Local Farmer’s Market offers fresh taste of summer

Published 11:59 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, the Power Plant Marketplace was packed with garden delights that quickly disappeared from vendors’ tables.

Neal Dansby, Power Plant Marketplace manager, said eight vendors began the day with tables filled with corn, squash, green beans, cucumbers and flowers and shrubs.

By 10 a.m., there wasn’t a cucumber left in the house and very few ears of corn.

“You’ve got to get here early to get the good stuff,” he said.

Wendy Robbins of Wendy’s Produce in Kinston operates a three-acre market garden. She began the day with a selection of string beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and cabbage. It wasn’t long before she was out of cucumbers and tomatoes.

“Those went quick, I tell you,” she said. “I had one man come and buy all but three of my cucumbers. He said he was putting up pickles. The tomatoes, well they were just gone.”

Robbins, who operates the stand with her husband, said the garden features eight kinds of peppers, six kinds of tomatoes, zucchini, onions and a selection of squash.

“We’ve got patty pan squash – which are very good, if you’ve never tried them before,” she said. “You cook them just like you would a yellow squash. They have a bit of a nuttier taste, and very, very good.”

The couple, who travels to the Dothan Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, plans to make the Power Plant Marketplace their usual Wednesday stop.

“We’re going to have some corn, okra, peanuts and green and speckled butter beans before too long,” she said.

For those looking for something a little sweeter for the palate, Ron Brooks of Libertyville had the perfect solution – peaches.

“I tell people my peaches come from Chilton County but my corn comes from Libertyville,” he said. “And both are pretty good to eat.”

And judging from the pile left on top of his truck, most of the marketplace goers were looking for corn. By 9 a.m., he was left with only a handful of ears.

Also at the market were wares from Crossover Ministry’s 10-acre produce farm, Pat Rathel’s blueberries (which were a hot seller) and Confederate Roses, angel trumpets and Grancy Greybeards from Linda Bush’s River Falls yard.

Vendors said to look for watermelons and peas to arrive in the coming weeks.

Vendors from Libertyville, River Falls, Andalusia, Kinston and Georgiana plan to continue supplying wares for the market.

The Power Plant Farmers Market, which is located across from the Three Notch Museum in Andalusia, is open for the summer season Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until noon.