By Nathan Ham
Thursday marks the opening day for the Avery County Farmers’ Market at the Old Banner Elk School. The market opens at 4 p.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m.
“It’s cold but some of us will be there anyway,” said Bonita Smith of Smith Family Farm, one of the vendors who will be at the farmers’ market. “We never know about April or May weather, and sometimes in June and July it rains every Thursday, but you can’t control the weather.”
Throughout the year, Smith says that vendors will show up in small numbers and continue to increase as the years go on.
“We have a good number of vendors. We’ll start out with four or five and then add on vendors according to when their produce or whatever they are selling gets ready,” she said. “The more vendors we have, the more of a crowd we will draw.”
One of the most popular requests from market visitors last year was to have someone make fresh bread. Smith said they have seen a large increase from people wanting bread at the Avery County Farmers’ Market.
The market is located in a large open area, making for plenty of parking space and plenty of space for vendors as well.
“We had a tremendous farmers’ market last year. We had people we had never seen but know they will be back,” Smith said. “They could get outside, they weren’t confined to a building, and they could find a lot of what they wanted.”
Some of the products that you can typically find at the market throughout the year include fresh vegetables such as corn, potatoes, beans, carrots, tomatoes and greens, meat supplies such as beef, pork and chicken, flowers, plants, bread, baked goods, raw honey, jams, jellies and much more.
The market is always looking for new vendors that want to sell their products. Anyone interested should contact Bonita Smith at 828-387-0420 or call the Avery County Cooperative Extension in Newland at 828-733-8270.