The DeKalb County Farmers Market welcomes its 2021 season on Friday, June 4 beginning at 3 p.m. until supplies last on the site of the VFW Fairgrounds in Fort Payne.
Since its inception almost 40 years ago, the DeKalb County Farmers Market has been a staple among the community for fresh and locally grown produce.
“I think we’ll have a really good season,” said DeKalb County Farmers Market Board President Grady Dalton, who’s spearheading the oldest farmers market in northeast Alabama.
Following suit with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the State of Alabama Farmers Market Authority, Dalton said they will follow the current recommendations to operate under normal per-COVID-19 guidelines.
“Most of our people that come are senior citizens and I would say 98% of our growers have all had their COVID-19 shots,” he said.
The market features farmers from all across the county who take the opportunity to show off their goods, while consumers enjoy a refreshing break from the supermarket.
“Everything that we have is grown here locally,” he said. “Our [growers] live in DeKalb County and grow in DeKalb County.”
Local farmer’s markets are considered by many an important direct-marketing venue for producers as a way to bring vitality and funds to local communities.
As the market kickstarts the new season, Dalton expects six to eight growers.
“We will have squash, green tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cabbages,” he said. “One lady is going to have quite a few strawberries and we’ll have two ladies that will be selling pies and cakes.”
Dalton said also returning to this year’s market is a Henagar grower who will have various meats available including, hamburger meat, steaks and pork chops amongst other meat products.
The amount of harvest and vendors typically increases as the season progresses, seeing anywhere between 20-25 vendors.
Later on in the season, Dalton said shoppers can look forward to a variety of other products, including Lookout Mountain-grown peaches.
“It’s just amazing how many people will call wanting to know when we are going to open up,” he said. “People are hungry for some fresh vegetables.”
The DeKalb County Farmers Market is certified to receive Alabama Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons.
Dalton encourages residents to pick local products, ensuring you’re buying the freshest quality products while also supporting local farmers.
Vendor spots are still available, and Dalton said they have plenty of room to accommodate incoming growers under the pavilion.
To participate, a grower needs to go to the DeKalb County Extension Office at 500 Grand Ave. SW, Suite 300 in Fort Payne and obtain a permit with a list of what they plan to sell.
For additional information contact DeKalb County Farmers Market Board President Grady Dalton at 256-657-4956. If he is not available leave a brief message and he will get back to you as soon as possible.