Wishing you could get locally sourced fresh vegetables and meats in the winter time? It is possible in Cleveland County, thanks to the Winter Market sponsored by the Foothills Farmers' Market (FFM).
"While it's not practical for us to continue an outdoor market during the winter season, many of our vendors still have products to share with customers," says Carol Maxwell, director of the FFM. "The Winter Market began in 2016 as a way to connect customers with farmers over the winter months."
Winter Markets for this year will be held on January 13, February 10 and March 10, 2018, from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. each day. Newgrass Brewing Company, 213 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby, will be the location for all three events.
"Most of our farmers encourage hungry locavores to come out to their farms to pick up items during the colder months," says Maxwell, "but the Winter Market gives shoppers a chance to stock up on things from several farms at one time."
Items available for purchase at the market, which will be provided by 12 - 15 vendors each time, include winter produce; locally raised beef, pork, trout, chicken and lamb; baked goods; cheese; eggs; dried herbs; and goat milk soap products.
"If folks are looking to stock their freezer, many vendors will arrange preorders of special quantities for delivery at the Winter Market," says Maxwell.
For farmers or other local vendors interested in participating in the market in the future, the Foothills Farmers' Market Board of Directors is now taking applications for the 2018 season. All items sold at the market must be grown or raised within a 50-mile radius of Cleveland County and can include produce, meats, eggs, baked goods, cheeses, honey, artisan crafts made from locally sourced elements, and prepared foods.
For more information about the Winter Markets, to get a vendor application, or for more information about becoming a vendor, visit www.foothillsfarmersmarket.com or find the FFM on Facebook by searching for "Foothills Farmers' Market."
By April Hoyle Shauf
Special to Community First Media