Langdale Farmers Market returns to Valley

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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​​VALLEY — People turning out for Friday’s weekly session of the Valley Farmer’s Market had plenty of choices. There were lots of garden-grown vegetables cultivated in east Alabama, homemade jams and jellies, pure raw honey from Chambers County hives, slices of delicious homemade cakes, seated candles, fresh baked goods such as sourdough and zucchini bread and some beautiful potted caladiums.

The Farmer’s Market is open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m. EDT every Friday through the growing season. It’s an opportunity to sample what’s being grown in Chambers County and the surrounding area.

Walter Pulliam of LaFayette had his table filled with freshly picked rattlesnake beans, corn, okra and cucumbers. He has a two-acre field of Jubilee watermelons. They should be ready by August, and he will have them at the Farmer’s Market. 

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Pulliam has been farming in Chambers County for almost 50 years. He learned almost everything he knows about farming from his grandfather, Jim Finley, and his mother, Veola Finley.

Randall and Laura McClellan of Circle M Farm in Fredonia, had lots of tasty items Laura had made in her kitchen. Pepper jelly is her specialty, but she also makes salsa, pickled tomatoes, and muscadine jams and jellies. What’s truly a treat is the jelly she makes from plums that were grown on Mr. Pulliam’s farm.

Kim Rager of Oak Bowery Apiaries had jars of delicious-looking honey she and her husband gathered from their nine hives. They have Italian and Russian queen bees in their hives. 

“The bee population in the U.S. has been affected by habitat loss and disease,” Rager said. “We have found that bee colonies with queen bees that are of the Italian and Russian varieties have better resistance to an infestation that’s been caused by Varroa mites.”

One of the more popular stopping places was the table of Mary Finley, “The Cake Lady.”  She had slices of key lime, strawberry, caramel, carrot and German chocolate cake along with fried apple pies and lemon-blueberry loaf bread. Finley is from the Camp Hill area and is carrying on a long family tradition of being a good cook.

Kevin Copeland had his table filled with scented candles he made in his home in Beulah. He likes the expression: “If you can’t smell it, I won’t sell it.” It’s safe to say that his Mavwick-style soy wax candles live up to that billing. Copeland is originally from Palmetto, Georgia and has been coming to Valley Farmer’s Market for four years now.

Another popular place to stop was Denise Bibb’s table. She had fresh-baked goods for sale including sandwich and sourdough bread, lemon zucchini bread and her homemade cookies. Bibb lives in Five Points and learned much of what she knows about baking by watching Martha Stewart on TV and from lots of trial and error. She’s been doing it for the better part of three decades and has gotten quite good at it.

John Carson of Wadley had a table filled with tomatoes, squash and beans. Like other farmers present at Friday’s market, he said he’d like to see a little more in the way of rain than what we have been getting lately.

Mary Ann Johnson of Hamilton, Georgia had some beautiful plants for sale that had been grown by her husband Tom. 

“He grows the caladiums from bulbs and the native hibiscus from seeds,” she said. 

Some of the heart-shaped caladiums she had were red and green and others green and white. Some of the hibiscus plants had large white blossoms on them. Each plant on display bore the touch of someone with a green thumb.