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Main Street Market opens Saturday
More than 35 booths kick off 12th season
Sporting her best gardening hat, market regular Sharon McMullen purchases some herbs from Glenn Haynes during the first Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market of 2017. The 2019 market opens Saturday in Charlie Olliff Square downtown. (SCOTT BRYANT/Herald file)

Statesboro's Main Street Farmers Market will reopen 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Saturday in Charlie Olliff Square, also known as the Synovus Bank parking lot on East Main Street, with plans to be open every Saturday from now until Thanksgiving.

This is the market's 12th season.

"Opening day we have, I believe, 30 vendors and another six special booths, so we should have at least 36 booths at the market, and that includes 11 farmers and whole foods vendors," said Relinda Walker, the market manager.

From spring to fall, the number of vendors varies, often increasing after opening day. In addition to growers of fresh vegetables and fruit in season, whole-foods suppliers include a few with honey, dairy products, herbs, fresh-ground cornmeal and grits, local meats, Georgia shrimp and sometimes even a fisherman with Alaska salmon.

Prepared foods available from booths and food trucks vary from gourmet cupcakes and cheese straws to Caribbean cuisine and traditional barbecue. This first week, crafters' handmade goods and services range from Barrow Woodworks' wooden games and Toni D Studio's crocheted dolls to the Potting Cart's plants in pots, Sugar Pearl's jewelry and JS Sharpening's knife and tool sharpening.

Demo booths

Among the specialty and educational booths, the market's "seasonal eating" booth is returning for a second year, joined by a wellness tent, which is new this year.

"Our wellness booth will address different areas of wellness," Walker said. "This week Victoria Taylor of the Herb Shop is going to do a presentation on food as medicine."

Naturally, to start the season, Saturday's seasonal eating topic will be spring vegetables. A Georgia Southern University dietetic intern who works with the market, Amber Soles, is scheduled to present recipes for roasted asparagus with parmesan cheese and roasted root vegetables and share samples.

"We would encourage community organizations to apply to have a week doing one of those booths," Walker said.

The season's first Vendor of the Week is Three Tree Coffee Roasters, and the Sponsor of the Week is Synovus, long-time host of the Saturday markets. Mary Hannah of Pladd Dot Music's School of Rock will provide the live music.

On its 2019 sponsorship form, the Main Street Market reports a reach of 1,000 shoppers weekly from Bulloch, Bryan, Burke, Candler, Evans, Effingham, Jenkins, Screven, and Tattnall counties. Would-be sponsors and vendors can email Walker at Forms can be found on the website,

Bowls & samples

This Saturday's market will also be the first of two locations hosting the annual Bowls in the Boro fundraiser for the Averitt Center for the Arts' visual arts program. Ceramic bowls — highly individual works handmade on potters' wheels by the Averitt Center visual arts team, other local artists, students and volunteers — will be sold for $10 and up.

Walker has arranged for many of the vendors to provide a free sample or promotional item with each bowl purchased. Vendors offering samples include B&G Honey, H.L. Franklin's Healthy Honey, Cakes by Rosie, Cork's Kettle Korn, Freeman's Mill, Jacobs Produce, Patricia Sweetz, The Potting Shed, Sugar Magnolia Bakery, Sugar Pearl, Three Tree Coffee, WilMor Farms, 4 & 20 Bakers, 920 Cattle, Hunter Cattle and Caribbean Feast.

Bowls in the Boro will again be on sale April 12 during the Downtown Relay for Life on Vine Street, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Mr. Delivery will provide McAlister's chili to fill each bowl sold there.


Operated with administrative support from the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, the farm market program also features a year-round Market2Go. Shoppers who join this service can place orders between noon Friday and midnight Tuesday each week and pick up their items the following Thursday at one of two designated locations.

In Statesboro, the Market2Go pickup place is now the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, 222 South Main St., Thursdays 4:30–6:30 p.m. In Sylvania, the pickup place is Victory Garden General Store, 124 W. Telephone St., 5:15–5:45 p.m. Thursdays.

"The market has two components," Walker said. "One is the Saturday market from April to November and the other is a year-round, online market. If you can't make it on Saturday, you can order any time from Friday night to Tuesday night and pick up your stuff on Thursday afternoon."

Many, but not all, of the in-person vendors participate in the online market.

Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.

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