Farmers market set to open later this month

by Sarah Melton

Fresh vegetables and fruits, savory meats and homemade breads will soon be available in downtown Mount Holly.

The Mount Holly Farmers Market will open May 14 on South Main Street, between City Café and BB&T. Musicians Dori Sanders, a third generation peach farmer and author, and Ang Medlin will perform on opening day.

The market will open rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through Aug. 27, although some vendors may continue to sell their items at the market after the official closing date for a few more weeks.

Leigh Brinkley, who is heading up the market, said that 27 vendors will participate in the market. Returning vendors hailing from Charlotte, Mount Holly, Lawndale and Grover – even South Carolina – will offer strawberries, blueberries, chicken, seasonal vegetables and flowers.

Five new vendors will grace the market this year, Brinkley said. Ladybug Farms, of Bessemer City, will offer European-style bread. Rick Connell will offer gourds, and Dray Bang will have American and Asian vegetables. Cindy Digh will have lamb and poultry, while beekeeper Lori Warren, of Stanley, will offer honey.

We are going to have a sprout tent for children who are growing stuff,” Brinkley said. “We have four children who already planted some things at home and want to sell it. It’s our version of Future Farmers of America.”

Susanne Dillingham, owner of The Tiny Chef in Charlotte, will make appareances at the farmers market several times, including May 21 and 28 and June 4. The Tiny Chef specializes in a variety of cooking classes, wine lessons and parties for adults and children.

Dillingham teacher cooking lessons to adults and kids who are interested in learning useful culinary skills at the farmers market. She will use seasonal produce and meats from local farmers in her lessons.

Supporting local farmers is important to Dillingham and one of the reasons she wanted to participate in the Mount Holly Farmers Market.

“Getting to know your farmers is a special relationship,” she said. “You get to ask questions about how their animals are raised or how their produce is grown, and right there you can decide whether or not their products will become part of your weekly meals. It is so wonderful to have that choice.”

For more information on the Mount Holly Farmers Market, call Brinkley at 704-609-0666 or visit www.mounthollyfarmersmarket.com.

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