sell their wares from the back of their trucks. The county owns this structure and leases it to the association at four-year intervals. The building can only be used by the market.
“We have farmers from all across Walker County and the surrounding areas who come to sell their produce here at our farmers’ market,” McCluney said. “So our customers can be assured that they are getting items right from the garden.”
The majority of the items sold at the market are home-grown, and probably 90 percent of it is grown right here in Walker County. The market is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and many of the farmers who sell at the market get there at 7 a.m. or before and generally stay until everything is sold.
Just a few of the vegetables customers can expect to find at the Walker County Farmers’ Market this season as produce begins to come in will be squash, beans, beets, onions, corn, potatoes, okra and egg plant, just to name a few.