Farmer#039;s Market grand opening Saturday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2003

The largest crowd of the year is expected Saturday for the Pioneer Farmers Market at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

Frank Bryan, market manager, said although the Farmers Market has been open for a couple of weeks, the Grand Opening was planned for June 28 because the produce farms should be "in full swing" by then.

"We should have a big variety of produce and big quantities," Bryan said. "Last year's Pioneer Farmers Market was good, this year is very good. Tuesdays were slow for us last year, but this year, we've been busy on Tuesdays. So, the Grand Opening Saturday should be a huge day."

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Bryan said Saturday will be a good time to stock up on fresh produces for the Fourth of July weekend celebrations.

"We'll have beans, peas, watermelons, cataloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, squash - just about anything you could want," he said. "We'll even have a cooking demonstration with fresh vegetables on the grill. The vegetables will be from the Pioneer Farmers Market."

Those who come early will have an opportunity to sample the grilled vegetables, Bryan


There will be a good selection of organically grown vegetables at the Market, including Roma and Big Boy tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and herbs.

John Curry Key will have sweet corn that "the best you've ever eaten."

Key said the corn is of the "How Sweet It Is" variety and is good cooked or right off the cob.

He offered samples right off the cob at Thursday's Farmers Market and shopper actually took him up on the offer.

Debbie Hogan had never eaten "raw corn" but said it was the best she had ever eaten. "I'll never cook corn again," she said, laughing.

Cut flowers have been very popular this year's market and there should be a large selection of flowers on Saturday, Bryan said.

"We'll also have some sunflowers and they make good feeders for birds," he said. "We should have something for everybody and everything will be fresh off the farm. Most of the vegetables will be gathered on Friday afternoon and you can't get anything much fresher than that."

Three generations of produce farmers will the honored at the Grand Opening of the Pioneer Farmers Market.

"Robert Barbaree and his family have been produce farmers for three generations and we want to recognize them and the Grand Opening seemed like the right time," Bryan said. "Everybody is invited to stop by their tent and visit with them for a while."

Bryan said he would like to remind all senior citizens who qualified for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers that 22 local farmers have been certified to accept the vouchers.

"Many of them will be at the Grand Opening and this will be a good time to use those vouchers," Bryan said.