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Market offers fresh produce

Andalusia’s farmers market had a strong opening day Wednesday, Power Plant Marketplace manager Neal Dansby said.

“We had six vendors there Wednesday and probably had about 50 people come through,” he said. “There was a good selection, things like potatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, string beans, onions and picante sauce, as well as different types of flowers and shrubs.”

The market opened for the summer season Wednesday, and will be open again tomorrow from 7 a.m. until noon. Regular hours for the rest of the summer are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until noon.

Dansby said he expects the market’s produce selection to become more varied in coming weeks, particularly as popular items like melons and tomatoes come into season.

“We’ll probably start seeing melons at the end of the month, when you start to see some early watermelons and cantaloupes,” he said. “Tomatoes should be even sooner, probably within two weeks.”

Dansby said the market will only be a success as long as “there is produce people want to buy.” Any farmer is welcome to bring items to sell, no matter how large or small the quantity. Booth space is given on a first-come, first-serve basis, but Dansby said the market has 20 outdoor booths and they are very rarely completely full.

Farmers who wish to sell produce at the market are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before opening time.

“We’ll sell any locally grown produce,” Dansby said. “We don’t do retail; you can’t come up from Florida with a group of oranges or anything like that. People don’t come to a farmer’s market for entertainment, or the atmosphere — they come for the fresh produce.

“We welcome any local vendor to come and sell their crops — that’s the only way the market can be successful.”

The Power Plant Marketplace is located on Central Street in downtown Andalusia.