Area farmers markets open for business

Spring and summer bring many options for those looking for fresh food in North Shelby County and along the U.S. 280 corridor, and this year is no different.

Several farmers markets have opened to the public, offering locally grown produce as well as arts and crafts and other goods.

Below is information about farmers markets in the area.

Chelsea Farmers Market

The Chelsea Farmers Market is held from 3-6 p.m. on Thursdays through mid-July.

In its first year of existence, the market is held at Chelsea City Hall.

Marketplace at Lee Branch

Marketplace at Lee Branch opened April 22 and is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Aug. 26.

The market, which is located at the Lee Branch shopping center near Carmike Cinema, usually boasts about 45 vendors each week and 750-1,000 shoppers.

The market’s regular attractions include free cooking demonstrations from dieticians from St. Vincent’s One Nineteen, live music entertainment and a Kids Market area that educates children on the “farm to table” concept as well as offering tractor rides and other fun.

Organizer Renee Betz said she and her husband started the market after a cancer diagnosis motivated her to live a healthier lifestyle.

“People come out to see neighbors and hear music,” Betz said. “We love the community that has been built there.”

Now in its second year, the Marketplace at Lee Branch is a Certified Farmer’s Market.

For more information, visit TheMarketplaceatLeeBranch.com or the market’s Facebook page.

Mt Laurel Farmers Market and Craft Fair

The Mt Laurel Farmers Market and Craft Fair began June 3 and is held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Oct. 7.

The market is held on Manning Place, as local farmers and vendors bring a variety of goods, including fresh fruits and vegetables; homemade salsas, jellies, and breads and bakery items; and artisan-made crafts.

Many of the farmers have been participating in the market for years and have built strong relationships within the community.

For more information, visit MtLaurel.com or the market’s Facebook page.

Riverchase United Methodist Market

The Riverchase United Methodist Market began May 25 and is held from 1-5 p.m. on Thursdays through Aug. 24.

The church is located at 1953 Old Hwy. 31.

Valleydale Farmers Market

The Valleydale Farmers Market began May 27 and will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Sept. 2 at Faith Presbyterian Church, which is located at 4601 Valleydale Road.

In its eighth year, the market features rotating artisans and this year has added a meat vendor, according to organizer Felder Davis.

“You come one week and it will look different than the last week,” Davis said. “We have a real desire to build a community within our community.”

Davis said several vendors have used the market as a springboard to commercial success.

“We’ve got a lot of interesting stories,” he said.

For more information, visit ValleydaleFarmersMarket.com or the market’s Facebook page.