OPENING DAY: Watauga County Farmers’ Market Returns to Boone at 8 a.m. on Saturday

Published Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm

By JESSICA ISAACS

Sunshine and warm weather are on their way to the High Country, and what better way to celebrate than with the first farmers’ market of the season?farmersmarket1

One of the area’s most beloved traditions, the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, will return to Boone on Saturday after being closed for the winter. The all-local market at Horn in the West will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, bringing farmers and consumers together for fresh food, live music and family-friendly fun.

Along with many area residents, Watauga County Farmers’ Market Manager Tori Cox said she’s looking forward to the return of the market, which will feature 65 vendors this year and often sees up to 2,500 customers on its busiest mornings.

“The first farmers’ market is really exciting because we’ve been closed for the winter. It becomes part of people’s regular weekly routines and it’s the way they purchase local foods and see their friends,” Cox said. “The first one back is like the start to the year, almost. I think people will be extra excited to come out on Saturday.”

Each market event offers products like:

  • Seasonal fresh fruits and berries
  • Local jams, jellies, mustard and honey
  • Fresh baked breads, cakes and pastries from our country kitchens
  • Fresh farm eggs
  • Fresh and aged goat cheeses
  • Locally-farmed meats and livestock
  • Fresh herbs and herbal products
  • Fresh-cut and dried flowers, wreaths and arrangements
  • Farm-based crafts including wool, birdhouses, pottery, baskets, handcrafted yard art and garden furniture
  • A large selection of plants including annuals, perennials and shrubs

Cox said this year’s opening day will include live music from old-time musicians Quinlin, Ben and Sam, a local-food cooking demo from the ASU DieteticAssociation and a “Veggie Wheel of Green” for young shoppers to spin in the PHARMN Kids Corner.

Te farmers’ market plays an important role in supporting local culture with live music and crafts, she said, along with educating and exciting people about local foods and nutrition, helping to address food insecurity and putting a smile on many faces first thing on a Saturday morning.

Known as “Boone’s town square since 1974,” Cox said the market brings many people together for many reasons.

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“It offers things on a bunch of levels. The local food is so important, but food tends to bring people together, too,” Cox said. “So folks start coming every week and it becomes an event where the community comes together, and it becomes even bigger than just what products are offered.

 

“It’s how people see their friends and it’s kind of the social event of the weekend in Boone.”

 

The market is an asset to the High Country and its residents because it establishes relationships between farmers, entrepreneurs, artists, consumers, friends and neighbors.

“Folks that are supporting local businesses are really committed to our community and that’s what makes this important for them every week,” Cox said. “They get to meet the folks they’re buying things from, so it’s creating community connections that people really cherish here.”

Opening day will welcome new vendors this year, too, including:

  • Grateful Roots Farm from Zionville, specializing in produce and culinary and medicinal herbs
  • Mountain Roots Farm from Lansing, offering produce including asparagus and mushrooms
  • Overflow Studios from Boone, featuring original paintings and prints
  • Sunshine Designs from Lansing, bringing pressed-flower light catchers and other creations

As always, the market will feature a fantastic offering of local products from amazing vendors, Cox said, and the area’s finest selection of quality produce from local growers.

 

To learn more about the Watauga County Farmer’s Market, visit its website or follow it on Facebook.

 

 

Among many others, the opening day market event will feature products including:

