NEWBERRY — Those still thinking about the Newberry Farmer’s Market can worry no more. The market will have its official opening at 9 a.m. June 7.
After volunteering hours of their time and providing dedication to the market, the Newberry Master Gardeners stepped down from running the market at the end of the 2013 season. New market manager Sarah Epting said the market will remain open for this season.
“A lot of people thought we had dropped it (the market) so we wanted to spread the word that we are open,” Epting said.
While the Master Gardeners had run the market for the past two years, Epting said they just did not have the manpower to continue with it this year.
“While they plan to be present at future markets, it will be to serve in a capacity more true to their mission by assisting our community with its gardening questions,” Epting said.
Epting was hired part time to be the manager of the market thanks to a grant picked up by the Eat Smart Move More organization in Newberry.
A volunteer board of directors has also been established for the market, Epting said. The board is made up of people from different groups, including vendors, staff from the City of Newberry, and the merchants association.
Epting said the board has been meeting every two weeks in preparation for the opening.
The group became a non-profit organization, Epting said, with the hope that they could begin a SNAP program for the market. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which would allow assistance to eligible low-income families who wanted to get fresh food for their family.
“We’re hoping to have that ready by next year,” Epting said.
The grand opening will last until 11:30 a.m., but the market will be open each Saturday throughout June and July from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Memorial Park downtown.
Epting said the grand opening will include Fire Chief Keith Minick with a fire truck, a clown and balloon artist for children, and more activities.
There will also be a Tuesday market, which Epting said they are calling Simply Supper Tuesday. Every Tuesday from June 10 to July 29 food and produce will be sold from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Newberry Tractor Supply parking lot.
The second Saturday the market is open, Epting said will be Adopt a Pet Day and the Newberry County Animal Shelter will be present to help animals find good homes.
“Look for fresh, local produce, eggs, handcrafted soaps, local strawberries, fresh breads, homemade aprons, among others,” Epting said.
Epting said the board of directors is already planning next year’s season, as they have the vision to extend the season longer next year.
Vendor spots are open to all scales of farmers, especially backyard gardeners, Epting said.
For more information about the Newberry Farmer’s Market, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/GrowNewberryFarmersMarket. Epting can be reached at 803-814-4280 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.