The rain held off in Opelika Tuesday afternoon, and O Grows was able to hold its first farmer's market of the season.
O Grows is an organization that promotes gardening to address food insecurity and to provide fresh food for Opelika and the surrounding community.
O Grow’s third farmer's market season opened Tuesday. Every Tuesday afternoon from 3-6 p.m., 15 to 20 vendors will gather and bring their fresh produce to sell.
Beginning this year, there will be one vendor selling beef and buffalo meat.
“That’s something new to the market,” said Market Manager Susan Forbes. “We haven’t had that in a long time.”
Students involved with the Opelika Learning Center will also be selling wooden crafts and other art throughout the summer, Forbes said.
The farmer's market is held is located at 1103 Glenn St., Opelika, Alabama. It is across the street from the Southside Center for the Arts and O Grows’ community garden.
Strawberries, peaches, onions, squash, blueberries and many other fruits and vegetables are among the available produce that bring together farmers and the community at the O Grows Farmer's Market.
While the community benefits from the availability of fresh food, so do the local farmers benefit.
Farmers markets are a great networking opportunity, said Stephen Baine, a vendor from Home Grown Farms in Slocumb, Alabama.
“You’ll go to one of these and you may not sell more than a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff, but you’ll meet people that buy thousands from you,” Baine said. “So it helps tremendously in more ways than one.”
Walter Pulliam, another vendor, owns a farm in La Fayette, Alabama.
Before he began working with farmers markets, he loaded his produce into the back of his truck and traveled door-to-door looking for customers, Pulliam said.
“Now I can just come and park in one place,” Pulliam said. “People come to us now.”
Honey was local beekeeper Charles McCollum’s main product Tuesday. McCollum has been raising bees since he was a teenager.
In his 60 years working with bees, the price of keeping them has increased. Farmers markets help reduce the effects of this rise in costs on his business, McCollum said.
“I come out to these markets to meet people and to sell,” McCollum said.
The O Grows Farmer's Market will continue throughout the summer until August 28, 2018. The farmer's market will take place every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m at 1103 Glenn St., Opelika, Alabama.