It’s that scrumptious and delightful time of year again, the season of fresh, locally grown produce and whole foods and locally made, handcrafted treats. The Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market returns this weekend to the parking area of Synovus Bank, formerly Sea Island Bank, in downtown Statesboro.
Folks in Statesboro, Bulloch County and surrounding areas anxiously look forward to opening day of the Market and enjoy local wares from opening day until the season ends, Thanksgiving week.
Relinda Walker, one of the Market’s founding vendors with her selections from Walker Organic Farms, is the Market manager for the 2018 Farmers Market season and is excited about what the Market will offer this year. Though she is no longer operating her farm as she did in the past, she said she has several projects going on.
“We have more than 30 booths for opening day this Saturday,” Walker said. “On average, we’ll have between 25 to 40 booths each Saturday, depending on the combination of what’s there that weekend.”
A one-time special for opening day offers shoppers wild Alaskan salmon.
“Doug’s Wild Alaska Salmon booth will only be here this weekend before he heads back to Alaska,” Walker said.
Walker explained that four types of booths can be found at the Farmers Market each Saturday. The produce and whole food booths offer such items as vegetables and fruits, honey, herbs, meats, dairy, eggs and other choices.
Currently, 18 produce vendors are signed up to participate in the Farmers Market, with a dozen expected at the Market for opening day. Some of the wares haven’t ripened yet, and those farmers will come slightly later in the season.
Patrons can also purchase items from prepared food vendors.
“In general, eight vendors are approved and committed for the Market,” Walker said, “and seven of those will be here this weekend.”
Cakes and cupcakes will be available, and Three Tree Coffee, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Cork’s Kettle Corn and Caribbean Feast will be returning this year. New this year, Brunner’s Burritos and Bowls Food Truck will be in attendance this weekend and sporadically during the season when they are not committed elsewhere.
The third type of booth is categorized as arts and crafts vendors, and local craftsman offer woodworking items, soaps, candles, potting plants and supplies, jewelry and more.
Lastly, varying educational and guest booths round out the Farmers Market offerings each Saturday. Opening day, some of the groups attending include the YMCA, the Humane Society, Friends of the Library and Bowls in the Boro fundraiser, and the Georgia Southern University Chemistry Club will be making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
“We’re here to support local farmers and encourage the economic development of our community,” Walker said of the Farmers Market. “It’s not a money-making operation. We need the community to support the Market.
“We’ve got small local businesses, artists and artisans contributing to our economy. It’s a hard way to make a living. Community support helps the local food economy, local economy in general. Helps make their businesses sustainable.”
The Farmers Market hours this Saturday and every Saturday through Thanksgiving are 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“Come with an open wallet,” Walker said. “This community is big enough to support a Farmers Market. It’s my goal that everyone clears their table, sells everything, so that they can go home with a clean truck. Let’s buy what they brought!”