It’s prime time for farmers markets to open across Alabama.
A few may start earlier in the year, generally when the first strawberries grown nearby are ripe enough to pick. But April is the most popular month for market seasons to begin.
At the beginning, you’ll see more arts and crafts, cut flowers, and prepared goods than fresh food. But in April farmers in Alabama are harvesting cauliflower, cabbages, lettuces, onions, spinach, and early squash. Hens are laying fresh eggs. And vendors that sell frozen meat or seafood are fully stocked.
Alabama is blessed with so many places where people can connect with the people who produce their food—eating produce at its peak nutrition and flavor while also supporting family farms and local economies.
Here are some of the Alabama markets opening in April, where locals can reap what nearby farmers sow.
Woodlawn Street Market (Birmingham)
Address: 1 55th Place South
Operated by the non-profit revitalization group REV Birmingham, the outdoor market marks its 10th year bringing fresh produce to a food-insecure neighborhood, while also providing entrepreneurial opportunities. Held every other month, the first market of the year is April 1, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Times vary throughout the season, but they’re clearly posted on the market’s social media. Stop by the enclosed Woodlawn Marketplace nearby featuring street market alums and anchored by the Trvl Love Koffee café and roastery.
Farmers Market of Jacksonville (Jacksonville)
Address: 330 Church Avenue SE
It starts on April 1 in a new home, outside the city’s Public Safety Complex. Organizers expect to draw up to three-dozen vendors. The market is open from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Saturdays until mid-November (last year it closed November 12).
Madison City Farmers Market (Madison)
Address: 1088 Hughes Road
Opening April 8, the Saturday market at Trinity Baptist Church is limited to nearby growers and producers from the Tennessee Valley. In addition to seasonal vegetables and fruit, vendors sell meat, eggs, cheese, honey, bedding plants, baked goods, and crafts. Through September, its hours are from 8 a.m.–12 p.m. In October and until the market closes for the season in November, the hours are 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Trussville Fresh Farmers Market (Trussville)
Address: 90 Parkway Drive
The market starts with just a few vendors, opening when the first strawberries are picked nearby. Last year that was in mid-April. Before long, the market is in full swing, opening Tuesdays from 1 p.m.–5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m.–12 p.m.. It officially closes at the end of November but hosts a holiday market in mid-December. The market frequently updates its Facebook page, posting photos following food plants from seedling to farm stand.
Andalusia Farmers Market (Andalusia)
Address: 256 Historic Central Street
The city-run market in a facility across the street from the Three Notch Museum has a short season. It launches this year on April 22 and shuts down on July 29. Venders offer vegetables, fruit, baked and preserved goods, eggs, honey, plants, and cut flowers. In operation since 2008, the market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m.–12 p.m.
Walker County Farmers Market (Jasper)
Address: 1601 Airport Road North
The market officially opens in mid-May, but a few vendors set up stands in April, as soon as locally grown strawberries and spring onions come in. The market says this year’s start may be delayed due to late-winter chilly weather–and who knows what to expect from the mid-March freeze in parts of the state? Once in full swing, the market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. Keep an eye on Facebook for preseason action and updates.
(This story originally appeared on SoulGrown, an affiliate of Yellowhammer Multimedia)
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