Wiregrass Farmers’ Markets welcome customers for the summer season | Latest titles

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HALEY MIDDLEBROOKS

As summer comes to town, so do the annual Farmers’ Markets held around Wiregrass each year. Two of the most popular markets in Wiregrass are the Poplar Head Farmers Market in Dothan and the Enterprise Farmers Market.

The Enterprise market is open all year to guests and visitors in search of local products. Market hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:00 to 11:00 every week.

Peak market season typically runs from April through late August, according to Special Projects Coordinator Kay Kirkland.

“The busiest days for us are Saturdays with over 20 vendors during our peak summer season,” said market manager Birgit Briggs.

The Business Market recently held its annual “High Season Kick-Off Party” with over 20 produce vendors, as well as craft or art vendors. According to Kirkland, around 1,100 people attended the event to celebrate the start of the new season and the farmers.

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Briggs says there are typically 28 produce and craft vendors per week during peak season. There will be approximately 14 product vendors in the marketplace this summer, including four new vendors in the business marketplace.

Other vendors that will be in the business market this year include ‘Nani’s Soap Factory’, ‘9 Star Wood Works’, ‘Happi Harvest’, ‘Land’s Honey Bee Company’, ‘Undeniably Handmade Pottery’ and more.

The Poplar Head Farmers Market is also open for the summer season in downtown Dothan every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until July 30 at 601 North Foster St.

“For the opening weekend of May 14, the market had a large crowd, and we hope to be able to keep that foot traffic steady for the summer,” said Donna Balzaratti, market manager.

The market typically sees around 20 vendors per week, with the majority being fresh produce vendors as well as around seven to eight arts and crafts vendors in the market per week.

According to Balzaratti, Saturdays in June typically have the most vendors at a time.

With inflation causing prices to soar across the country, some suppliers are struggling to maintain a level of profitability due to rising production costs. However, one supplier said this would not affect the prices of its products.

“Despite ongoing inflation, I don’t think I should pass on new production costs to my customers, so my prices for this summer will remain the same as they have been for years,” said Mary Throckmorton of Throckmorton’s Table.

Throckmorton’s Table sells homemade jams, jellies, salsa, chow chow and more, including the popular Cajun Garlic Pickles and Pepper Jellies. All products sold are “homemade, using local ingredients”, according to Throckmorton.

3D Farms, owned and operated by Jared and Leslie Dozier, have been selling in the Poplar Head market for four years. They have been in business for five years in Abbeville and specialize in fresh produce.

“I’m very optimistic for this summer season and would love to see more people eating fresh produce instead of a lot of processed foods,” Jared Dozier said.

3D farms sell locally grown fresh produce such as green beans, squash, potatoes, okra, tomatoes, white peas, and more. One of their favorite items, Creamed Corn, will be available at their market stall in June.

Mt. Moriah Farms is another Ozark family business. They have been in business since 2012 selling goat milk soap and other products from their local sources.

“I look forward to the new permanent structure the market will soon have,” said Mia Scott, the farm’s manager. “A building naturally attracts more attention, but will also give sellers a sense of stability being inside and hopefully encourage more people to come out.”

Mt. Moriah also sells facial tonics, lotions, sugar scrubs, face creams, lip balm and candles.

To see a list of other farmers’ markets open this summer, go online to the Farmers Authority website at fma.alabama.gov.


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