VALLEY — The summer crops are starting to come in and participation is on the upswing at the Valley Farmer’s Market. Five vendors were there last Friday selling everything from fresh peaches, peppers and beans to jams and jellies, live plants, homemade cakes and green tomatoes just ready for frying.
“We expect to have six or seven vendors there this Friday,” said Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount. “Our first big promotion of the season will be Free Tomato Sandwich Day. It will be taking place on Friday, July 8.”
Free Tomato Sandwich Day is a local tradition that began at the Village Curb Market. It usually took place in July, and Village Curb Market owners Evan and Jeanette Mason treated everyone to free sandwiches that day.
This past Friday, people coming out to the market were treated to cups of ice-cold lemonade, something that was much appreciated on a hot afternoon.
One local farmer who is almost always there at the Friday sessions is Walter Pulliam of LaFayette, who has been farming for most of his life. His table was filled with gorgeous peaches, squash, beans and green tomatoes.
“I’ve got watermelons on the way,” Pulliam says of his long-time specialty.
Laura and Randall McClellan of Circle M Farm, County Road 263, Fredonia, had their table filled with the jams and jellies Laura is so good at making. Pepper jelly is her long-time best-seller, but people like the new and different varieties she’s always coming up with. She has some rhubarb jam that’s really good as is her lemon and lime jelly, and some unique jelly made from grapefruit and pineapple. Everything on the table is fresh and made in Chambers County.
One of the most tempting spots underneath the pavilion was Mary’s Cakes. Every cake on the table looked absolutely delicious.
Something new at the Farmer’s Market was the table from Growing Old. Mary Ann Johnson had live plants for sale such as blooming varieties of the Hibiscus.
Dennis and Janine Caldwell of Jade Farms & Crafts, Valley, had lots of little baskets of green tomatoes and lots of red, white and blue craft items that are just perfect for celebrating the upcoming Independence Day holiday.
“We are getting to the point of the season when the produce is really starting to come in,” Blount said. “We will be having more vendors underneath the pavilion and a greater variety of items on sale in the coming weeks.”