Early Shoppers Find Best Pickings Of Crop
July 28, 2011
REDSTOEN ARSENAL, Ala.--The grocery bags hanging from the hands of Wanda Towry and Cecelia Culver were overflowing with abundance as they left Redstone Arsenal’s Farmer’s Market July 20.
The NASA co-workers were happy with their purchases, making plans for the peppers, onions, peaches and nectarines they had bought at the market just outside their offices at NASA headquarters building 4200.
“We have been told to get here early to get the pick of the best,” Towry said.
“They’ve had very good produce every week,” Culver added.
The Farmer’s Market is making a repeat performance this summer at the request of the NASA Exchange. Employees from throughout the Arsenal are welcome to shop for homegrown fruits and vegetables, canned jams and salsas, and sour dough bread under the shade trees just south of building 4200 from 11 a.m. to mid-afternoon every Wednesday.
“I found out about this from my co-workers. They said in an email that we should come and see what they’ve got,” Valerie Johnson of the Security Assistance Management Directorate said as she bit into a juicy nectarine purchased at Isoms Orchard from Athens.
“Oh, this is so good. I was telling my girlfriend this past week that I would love a nectarine. And these are not hard. They are just right.”
Nearby, Don Miller of NASA was weighing 2.2 pounds of yellow squash and zuchinni at a booth set up by Steve Chapman of Anniston.
“These were good last week,” Miller said.
“Glad you enjoyed them,” Chapman replied.
Alberta Cooley of NASA was next up at the scale.
“I need whatever looks good for a skillet full,” she said, referring to the squash.
Vendors were doing good business selling tomatoes, snap beans, purple hull peas, okra, peppers, onions, squash, zucchini and eggplant. Sprandlin Farm of Vinemont laid out several baskets of peaches near their booth while Martling Mountain Farm of Guntersville put together a colorful display of jams and salsas. Mixed in with the vegetable-and-fruit displays were jars of squash relish, chow chow, pickled okra and honey as well as bags of oatmeal cookies, blueberry bread and banana nut bread. There was even homemade ice cream for sale.
The London Bread Company of Madison packed up their vendor booth early, having sold all 35 of its fresh-made loaves in the first hour or so of the Farmer’s Market.
“We haven’t figured out what our max number is. We sell out every time. We started with 13 loaves and have added a little bit more every time. But we are still selling out,” Joyce London said.
This is the first market for London’s family-owned business. She often recruits among her nine children for help baking the bread and selling it.
“This is our first experience with a Farmer’s Market and we love it,” she said.