  • Sorghum molasses, corn and sorghum meal, head lettuce, pork, chicken and goat from Against the Grain Farm
  • Sourwood honey, a full line-up of baked goods with several gluten-free options (cake, granola, muffins, cookies) from Faith Mountain Farm (and maybe some ramps, too)
  • Delicious and nutritious free-range eggs, green garlic, spring onions, sweet potatoes, seed potatoes, red/purple/white potatoes, dried apples, fresh-made strawberry jam and no-added-sugar apple butter from Moretz Mountain Orchard
  • Green onions, all cuts of grass-fed beef, free-range eggs fed non-GMO feed and starter plants including parsley, rosemary, pineapple sage, red and green lettuce, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, kale and rainbow chard from Creeksong Farm
  • Eggs from Elk Creek Farm
  • Lavendar plans and flowers, lupine, hydrangea, ferns, crabapple, succulents, cherry tomatoe mixtures and a selection of cut flowers including lilac, ranunculus, anemone and tulips from Shady Grove Gardens, which will be taking orders for Mother’s Day and graduation, too
  • Chipotle salsa, smoked habanero barbecue sauce, enchilada sauce and chipotle, smoked habanero and smoked Serrano hot sauces from Fire from the Mountain, which will also have eggs from their free-range Buff Orpingtons, a few bunches of this year’s first asparagus, some music and porcelain garlic and valerian plants
  • 30 different varieties of potted herbs along with fresh cut lettuce from Owens’ Farm
  • Pressed, dried wiled and cultivated flower light catchers and jewelry from Sunshine Designs
  • Grilled local meat samples of lamb, pork and beef produced at Mountain Memories Farm. They have a wide variety of all types to chose from, as well as farm-fresh eggs and lamb and pork sausages in a variety of flavors including: merguez, chorizo, sweet Italian, hot Italian, breakfast, Andouille, cajun, jalapeno and new Loukaniko lamb.
  • Spring T-shirt scarves that make great accessories and mother’s day gifts from 3 Sisters Threads
  • Certified organic microgreens and a broad variety of organic starter plants including kale, collards, chard, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, summer and winter squash, cueks and herbs from Sunshine Cove Farm
  • Chop blocks, sticky bunds, croissants, bagels, frozen pizza dough and more from Owl Creek Breadworks
  • Certified organic heirloom tomato plants (including Cherokee purple, peppermint, Black Sea man, Purple bumblebee and Indigo Apple), pepper and basil plants, buttercrunch lettuce, lettuce mix and spring onions from Zydeco Moon Farm (with asparagus, fennel and sugar snap peas coming soon)
  • Fried apple pies from the Farmer’s Wife

 

 

The full list of 2015 vendors includes:

  • Against the Grain
  • Bald Guy Brew
  • Bama Mountain Farm
  • Baskets and Bricks
  • Bauman’s Bunnies
  • Bella Rooster
  • Blue Ridge Apiaries
  • Bridle Creek Farms
  • Brooks Farm Beef
  • Brushy Mountain Farm
  • Colibri
  • Creeksong Farm
  • A. Tallarico Healing Art
  • Denny’s Nursery
  • E&E Organic Farms
  • Earth Harmonies
  • Elijah Holman
  • Elk Creek Farm
  • Faith Mountain Farm
  • Farm to Flame
  • Fiddler Forge
  • Fire from the Mountain
  • Fishel Organic Farm
  • Fishel’s Moravian Chicken Pies
  • Goldenrod Gardens
  • Grandfather Mountain Orchard
  • Grateful Roots
  • Harmony Acres
  • Heritage Homestead
  • Hilbilly Joe’s Crafty Stuff
  • Jeffski Samo
  • Joan’s Sourdough Bread
  • Kingfisher Crafts
  • Laureland Greenhouse
  • Lively Up Farm
  • Madeleine
  • Mary Coffey
  • Mary Prewett
  • Moretz Mountain Orchard
  • Mountain Girl Quilts
  • Mountain Memories Farm
  • Mountain Roots
  • Mountain Works Farm
  • My Favorite Plants
  • New Life Farm
  • Octopus Garden
  • Overflow Studio
  • Owens Farm
  • Owl Creek Breadworks
  • Pottery by Remo
  • Rachael Salmon Photography
  • Ruth Vannoy
  • Shady Grove Gardens
  • Sherman Woodworks
  • Springhouse Farm
  • Sunshine Cove Farm
  • Sunshine Design
  • The Farmer’s Wife
  • Three Sisters Threads
  • Thunder Hill Farm
  • Tumbling Shoals Farm
  • Vital Being
  • Waxwing Farm
  • Wishful Thinking Studios
  • Zydeco Moon Farm

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