Wayne County, Wayne County how does your farmers market grow -- with watermelons, sweet corn and other local crops all in a row.
And it all will be ready for harvest when the new Farm Credit Farmers Market opens at noon Tuesday, June 26.
Since opening day will come near the end of June, sweet corn, peaches, squash, cucumbers and some fruits should be available.
"We want to have some type of little celebration," said Extension Service Director Kevin Johnson. "Welcome everyone out, invite them in -- come on in and let's experience the farmers market.
"We are going to be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from noon to 6 and Saturday mornings from 8 to 12."
The market is located behind the Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center, 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive.
"We have about five or six vendors, several of them will be full time," said Jessica Strickland, Extension Service agriculture agent. "Some of them will be seasonal, depending on what they are growing. For example, we have one who is looking at having sweet corn and watermelon.
"They (farmers) will be out here when they have something in season, and then you won't see them through the rest of the year. So there will be some changes depending on what the vendors grow."
There has been a lot of interest in the farmers market, and four or five vendors will have permanent spots, she said.
The building has 10 bays, but each one can be broken down into two spaces creating the potential to add more vendors as the market grows, Strickland said.
Application packets with the base rules are available at the Maxwell Center, and vendors will pay a $25 annual fee and then $5 a day rental space.
Market rules require that vendors grow and/or raise a minimum of 50 percent of their sellable items.
Sellable items include vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, cut flowers, bedding plants and transplants, local honey and dairy products.
The goal is to ensure it is local produce and raw products and does not turn into a flea market or swap sale, Johnson said.
"We are going to be inspecting," he said."Part of that is we want to make sure they are growing what they produce. We have a rule of 50 percent. You can't expect someone to grow everything.
"But we want to make sure that people aren't just going some place and buying wholesale and turning around reselling it. We want to make sure this is our local farmers."
A farm visit is part of the application process to see what is being grown and to make a local connection with farmers, and confirm that they are growing what they say they are, Strickland said.
That also is a way in which farmers can be helped with any issues or questions they run into, she said.
It will be a seasonal market.
"It will kind of depend on farmers as they have things available," Stickland said. "They can have things through October or early November. We have the facility here where we can keep it open until they feel like they do not have anything to offer."
The market season is expected to open between mid-March and early April, but again, weather plays a role in that, she said.
"Sometimes we have cool seasons, and they have a later start," Strickland said. "Vendors will kind of fill us in on when they feel like they have things ready and available so that we can open."
Seasonal events could be held for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, Johnson said.
"We are going to let this be farmer driven, customer driven," Johnson said. "We would love for this in time to be open a lot of days. We would love to have a lot of customers out here. If we could be open year round, that would be perfect."
For example, the State Farmers Market is open year-round, he said.
Strickland and Johnson envision holding special days throughout the growing season, such as a strawberry day.
On those days, Extension agent Michele Estrada will have recipes. He will also have cooking demonstration and will provide information about nutritional facts, Johnson said.
Facts and information about the state's strawberry industry would be available as well, Strickland said.
The same could be done for sweet corn, watermelons and other crops, Johnson said.
"It helps people, the general public, become aware of what vegetables or fruits are in season and what's grown in Wayne County," Strickland said.
Also, any information can include information about growing and preparing the vegetables, Johnson said.
While the market will promote raw local products, Johnson said he would like it grow into selling plants, too.
"You know our Master Gardeners have their plant sale in April, so we are looking forward to that being held here next year," Johnson said. "We are going to see how things shape up as they go.
"It could be changing as we grow, and that is what we want. We want the maximum for the community."
The area between the farmers market building and nearby greenhouse could be turned into plots where plants could be grown for demonstration purposes, he said.
The county is still in the process of interviewing applicants for the farmers market manager position.
"The farmers market manager will be responsible for being out here when the market is open," Strickland said.
The manager also will work with vendors, answer questions, collect the rental fees, and get information back from the vendors, she said.
Strickland said her duties will include promoting and marketing the farmers market.