Get ready, Statesboro, for the farmers are coming back to town.
Host Phil Boyum welcomed Debra Chester to Thursday's “Morning's unPHILtered” show. Chester is the director of Statesboro's Downtown Main Street Farmers Market and she talked about plans for the 2010 season, which opens Saturday.
The Farmer's Market started two years ago, and it will be open every Saturday morning through the end of the growing season.
The Georgia Southern Botanical Garden's Education Committee began the Farmers Market program at the Garden and then it was moved downtown. There are already 40 vendors signed up, and the market will get even larger as more produce is picked, Chester said.
All of this produce comes from a six-county region: Bulloch, Evans, Candler, Screven, Effingham, and Emanuel. There is a $5 space fee for each farmer this year, and all money collected will go towards paying the costs associated with running the Farmers Market.
Georgia Southern University president Dr. Brooks Keel and his wife Tammie Schalue will serve as Market Managers for opening day on Saturday.
Chester said there will be one of the largest contingents of organic farmers selling their produce at the market as anywhere else in Southeast Georgia. In fact, Chester said in the state of Georgia, the number of farmers markets has risen three-fold.
“We are lucky to have these fresh fruits and vegetables available on our doorsteps,” Chester told Boyum.
Chester said other areas would love to lure our area farmers go to the larger metropolitan areas like Savannah, where there likely would be many more people to purchase their produce. On Saturday, Chester said there will be at least 20 local farmers with produce for sale, and she urged people to come and support them.
While Georgia Southern is the host on Saturday, Ogeechee Technical College will be the host market on May 1. On both days, chefs from the college will be present showing off their skills using the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available for sale.
A caller made the comment about how a local resident had discovered that the honey bees had taken over his grill, and reminded the listeners that there are two local bee-keepers, Bobby Colson and Norman Schmidt, who are both more than happy to come by and remove them for free rather than having them killed.
Also, the Farmers Market has been approved to accept the Electronic Bank Transfer Food Stamp Cards for the sale of their local produce.
“Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com