Local farmers and artisans gather for Valley Farmers’ Market 2023

Published 8:30 am Friday, May 26, 2023

VALLEY — Valley Farmers’ Market had its first session of the 2023 growing season this past Friday at the Farmers Market Pavilion. It takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. EDT from now until fall.

It’s a chance for local people to get fresh-picked garden vegetables at low prices. Also for sale is honey, jams, jellies and preserves, dog treats and hand-made soap.

Walter Pulliam of LaFayette had a table filled with onions, kale and red potatoes. Pulliam’s spring and summer crops are coming along and will be ready for picking by mid June. “We’ll have rattlesnake beans, butterbeans, sweet potatoes and yellow squash in a few weeks,” he said. “We’ll have watermelons later on this summer.”

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Randall and Laura McClellan of Circle M Farm, Fredonia, had plenty of Laura’s pepper jelly, pear preserves, pear relish, blackberry jelly and blackberry jam for sale. In a few weeks they will have tomatoes, okra and rattlesnake beans for sale.

John Carson of Wadley was accompanied by his grandson Ethan at Friday’s session of Valley Farmers Market. He had some onions, beets and leaf lettuce with him. Later on they will have corn, butterbeans, rattlesnake beans, squash and tomatoes at the market. “My farm keeps me plenty busy,” Carson said.

Tom and Mary Ann Johnson of the Lickskillet community in Harris County had some lovely greenhouse-grown flowers for sale. Mr. Johnson is originally from Valley and has had family members graduate from Valley High. “We grow heirloom plants,” Mrs. Johnson said. Heirlooms are lines of plants that are grown locally or regionally and have been passed down through families or groups. All heirloom plants are open pollinated, meaning that seeds from these plants can be saved each year by home gardeners.

Mrs. Johnson likes to grow heirlooms noted for their color, scarlet sage being an example.

Kim Rager of Oak Bowery Apiary had some jars of pure raw honey for sale.

Honey that’s found in a grocery store is rarely 100 percent pure. What a beekeeper like Rager sells you is unfiltered and 100 percent pure. Beekeepers make sure to preserve the natural qualities of honey when extracting and bottling raw honey.

Rita Fetner of Huguley had homemade soap for sale. She makes it to look like slices of cake. It looks delicious but is labeled “Do not eat!”

New Eagle Scout Lila Daughtrey is selling all natural dog treats at the Farmers Market. She makes them herself, and canines really love them.

Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount said there will be some special promotions later on this summer at the Farmers Market. There will be a Free Tomato Sandwich Day, probably in July, and a Free Slice of Watermelon Day in August.