Sanford Farmers Market starts new season fresh
Under a clear Carolina blue sky, the Sanford Farmers Market held its opening day Saturday for residents interested in locally grown food and homemade crafts.
The market, located in Depot Park in downtown Sanford, is open from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday through the end of October. Beginning July 2, the market will also be open at the Enrichment Center from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. every Tuesday.
Market Manager Sue Buie called the opening day a success with a handful of vendors, which is expected to grow through the season.
"This is for people who want to buy local, fresh and other handmade items," she said. "We are a grow-your-own/make-your-own market. And we are proud of that."
In an effort to bring more people to the market, Buie said there will be live music and cooking demonstrations scheduled throughout the months.
"We want to get people involved," she said.
Joe Andrews and Alvin Bean, who own the Llama Non Grata Farm in Cameron, sell a variety of herbs and vegetables. Both said they were excited to be back at the farmers market.
"You need to support the local economy," Andrews said. "And when you are buying local, it's the freshest product and you know where it is coming from."
The neat rows of greens, herbs, eggs, meats and homemade crafts were picked over by residents interested in locally grown or made products Saturday, and Hollie Labas said she brought her family to the market to purchase free-range eggs.
"We wanted to support our local farmers and community," Labas said. "We just moved here and it's small. But we plan to keep coming back."
Laura Young, of Dew Dance Farms, said she made items and grew produce for her family and that she wanted to sell the excess.
"We are very much a community," Young said. "And this is one of the best ways to support your community. It's fresh, clean (goods) and it's contributing to the local economy."
Jean Dabbs, owner and baker of Sweet Amy's Bakery, participated in the market last year and said she enjoyed seeing people take advantage of the market.
"It's been really great," Dabbs said. "You see a lot of new and old faces. More and more people eat local and want to cut down on the processed food. They want to know where their food comes from."
While the market is open throughout the month of April, a grand opening ceremony is scheduled for May 6, Buie said.