Opening Day at the Jasper Farmers Market
Lee Newton Park Rideshare (Park n' Ride) ~ April 2 , 2016

By Darla Huffman

A surprising number of vendors were set up and eager to get the first market of the year under way. Forty to begin the season might be a foretelling for the best year yet. Some were vendors that have been there for all or most of the previous16 years and several were brand new and there is room for more.

Have you seen the Jasper Farmers Market tee shirts? Do you want one? Do you want it for FREE? OK, you can have it; hereís how. Go to the market; see the market manager to get your Jasper Farmers Market 'Shopping Card'. Spend $100 between April 2 and June 18. Have the vendor you purchased from verify amount and sign card and keep coming back; reach $100 by deadline. Available shirts are adult sizes Small to Extra Large. They are made in America, screen-printed in Ball Ground. Help us spread the word.

It was good to see Jody and Ashley Waldrup at the market again this year and to see how Cora, their adorable daughter has grown. Itís her third year of coming to the market, since she was a tiny baby. The Waldrups always have great garden plants. And later have great garden produce. I liked the variety flat, 6 plants, one each: lettuce, dill, cilantro, kale and broccoli; perfect for those who only want to do a little gardening. For those who want to do a lot of gardening there are several varieties of tomatoes and other vegetables. Now is the time to get planting. The local growing season is 216 days, frost dates (all most for sure) April 15 and October 15.

Cub Scouts from Pack 84, from Harmony Elementary were at the market selling home made cookies and fudge. They were there to raise money for a weeklong camping trip later this month and they were all polite, enthusiastic and good salesmen. I heard they had made their goal. They were having a good time and that always adds some positive energy to the market.

Recognized civic groups are always welcome at the Jasper Farmers Market and may resell some items that are not handmade or homegrown. (But the homemade cookies were great.)

The Jasper Farmers Market Spring and Summer Season takes place every Saturday morning (April through October) and Wednesday morning (June through August) from 7:30 am to 12:30 in the Park n Ride lot at Lee Newton Park on Hwy 53 in Jasper, with the exception of the July 4 and Marble Festival activities and is a project of the Pickens County Master Gardeners. For more information call the County Extension Office at 706 253 8840.

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