Living Democracy

A Successful Saturday at Thomaston Farmers Market

Woman buying peachesSellers of produce, pepper jelly, homemade soap, baked goods and even catfish were happy to see their products sell quickly at the Farmers Market in Thomaston on Saturday, June 10.

The market venue at the intersection of Highway 25 and 28 in the heart of Thomaston was created by the Auburn University School of Architecture’s Rural Studio in 2000 and has proven to be a great place to feature produce grown in the Black Belt of Alabama.

After raining in Thomaston throughout the weeks before the event, the day of the farmers’ market was clear and sunny.

Andrew Williams provided some of the produce sold. Richard Wilson, who works with Williams, was the one who set up and sold squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, greens, watermelons, cantaloupes, and more.

His produce sold out, and he ended up packing everything up around 11:30 a.m. Wilson said, “I’ve never sold this much produce that early. We sold out of the corn by around 9 a.m.” He said he was surprised when so many people where there at 7 a.m.

Bryars selling soapsBonnie Bryars, who makes homemade soap, sold her all-natural soaps at the market. She stated, “I had been looking for a market to go to for a while. I had been praying for something. I was very excited when I was contacted to come to this. I love the set up, and I love the people here.”

Bryars added that she was pleased with how much she sold and plans to come back to the next Thomaston event.

Wayside Bakery, from Newbern, sold homemade cinnamon rolls and other baked goods. They ended up selling out as well.

Another best-seller at the market were the Chilton County peaches, with 24 baskets of peaches sold by 9 a.m. Hale Smith also made homemade peach ice cream with some of the peaches and handed it out for free to shoppers.

Watermelons for sellIn addition to the farmer’s market, South Fresh Farms came and sold catfish dinners for lunch. “Fresh from our farmers to your family” is what the side of their food truck advertised.

They offered a menu that included catfish plates, catfish po boys, catfish wraps, catfish tacos, and several types of loaded fries. Jeff Laduron, Thomaston’s mayor, said he was happy to have the new things in the community and that he hopes that they will be back again.

Sidney Collins, wildlife biologist at Southern Perspective, along with Hale Smith, Lee Eaves, and Magnolia Wilson worked together to help bring the Farmers Market back for the summer. Smith, a land specialist, and Eaves, a real estate agent, both work for Tutt Land Company. Wilson is the Auburn University Living Democracy student working in Thomaston this summer.

Smith said, “I feel like the day was a success. It went way above my expectations. There were so many people who came out this morning, and everything just ran so smoothly. I am looking forward to the next farmers market, and we will start thinking of more things that we can do at that one.”

Foodtruck selling catfishThe idea for the market all came together in May. It was decided that they would host the event on second Saturdays during the summer. Eaves stated, “We want to plan some type of event each month, but we hope that the farmers market happens every summer.”             

Pam Stenz, Marengo County Extension Coordinator, said, “I am excited about this opportunity for our county.”

The group plans to work on creating more partnerships and having more vendors and activities at the next event. The July Thomaston Farmer’s Market will be on Saturday, July 8, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information on the upcoming Thomaston Farmers Market, please contact Magnolia Wilson at mlw0050@auburn.edu or Sidney Collins at sidney@southernperspective.net.

Last Updated: June 14, 2017