Farmer’s Market makes seasonal debut

Published 6:55 pm Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday marked the annual debut of the Dallas County Farmer’s Market at Bloch Park in Selma, offering some of the freshest produce around. Below, in addition to the great produce, one seller —Ken Smith — brought along his guitar to serenade shoppers.  Smith, who works at Henry Brick Company, grows and sells product as a hobby. --Ashley Johnson

Saturday marked the annual debut of the Dallas County Farmer’s Market at Bloch Park in Selma, offering some of the freshest produce around.  –Ashley Johnson

The Farmer’s Market at the Bloch Park Pavilion opened Saturday for the first sell of the season. The market will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as Saturdays throughout the coming months.

As buyers came in one-by-one to the pavilion for opening day, they scoured over the fresh squash and zucchinis organized in baskets with cardboard price tags, the price scribbled on with Sharpee markers.

Farmer’s Market organizer, Kathi Needham said this aspect of buying and spending with local farmers is a reason the market helps the local economy but also offers fresh food.

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“Its local, its community and our farmers are from Dallas County, Chilton County and Wilcox County,” Needham said. “So instead of going to the grocery store and getting something from Santiago Chili and is two weeks old and has been kept in a cooler, these people picked this yesterday and the day before. They are farmers, so whatever money they make here, they turn around and spend it here so it’s local money, going to our local farmers.”

Needham said this Saturday’s market was not as big and bustling as it will be in weeks to come. Because of cool weather early in the growing season, several farmers are waiting a week or so for their crop to yield. Things like blueberries and tomatoes are not in yet. But Needham said produce such as squash, zucchinis, potatoes and red potatoes; blackberries, green tomatoes and plums are all readily available now in the market. New vendors have arrived like a couple that sells live plants and homemade bread — Carla and Bob Schuerman.

Needham said she thinks there is nothing better than being able to purchase homemade bread and tomatoes, then making a tomato sandwich once home.

The Schuermans are one of several families that have decided to sell at the market this summer and see what comes of it.

“I just have always liked doing this and I’m to the point now to where I can do my gardening so it gives me something to do,” Carla Schuerman said, who has a farm with her husband in between Valley Grande and Plantersville with more than 200 blueberry bushes. “A couple of years ago I decided to try some seeds on my own, just to see what kind of luck I would have and was very successful. I thought, ‘hey I can sell this.’”

Other specialty vendors showed up opening day selling more than produce. Joyce’s catering and Eve Marie’s cupcakery sold baked goods, the Rushton family sold their canned jellies and jams and The Store from Valley Grande sold boiled peanuts and sausage biscuits.

Though crowds were smaller than when the market is in full swing in the mid-summer, Needham said she expects numbers to grow in the next several weeks.