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Fresh off the vine

Farmers market offers homegrown fruits, veggies

POSTED: July 8, 2009 4:00 a.m.
Photo/Michele Hester/

Local growers offer a variety of fresh picked vegetables at the farmers market.

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It was a few weeks early for corn, okra and tomatoes, but beans, potatoes and squash were ripe for the picking as the Dawson County Farmers Market opened July 1.

  

Every Wednesday and Saturday from July through September, local growers offer a variety of fresh picked vegetables outside the Agriculture Center on Academy Avenue.

  

While the market officially opens at 7 a.m., farmers begin arriving before sunup. Many days, they are sold out by 8 a.m.

  

“It’s kind of a race to see who gets here first in the morning,” said Robert Pruett, who has a garden on Juno Road and sells his vegetables at the farmers market each year.

  

His wife, Jannell Pruett, said the couple’s garden keeps them fed throughout the year, with plenty left over to sell at the market each week.

  

“I’ve already started canning beans,” she said.

  

Robert Pruett said the key to their success is keeping the weeds out of the garden, and making sure the plants get enough water.

  

“For about two months it rained almost every day, but now everything is just about starving for water,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get more rain.”

  

The couple’s early garden was quite plentiful, according to Jannell Pruett.

  

“I wish the market would open earlier in the season so we could have sold some of what we grew then,” she said.

  

Margie O’Byrne, who was shopping at the market last Wednesday, would also like to see the market open earlier in the year.

  

“This is just such a great way to get fresh vegetables,” she said.

  

Shirley Hughes was selling beans on opening day.

  

“They’re kind of like green beans, but they cook real fast,” she said of her homegrown beans. “They were done by the time my cornbread was finished.”

  

There’s no cost to set up a booth at the market, which Extension Agent Clark Beusse said draws “everyone from your typical farmer with a large amount of acreage, to people with small gardens who show up looking to sell fresh fruits and vegetables.”

  

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

 

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