Alabaster farmers’ market booms on first day

Vendors, left, set up for Alabaster's first farmers' market behind City Hall on Saturday, June 14. (Contributed)

Vendors, left, set up for Alabaster’s first farmers’ market behind City Hall on Saturday, June 14. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster farmers’ market organizer Lynn Coleman admitted it was a good problem to have on June 14, but it’s an issue she hopes the market won’t face in the future.

“We had people showing up at noon, but they had nothing to buy,” Coleman said with a laugh during a June 17 interview. “The farmers will bring more next time.”

June 14 marked the city’s first farmers’ market in the field behind the Alabaster Senior Center and City Hall. Because the market was a new event for the city, Coleman said she and the farmers were unsure what to expect.

“All the produce is picked fresh the day before, so they aren’t going to pick more than they think they will sell. They don’t want any of their product to go to waste,” Coleman said. “We all know what to expect now. Everyone is bringing extra produce and extra help next time.”

Although the market didn’t officially open until 8 a.m. on June 14, shoppers were already showing up at 7:45 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., all vendors had sold out of their products, according to Alabaster City Manager George Henry.

For the next market, which will be on June 21, Coleman said vendors likely will have more vegetables available, as rains during the week of June 9-13 negatively impacted crops.

Market organizers also are working to bring new offerings in the coming weeks, such as local honey and fresh eggs – both of which were popular requests on June 14, Coleman said.

The market will be open from 8 a.m.-noon each Saturday through Aug. 16 in the field behind Alabaster City Hall and the Senior Center.

The Alabaster-based Sowers of Seed charity is sponsoring the market, which is the city’s first certified by the Alabama Farmers’ Market Authority. All items sold at the market will be produced by Alabama farmers, most of whom will be local.

Coleman said Sowers of Seed has been working to bring the market to Alabaster for several years, and praised the city’s leadership for allowing the organization to use city property to host the market.

To learn more about the Alabaster farmers’ market, visit Cityofalabaster.com/feature/2014-farmers-market. The Alabaster City Hall is located at 1953 Municipal Way, which is off 11th Avenue Southeast.