Selma Farmers’ Market makes a fresh return

Published 5:16 pm Monday, June 9, 2014

Raymond Harrison fills a carton with produce Saturday during the first day of business this year at the Selma Farmers Market.

Raymond Harrison fills a carton with produce Saturday during the first day of business this year at the Selma Farmers Market.

Fresh food and old friends were found in abundance Saturday during this year’s first day of business at the Selma Farmers Market.

Selma resident Onetia Withers joined her mother, Mary Gohagon, at the market, and the pair showed up bright and early, ready to check items off of their shopping list.

“My mother wanted to come out today, and we want to pick up some okra, cabbage, squash and peaches. We found everything we were looking for,” Withers said. “I know its cheaper buying groceries here, and my mother is definitely a bargain shopper.”

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Vickie Chandler, who brought a truckload of peaches, squash, plums, tomatoes and snap beans from her family’s Billingsley farm, said she was excited to see old friends on the first day of the market.

“It’s like a big family reunion,” Chandler said. “We see people three days a week, all summer long, and when summer is over we don’t get to see them anymore. When the farmers market is back, you get to see the farmers and customers we’ve had for years. I know we have several customers whose parents used to buy from my husband’s mom and dad years ago.”

After a cool spring delayed crops throughout the region, farmers and customers alike were ready for the farmers market to open for business Saturday.

“I can always come here and get the best cucumbers, peaches and tomatoes,” said Sister Judy Kaiser, who spent her Saturday morning looking over the tables of fresh foods available. “And I think the contact with the farmers is so important.”

Raymond Harrison, who runs a farm in Plantersville, said his season at the Selma Farmers Market was already off to a successful start.

“It’s been a good first day. We’ve sold a good bit already. The snap beans are all gone and the okra, too,” Harrison said. “We brought several other things that are popular; peaches and plums are always big here.”

Carla Schuerman of Petal Pushers Farm is Valley Grande, said the economic and health impact of the market makes it beneficial to both farmers and customers.

“I personally think it’s very important for the community to have a farmers market like this to support the local businesses and to give people the freshest food possible,” Schuerman said. “It just makes good sense to me.”

The market, located in Bloch Park on Dallas Avenue, will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through mid-November.