Local bounty: A look at local farmers’ markets

Shoppers can get fresh produce from vendor Chasteen Farm (and many more!) at both the Festhalle and Hanceville Farmers’ Markets. Pictured is Justice Nicole Chasteen. (Heather Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Agriculture is Cullman County’s largest industry, and residents have no shortage of local produce during the growing season. While some places bring local customers to the farms – such as “you pick” berry farms and pumpkin patches during the fall – many growers take the farms to the customers by setting up shop at one of Cullman county’s farmers’ markets.

The Festhalle Farmers Market is open from April to October, three days a week. Visitors can come on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (though produce may run out before then) to shop for local produce, baked goods, preserves and craft items. Selections from this Tuesday included (but were not limited to) cantaloupes, eggplants, beans, grapes, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, jams, jellies, loaves of sourdough bread and hand pies. Other items can include soup mixes, granola, wax melts, candles and flowers. (www.facebook.com/cullmanfarmersmarket/)

The Festhalle Farmers’ Market is located at 209 First Ave. NE Cullman, AL 35055.

One vendor at the Festhalle, Maw Maw Gypsy’s Jams & Jellies, said the two years it’s been at the market have been great for business. In fact, this year has seen nearly double the profits from last year. For those who can’t usually make it to the Farmers’ Market, Maw Maw Gypsy also sells at 2nd Fridays events this summer, Warehouse Discount Groceries, and many other craft festivals around the county. 

Another Festhalle vendor, Chasteen Farm, said it has seen good business from market visitors over the last four years and has expanded to the Hanceville Farmers’ Market.

The Hanceville Farmers’ Market describes itself as a nonprofit, community-based market with an all-volunteer staff to serve the Hanceville community and north Alabama with fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, baked goods, arts and crafts.” It is open from May to November, every Wednesday and Saturday until noon starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesdays and 7 a.m. on Saturdays. The market’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hancevillefarmersmarket/) advertises local produce like cabbage, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, beans and fresh peaches from Chasteen Farm. It also has a link to vendor applications for those who want to set up a stall during the selling season. 

The Hanceville Farmers’ Market is located at 200 Bangor Ave., Hanceville, AL 35077.

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Heather Mann