There will also be baked goods (cinnamon rolls, breads, cakes, cookies, muffins), canned goods (jams, jellies, pickles, vegetable soup, hot peppers), medicinal herbs and tonics, local honey, Indian flat bread, herbal oils, salsa, caramel apple dip, potted plants and potted herbs.
When the growing season hits its peak in the summer, the market will open for a second day during the week, on Monday evenings starting June 4. The evening hours are aimed at “people getting off work, businesses – and anybody who doesn’t want to get up early on Saturday,” Cummings said.
Also new this year, select farmers will be accepting credit and debit cards, as well as EBT (supplemental food program) and Senior Farmers Market Nutritional Vouchers.
This is the third year for the Jacksonville market, which now draws farmers from seven counties. Cummings is working with 20 to 30 vendors this year, about 15 of whom should be at the market on any given week.
Cummings is encouraging farmers to plant successively, so they can harvest through the entire six months the market will be open.
The market also has several community outreach programs. There will be a community tent at the market, which on opening day will feature health checks from RMC. The market is also sponsoring a series of “Lunch & Learn” programs at the Jacksonville Senior Citizens Center.
The market is also participating in the Gleaning Network, a food ministry run by the Society of St. Andrew, a nonprofit organization based in Virginia. Gleaning is the Old Testament practice of gathering the leftovers after a field has been harvested. The Piedmont Benevolence Center will be gleaning the market and local farms to salvage food for the needy.
Carrots on the lawn
If you’ve noticed big plastic carrots popping up in yards around town, it’s the Jacksonville Farmers Market’s “Plant a Carrot” fundraising campaign. For $3, you can buy a decorative lawn carrot stake, and show your support for local farmers. Carrots are available at the market, the Jacksonville Home Center, Wake & Bake Pizza, Ace Hardware in Jacksonville or the Calhoun County Farmers Co-Op in Jacksonville.
Local farmers markets
• Jacksonville Farmers Market: 7-11 a.m. Saturday through Nov. 17. Also open 4-8 p.m. Monday from June 4-Aug. 27. The market is behind Roma’s on the Jacksonville Square. Check what will be available every week on the market’s Facebook page, Jacksonville Alabama Farmers Market.
• Calhoun County Farmers Market: The oldest of the area markets, held in the parking lot behind the county administration building, 1702 Noble St. in downtown Anniston. Open year-round from 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday – but most growers show up from about 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday.
• Downtown Farmers Market: Held in Zinn Park in downtown Anniston, run by the Anniston Parks and Recreation Department. Usually opens in June. Details TBA.