As winter overstays its welcome and spring sighs impatiently, local farmers markets are getting ready for another season of home-grown commerce.
The Ashe County Farmers’ Market, 108 Backstreet West Jefferson, will open 8 a.m. Saturday April 13.
“We’ve got about 50 vendors signed up right now,” said Market Manager John Smyre. “That will grow as the year progresses.”
The market offers fresh, seasonal locally-grown produce, a wide variety of nursery items, flowers and plants, locally-raised meats, artisan cheeses, homemade breads and pastries, honey, molasses, jams and jellies, as well as fine locally-made arts and crafts.
Throughout the year, visitors will find local musicians playing at the market, as well as local chefs cooking up tasty tidbits of locally grown food.
Special events this year include the Annual Fishing Expo May 18, Fiber Day — dedicated to sheep shearing and wool spinning — June 15, the 2013 Berry Pie/Berry Cobbler Contest July 20 and Tomato/Salsa Contest Aug. 17.
“We’d love to get more of our local farmers out,” Smyre said. “That’s what we’re all about: local produce and local products.”
To that end, the market may test-fly an introductory invitation for new vendors this year, he said. This might be “a special day for local farmers to come and see what it’s all about, or maybe just a Saturday fee.”
This year, the Ashe Farmers Market is accepting EBT cards and WIC vouchers, he said.
The Ashe County Farmers’ Market will be open 8-1 p.m. Saturdays through October 26. For more information, visit www.ashefarmersmarket.com.
The Lansing Farmers’ Market will be open 1-6 p.m. Thursdays beginning May 16.
The market will set up at a new, more convenient location for its second year, said Ann Rose of Rose Mountain Farm. The vacant lot between Southern Style Hair Salon and the parking lot adjacent to the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department will allow visitors faster, easier access.
“We have more vendors this year,” said Rose, “and we have tents and tables available to vendors for a minimal fee.”
“Our fee is $25 for the season and $5 for each market day,” she said. “The application can be downloaded from the Lansing Website, www.explorelansingnc.com.”
“We are open to crafts this year,” she said. “They must be handmade by Ashe County residents and up to the same standards used by the Ashe County Farmers’ Market.”
This year the Lansing Farmers Market will be managed by Bob Kilcullen of Bob’s Goodies. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (336)384-1603