With summer right around the corner, the season is perfect for finding fresh fruits, vegetables and unique items such as hand-made jewelry and soap offered at local farmers markets.
The Auburn/Opelika area has several seasonal options, as well as markets open year-round.
O Grows Farmers Market
The O Grows Farmers Market has served Opelika for more than 15 years. Sean Forbes and his wife, Susan, took over the market two years ago.
Forbes said the O Grows Farmers Market typically has between 10 and 15 vendors and offers an array of fruits and vegetables as well as fresh bread, pepper jelly, jewelry and ornamental plants.
“We’ve got some folks that come from as far south as Dothan,” Forbes said. “As the market moves through, different items become available.”
The O Grows Farmers Market, located at 1103 Glenn Street in Opelika, opens May 15 and runs every Tuesday through the end of August from 3-6 p.m.
The Market at Ag Heritage Park
Now in its fourteenth season, The Market at Ag Heritage Park gives Auburn University employees and students as well as area residents the opportunity to buy fresh and local directly from the growers. The Market first opened in 2004 and is a service of the Auburn University College of Agriculture in partnership with the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.
The Market features area vendors offering locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants and cut flowers, jams and jellies, baked goods, soaps, honey, goat cheese, shrimp, beef, pork and more.
Market Manager David Lawrence said The Market typically hosts around 30 vendors. The 2018 season opened May 3 and runs every Thursday through Aug. 30 from 3-6 p.m. The Market is located beside Ag Heritage Park’s Edward L. Lowder Red Barn at 580-B S. Donahue Drive.
“Pretty much anything that you can get at a farmer’s market we should have at some point,” Lawrence said.
First Saturday Market at Standard Deluxe
Standard Deluxe hosts the newest market in the area on the first Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. June 2 will be the fourth event.
The First Saturday Market has hosted four or five vendors so far, but Standard Deluxe owner Scott Peek said he hopes to grow the market over time.
“We’re slowly getting the word out and letting it grow,” Peek said. “We want people to know we’re open the first Saturday of every month and as more people come out maybe we’ll be open every weekend. Who knows.”
Vendors that have participated so far include a local jeweler, and farmers with local produce and fresh eggs. Lunch options are also available and will range from barbeque to wood fire pizza. The market will also feature live music when possible.
“It’s just a way to enjoy the new pavilion and the space that we’ve been working on for so long,” Peek said.
Standard Deluxe is located at 1015 Mayberry Ave. in Waverly.
Year-round farmers markets
Both family-owned, Parkway Farmers Market in Opelika and George’s Farmers Market in LaFayette are open year-round.
Parkway Farmers Market operated on Pepperell Parkway for seven years before opening its new, larger location at 2180 First Avenue in Opelika last summer.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, the store also sells locally made jams, jellies and relishes.
The Parkway Farmers Market is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
George's Farmers Market, located at 1010 County Road 16 in LaFayette, offers fresh produce, meat and bread. Specials throughout the last week include items that range from pimento cheese to made-from-scratch pastas and sauces.
George's Farmers Market is open Monday-Tuesday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.