Lingering wet, cool weather will affect the initial offerings at the Farm Credit Farmers Market when it opens behind the Maxwell Center on Wayne Memorial Drive on Thursday.
“Vendors will have some things but not as much as they would like,” said Jessica Strickland, Wayne County Extension Service horticulturalist. “We expect to have a variety of produce. We should expect some strawberries very soon. We will also have eggs and bedding plants.
“We have all the indoor spaces full this year with a couple of craft vendors that will be outside. I would say to keep in mind that our farmers have been delayed in planting with the cool, wet weather we have had over the past month or so. Produce selection will continue to grow at the farmers market as we go into late April into May.”
No formal program is planned for the opening. The market opens to the public at 10 a.m.
Michelle Estrada, Extension Service food and nutrition agent, will put on a food demonstration from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Extension Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to answer gardening questions and pass out soil testing kits. One or more food trucks will be in the parking lot for those wanting to pick up lunch while visiting the market.
It will be the market’s first full year of operation. It didn’t open until June of last year as the county waited on the building to be completed, and it closed early in September because of Hurricane Florence.
Vendors will pay a $25 annual fee and then $5-a-day rental space fee for every day they set up at the market — the same as last year.
“Our market, a lot of things have been happening,” Strickland said. “We are trying to get paths and future demonstration gardens between here and the greenhouse. So, it is going to start tying a lot of this together so that we have a nice spot to come and visit.”
Prior to the opening, Strickland and Joyce McLamb, market manager, visited several farms and the indoor spaces are full.
“We actually have two or three that will be outside at some time,” Strickland said. “Some are only doing Fridays and Saturdays or something like that. But we have included some craft vendors that will be out with the outdoor spaces some.
“We have a lot of produce from our vendors. We have one vendor who will have pork products like sausage and such. That is a vendor that is out of Selma. We will also have eggs for sale from a local egg producer. We will have some bedding plants, hanging baskets and a lot of variety of produce.”
Beginning in May, the market will host a number of special days including the Extension Master Gardeners’ annual Garden Festival and Plant Sale May 3-4, followed by Strawberry Day on May 10.
“We have it open during the farmers market so not only can you come to the plant sale, shop for plants, talk to Master Gardeners, get help with your gardening questions, but you can also visit the farmers market as well,” Strickland said.
The sale will offer a lot of great hanging baskets, herbs, perennials, annuals and vegetables.
The cost will depend on the plant.
The Farm Credit Farmers Market will be open this season from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed April 19 and 20 for Easter. The last day of the market is Nov. 27.