By Harley Nefe
The community came together Saturday morning to celebrate the opening day of the Watauga County Farmers’ Market at the Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. April 2nd marked the beginning of the expanded 49th season of the beloved event.
“We are open for the first time ever in April,” said Matt Cooper, president of the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. “And we will be open all season from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The extension to 1 p.m. is a new thing for the farmers’ market.”
In addition to the expanded season in April, the market has opted to extend its hours until 1 p.m. every Saturday to better serve its customers and accommodate the growing capacity of its vendors to supply popular products.
“For those of you who have always liked to sleep in, keep sleeping in, and now know that you can come grab some lunch from one of the two food trucks we have and gather up your groceries,” Cooper said.
For the first time being open in April as well as for opening day, Cooper said vendors experienced a wonderful crowd size.
“We’re really grateful to see all of our loyal customers and new people,” he said. “We appreciate the Boone community; it’s the best!”
At the market, consumers can find a variety of goods, including eggs, potatoes, greens, meats, breads, and so much more.
One vendor, Rachael Salmon of Rachael Salmon Photography, has been participating in the farmers’ market for 19 years. She said she likes attending because of the community engagement.
“The sense of community that we have, the local art, the food – I just love the market for so many reasons!” Salmon said. “It’s really the best part of Boone.”
Salmon captures a lot of nature photography – what she likes to call “Wataugraphy” – as well as creative mandalas made out of vibrant flower petals. She also started a new series that involves using food coloring on icicles to create stunning scenes.
Much like Salmon’s selection, plenty of other arts and crafts and handmade items are available at the farmers’ market. For people who have never visited before, Salmon said, “Come join us, and see for yourself how much we really appreciate what we do, and you can meet us and ask us questions!”
For more information, please visit http://www.wataugacountyfarmersmarket.org/.
Photos by Ken Ketchie from the Watauga County Farmers’ Market Opening Day on Saturday, April 2nd.