Pell City —
Question: I’ve been reading a lot about “eating healthy” and I see an increase in the number of farmers markets in this area. When I was growing up, a farmers market was usually several guys in overalls that pulled their trucks together by the baseball field on Saturday mornings. Tailgates served as tables, farmers and customers knew each other, and it was like a big party. People bought corn harvested that morning, took it home and ate it for supper. Are farmers markets still like that?
Answer: Well, yes and no. Farmers still bring their produce to locations where consumers buy vegetables, fruit, eggs, etc. directly from them without going through a middleman, such as a grocer. Historically, there wasn’t a store in many areas where people shopped for food, so the weekly farmers market was a critical part of the “food chain.” With the advent of modern conveniences, much has changed including what we eat, where it comes from, and how we prepare and consume it.
Worldwide, many populations depend heavily on these markets for social, cultural, and economic impacts. While many variations exist, markets are usually arranged with booths, tables or stands and can be indoors or out. In this area most are outdoor venues, and are held rain or shine.
What makes farmers markets an increasingly attractive alternative to grocery chains are the benefits accrued to farmers and consumers. For farmers, and these are usually smaller, “mom and pop” operations, local markets offer increased profits due to less transporting of produce—we know the cost of gas these days. There is less handling of produce, which translates into fewer hands and fewer health issues. Less refrigeration due to nearness to markets means fresher, tastier produce, and less time in storage impacts both economic and safety factors.
The Alabama Farmers Market Authority http://www.fma.alabama.gov/ is a state agency that encourages residents of the state to “Buy Fresh Buy Local” through its goal of “assisting in the marketing of agricultural products through information, leadership, and facilities needed to move products from the farm to the consumer.” Not only farmers markets, but farm roadside stands, U-Pick operations, and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) offer additional options for those seeking fresher, locally grown food. The website contains a list of markets available in your county as well as contact information for the market managers.
The St. Clair County Farmers Market opened on Wednesday, May 29th and will be open every Wednesday from 2—5:30 p.m. until September 18th. It is located on Hwy 231 North, just past the Pell City Post Office, in the gravel parking lot in front of Mary’s Mini Warehouses. The Market is a Farmers Market Nutrition Voucher Program Redemption Site. Stop “buy” and see for yourself, get to know the farmers/vendors, and take home a bag, basket, or box of locally grown, “delicious, nutritious” Alabama produce!
Pell City —
Leeds approves splash pad renovation
The splash pad bathhouse renovation bid was passed in a five to one vote to the lowest bid of approximately $166,000.
Mobile vet center offers counseling for active duty service members
Active duty service members who served in a combat or war zone are eligible for counseling at the Birmingham Vet Center.
Pell City School System to be recommended for accreditation
The Pell City School system, after an AdvancED team evaluation, will be recommended for a renewal of its accreditation in June. This extensive review turned up great findings for Pell City schools, and the school system was applauded for its great efforts.
- St. Vincent's St. Clair exceeds expectations during winter storm
Amtech plans to expand Pell City facility
St. Clair County Economic Development Council announced today that American Metal Technology (Amtech) will expand their Pell City facility.
- Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey has qualified to seek re-election
Batemon elected to Board of Directors of the Regional Planning Commission
St. Clair County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. The organization’s annual meeting was held at the McWane Science Center on February 26.
Argo considers sales tax raise
The discussion for a one-cent raise in sales tax has been heard for weeks at Argo council meetings. After a great deal of deliberation, council members decided that they would not vote for the raise until they heard from the public.
One Mile for 5,000 Lives
Members of St. Clair’s Youth Leadership Development Program will be hosting a one-mile walk, named One Mile for 5,000 Lives, to raise awareness about safe driving for teens. The event will be held on March 22 at the historic Jennifer-Leah Walking Track in Ragland, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
- Free trees for Argo Citizens
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- Leeds approves splash pad renovation