Farmers' Market opens Saturday
by Elane Jones
Jun 07, 2010 | 1255 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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There's nothing like the smell of fresh vegetables cooking on the stove and a number of folks probably filled their kitchens with that wonderful smell when they cooked up the fresh vegetables they purchased at the local farmers market this weekend.

The Walker County Farmers Market opened Saturday and business was steady with many farmers selling out of some vegetables shortly after the market opened.

"We've just about sold out of everything, but that's a good thing," Jeremy Calvert said. "We're just thankful we had some stuff to sell on the first day. We had a pretty rough time at the beginning of the season trying to get things to grow because of all the rain."

Calvert, who traveled all the way from his farm in Cullman to Jasper sell his produce, said the past three weeks of rain everyday has caused problems for many area farmers.

"I know it sounds crazy for a farmer to be complaining about too much rain, but to it can damage crops as quick as no rain at all," Calvert said. "When you have a lot of rain, you tend to see a lot of disease, such as mold and root rot, and that's what we're seeing."

But the recent rains had apparently not hurt all of Calvert's crops.

Many of the customers who visited the Farmers Market Saturday stopped by his stall to admire the three giant cabbages he had for sale.

"I weighed the largest one of the bunch before we left home, and it weighed 16 1/2 pounds," Calvert said. "I guess the rain didn't hurt everything, I know it wasn't anything I did. I just planted them and this is the result."

The Walker County Farmers Market has seen a steady increase in traffic over the past few years, and Calvert said he expects that trend to continue.

"A lot of folks would rather buy fresh vegetables than canned ones, because you don't have to worry about all those preservatives," Calvert said. "And buying locally means you're getting the freshest available, and that's a big plus for us, the farmers. I've been coming here for five years now, and I've seen a steady increase in the number of folks who stop by to buy our produce."

Calvert said he always tries to have a good variety of vegetables on hand to sell when he comes to market, but that all depends on what crops are available at the time.

"We didn't have a lot stuff to bring with us this time because we ended up having to replant some things," Calvert said. "But we'll have some fresh ripe tomatoes to sell in about three weeks, as well as some other vegetables."

The Walker County Farmers Market is located at the old Walker County Airport on North Airport Road in Jasper, and is open each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until the last vegetable is sold.

For more information, call Joe McCluney at 205-384-4085.