Logan County Farmers Market to open Saturday
By Jim Turner

Posted on May 14, 2015 11:33 PM

When the Logan County Farmers’ Market opens for the 2015 season Saturday morning, many changes will be in effect as attempts are being made to make the local produce venue more inviting for customers and more organized for vendors.

The excitement for those growing and selling fruits and vegetables begins at the Logan County Extension Office, which is the homeplace for the market. This is the 10th summer the market has been held in the Ag Complex pavilion behind the extension office.

This is the first full year for Leann Martin to be Logan County’s Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, generally known as “ag agent.” While in the recent past the farmers’ market has been more of a burden on the agent than an integral part of the Logan County ag scene, Martin has embraced the concept and is actively involved in improving its operation and its service to the community.

She and Family & Consumer Sciences Agent (“home agent”) Rachel Hance have been part of more than five hours of meetings preparing for this season, helping set regulations and standardizing procedures.

Additionally, Brad Hall, who is part of Poore’s Nursery & Produce, which makes a large percentage of the sales at the market each year, is serving as president for 2015. He has introduced many progressive ideas for making the market better for both customers and vendors.

Joining him on the Market Executive Committee are long-time producer/vendor Wanda Grayson of Lickskillett, and retired banker Becky Johnson of vendor, who is a vendor along with her husband Phillip.

The biggest change customers should notice is that the market will open at 7:30 on Saturday mornings instead of 8, to give people just getting off work from night shifts or those headed to youth league ball games a chance to shop before reaching their next destination.

One related change is that the gates won’t be open for customers until the market opens at noon on Tuesdays and at 7:30 on Saturdays. There has been a problem with some people wanting to buy early or at least fill their bags for opening time. That often makes it hard for vendors to set up and is unfair to those who wait until opening time to arrive.

One huge change is that all of the produce which is sold has to be grown in Logan County except for early or late in the season when no vendors are growing it themselves. In the past, some vendors have brought it a significant portion of their offerings from Todd and Christian County markets, but the only way they can do that this summer is if they are buying from Logan County growers who are selling there.

This guarantees customers that they are indeed buying locally grown fruits and vegetables. It also should level the playing field for all vendors.

Two new vendors, Jenn Dana and Annie Thomas, have agreed to be co-administrators of a Facebook page. The Logan County Farmers’ Market page is now open, and often will be available to let potential customers will be available at the next market. Vendors and customers are encouraged to ‘like’ the page.

This Saturday, new vendor Tim Deloach will have cabbage and squash for sale. He anticipates offering meat products for sale later in the season.

Poore’s Nursery will have honey, eggs, squash and cabbage.

Roger ‘Goober’ Duncan expects to have onions and polk available.

Wayne Inscoe also will have onions for sale.

Elaine and Lindsay Turner of Turner Valley Produce & Crafts will prepare a variety of breads, cookies, jams and other edibles, along with health-related plants. They will also have spring and summer crafts, including gourds painted with warm weather scenes.

In addition to Saturdays, the market will be open Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m.

Many of the vendors have taken training to accept Senior and WIC vouchers, but those aren’t available yet.

Some vendors have applied to accept SNAP benefits, along with credit and debit cards, but that also will be in the future.

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