• 82°

Pioneer Farmers Market grand opening June 12

Although the Pioneer Farmers Market officially opened June 5, the Grand Opening has been set for Saturday, June 12 and it’s going to be a fun-filled event, said Pam Sanders, market manager.

“Everyone is anxious to get the Pioneer Farmers Market up and going,” Sanders said. “The producers are as anxious to get under way as the shoppers. We wanted to open the market with a flair so we’ve got a lot planned for June 12. The market will open at 7 a.m. and we’ll be there throughout the morning with farm-fresh produce, door prizes and activities for the entire family.”

Of course, the main draw of the farmers market is the fresh from the farm produce grown by friends and neighbors.

“People have really been waiting for ‘homegrown’ tomatoes and we’ll have both green and red ones,” Sanders said. “Other vegetables that will be ready for market are cucumbers, squash, new potatoes, onions and sweet corn. As far as fruits, we’ll have blueberries and blackberries and a variety of jellies and jams, which are always popular items.”

The local market will again have fresh-ground corn meal and a specialty item, catfish, will be introduced.

“Catfish that are grown right here in Pike County on Dr. Nick D’Andrea’s farm will be on sale at the Grand Opening and then on the first Saturday of each month,” Sanders said. “The catfish will be sold two to a package but those who wish to buy a larger number may place orders on market days.”

In addition to the farm-fresh produce, there will be free samples of pastries baked by some of the county’s best cooks. If the samples get positive reviews, baked goods will be made available at future markets.

“Danny Knotts will be at the Grand Opening with his grilled sausage and corn and both are “finger lickin’ good.”

Ruth Overstreet will be back at the market with her potted trees and “green” tote bags.

The lush ferns that are grown in Pine Level are always popular items, Sanders said.

The Pike County Extension Office will have a booth with information about the proper and safe methods of canning and freezing of both fruits and vegetables.

“We’ll have a lot of door prizes and the wagon rides given by Tommy and Brenda Peacock will keep people around so if their names are called for the door prizes, they’ll be winners,” Sanders said.

“Last year, the wagon rides were popular with all ages and we expect them to be just as popular this year. So we invite everyone to make plans to shop the Pioneer Farmers Market on Grand Opening Day June 12 and throughout the growing season, on Saturday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.”