Farmer’s market to open Saturday

Published 11:40 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Juicy plums and peaches, crunchy cucumbers, ripe tomatoes and fiery peppers are just part of the fresh produce ripe for picking at the Selma-Dallas County Farmer’s Market.

From 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at Bloch Park pavilion, the public can visit local farmers’ booths and browse home-grown fruits and vegetables.

This year, nearly 25 farmers are a part of the market.

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“On average, we’ll have about 10 to 15 farmers per day setting up,” said Callie Nelson, Dallas County Extension Coordinator. “As produce comes in, business will pick up.”

Kathi Needham, project coordinator for Strategic Alliance for Health, said the market is a partnership between many organizations.

“It’s a big partnership between the health department and the city,” Needham said. “We have also partnered with the state Department of Agriculture and county schools to help them grow gardens.”

Salem Elementary is one school slated to sell potatoes grown from their school garden at Saturday’s market. Needham said peaches will also be available for public consumption.

Raymond Harrison, farmer and market manager, has been preparing for the event for more than a month. Harrison said he expects this year’s market to be better than times past.

“I’ve been picking okra, squash, cucumbers, peaches, plums, green tomatoes, hot banana, sweet and cayenne peppers, Irish potatoes and eggplants,” Harrison said. “Around the first of July, we hope to have watermelon, peas, cantaloupe and Silver King and Queen corn. I think more people will buy this year.”

Harrison said there’s a possibility farmers will also have collard greens, green onions and cabbage on hand.

In addition to the variety of produce available, Needham said the public will have a chance to try recipes and win door prizes.

“Vaughan Community Health Services will give away reusable bags to the first 100 customers,” Needham said. “This year we should see a lot more farmers, produce and customers.”

Seniors 60 and above can use their pre-issued vouchers to purchase produce. Needham said the goal is for seniors to stay healthy.

“Most of our seniors are on a fixed income and we want to make sure they have a good diet,” Needham said. “This market will benefit seniors nutritionally and local farmers will benefit economically from selling their produce.”

The market will remain opened every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until mid-November. For more information on the market call 875-3200.