Joe McCluney, treasurer for the market, said many people are unaware the project started more than 30 years ago by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County’s agriculture program.
“The purpose was two-fold, first, to have a place where farmers could sell their homegrown fruits and vegetables, and second, a place for our customers to have an opportunity to buy fresh produce,” he said.
McCluney, 86, said the Farmers Market is now a non-profit corporation. However, he said the vendors still offer 98 percent locally grown fruits and vegetables, just as they did when they were selling the items from truck beds when the project began.
Members of the market’s executive committee also verify on a monthly basis that produce offered by vendors is homegrown, McCluney said.
“So, it’s not just a fly-by-night venture that popped up overnight,” he joked.
The Farmer’s Market will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the summer. McCluney said there are no set hours of operation, but farmers usually show up between 6 and 7:30 a.m. and leave when they sell out of product, generally before 2 p.m. McCluney also said there is no specific ending time for the Farmer’s Market. It’s all determined by the crops. However, it usually stops some time in September, he said.
The Walker County Farmers Market, located on Airport Road, has 24 stalls and, on any given day, 10 to 18 local vendors will be selling their crops.
McCluney said all of the farmers look forward to seeing local residents at the market.
“Do your family a favor — be sure they are fed fresh fruits and vegetables — and do your neighbors a favor — buy their locally grown produce,” he said.