Every Tuesday from June 5 through September 30 the Opelika Main Street Market will be open at 2 p.m. until closing at 5 p.m. The University’s Ag Heritage Park will be hosting The Market on Thursdays until August 23, with an option to run longer if produce is available and will be open between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The Market at Ag Heritage Park was started in 2005 by the College of Agriculture and is located near the intersection of Lem Morrison Drive and Donahue Drive.
It sees around 30 vendors on any given day that bring in all kinds of goods, not just food.
Staples include many types of fruits and vegetables, honey, ornamental plants and cut flowers, stone-ground grains, eggs, jams, jellies, preserves, pecans, oats, baked and canned goods, cheese, milk, soaps, and coffee, according to Auburn Market Manager Laura Herring.
To Herring, the farmers markets offer customers more services than what would be found at a grocery store.
“It’s a community experience it’s a very social experience,” Herring said. “You’ve got farmers that grew their products and they can educate you about what you’re eating and ways to cook it.”
Opelika Main Street Board of Directors President Stacie Money agreed and said attending the markets is also a great summertime hobby.
“Farmers markets are just the thing to do in the summer, and you get fresh fruits and vegetables, local farmers, things you’re not going to get at a grocery store,” Money said.
Ariccia, located inside the Hotel at Auburn University will also have stands where there will be food demonstrations and meals.
The market is open rain or shine, with plans to move stands under a pavilion in case of inclement weather.
The Opelika Main Street Farmers Market site will be along South Railroad Avenue between 8th and 9th Street in downtown Opelika.
They expect a product list similar to the Auburn market, though it varies with the growers and weeks.
For those interested in being vendors, a grower’s permit must be attained before setting up and selling at the markets.
Permits are available at no charge from the Lee County Extension Office.
This certificate is to ensure that the products sold originate with the producer, his or her family, employees or partners.
This allows the producer to be exempt from collecting and submitting state and local taxes for produce sold and exempts the producer or farmer from having to purchase a local business license.
However, if you are selling products that do not allow you to be classified as a grower, like baked goods, you may be required to purchase a business license from the city of Auburn or Opelika.
You are then responsible for collecting and paying certain related sales taxes.
On-site proof of liability coverage also is required at both markets.
Tents will not be provided by The Market management but vendors are welcome to bring their own tents.
Producers and food vendors may license a space for the entire season by paying a license fee of $200; weekly vendors pay a license fee of $20.
Checks should be made payable to Auburn University College of Agriculture.
The Opelika market provides tents on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Growers pay $15 per week.
Checks can be made payable to Opelika Main Street.
Opelika vendors are asked to reserve a space one week in advance of each market day.
To reserve a space, contact Velinda Wheeles at 334-745-0466.