By Jess Kleean
This Saturday, May 6 from 8 am until Noon at the Daniel Boone Park and Horn in the West parking lot, the High Country celebrates the opening day of the Watauga County Farmer’s Market! This weekly event is a staple in Boone, as thousands travel from all over the state to experience the wealth of fresh goods and crafts native to our community. And thanks to the addition of new vendors, this 2017 season promises to be their best one yet!
This year the farmers market is excited to welcome the following new vendors:
Booneshine Brewing Company
Lost Province Brewing Company
Both of the Brewing Companies are offering tastings and purchases by the bottle, growler, or can to take home and enjoy. However, it is important to note that these are “Tastings only”, as consumption of alcohol on the premises in strictly prohibited.
Cheek Homestead Creamery
This local creamery is offering whole, low temperature, vat pasteurized non-homogenized milk.
Foggy Mountain Pasta
This new vendor is offering artisan handmade pasta: fresh cut, extruded, and stuffed pastas. Foggy Mountain Pasta is dedicated to making artisanal handmade pastas with local and organic ingredients.
Mountain Popcorn Girls
The Mountain Popcorn Girls create raw, organically raised popcorn here in the High Country! The raw popcorn is in one pound or two pound bags and is available for those who like to pop their own! Flavored popcorns include sea salt, caramel, and espresso caramel, popped and packaged for a quick snack. Their latest, Crabby Mountain, is popped with “Old Bay” seasoning.
Essie and Olive
Essie and Olive handcraft, fresh frozen ice pops from locally sourced fruits and vegetables and made with all natural ingredients and absolutely no additives. These fresh fruit treats are inspired by paletas, and promise to be your favorite new summer treat!
From waffles to tacos, this food truck will serve both a hearty breakfast or lunch that anyone can love! They serve farm to table as much as they can, and they work to incorporate locally grown produce into many of the meals that they serve. This food is great for all ages, including a kid’s menu and vegetable and fruit smoothies. With all these choices, there is certainly something for you to love!
Authentic Native American Crafts
Beautiful unique Native American traditional works of material culture perfect for decorating either cabin or home! All arts are authentically handmade by a Native American and qualify as authentic Native American hand-made under the guidelines outlined in the Indian Arts and Crafts Law (P.L. 101-644).
The farmers market is excited to welcome these incredible additions to the family that they have developed over the years. Ben Massey, the manager of the Watauga County Farmer’s Market, stated: “A lot of our vendors are long-time farmers in the area, some of them are even second generation. We have had a relationship with these vendors for a while many of them serve as members of the Board of Directors, for example, Matt Cooper is the President for his 4th year, and he is a local farmer. This is done in order to ensure that everyone has an equal voice in planning this event and that it is truly representative of what the community embodies.”
Food vendors are not the only attraction! With live music on three separate stages, cooking demonstrations from Chef Back of Caldwell Community College, and the Donation Station, there is something there for everyone. The Market is also offering a Kid’s Corner, that will sponsor twelve fun activities for children including the following: “The Wheel of Green”, seed planting station, and an informative program introducing children to the world of insects – especially beneficial ones. Throughout the season, the kid’s mini-market will also pop up allowing children thirteen and younger to bring vegetables & flowers they grew and original art and craft items they made to sell as young market vendors. So for fun for the whole family, look no further!
Above all, the Farmer’s Market wants to ensure that anyone and everyone can enjoy this community event. Through their Beet Bucks (EBT) Program, their Double-Bucks Program, and their SNAP/WIC program, the market works to make each and every vendor accessible to the audience. More information on these programs can be found here.
With an average of 2000 people normally in attendance on opening day, it is clear that this year’s kick off is the place to be! Check out their website for more information and come out and support our farming community this Saturday!