Berlin celebrates ‘Sweet Grown Alabama Day’

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Berlin Town Clerk Keirstyn Montgomery helps kids get started on a sunflower potting project Saturday at the Berlin Farmers’ Market. (Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune)

BERLIN, Ala. – As a celebration of locally grown products and farmers’ markets, statewide nonprofit Sweet Grown Alabama hosted “Sweet Grown Alabama Day” Saturday, July 23. Six farmers markets across the state participated with special events, and one of those markets was in Berlin.  

Along with local farmers, there was a handful of vendors at the Berlin Farmers’ Market, including Eager Bee-ver Farms, Belle Mercantile and Dixie Meat Processing. Representatives of the North Alabama Agriplex were also on-site to promote the Power of Produce (PoP) program, which teaches kids about the goodness of fresh, local produce and on Saturday empowered them with $5 in PoP bucks to spend on produce, plants and other natural items at the farmers’ market. Kids also enjoyed samples of lemonade and  mini blueberry yogurt parfaits, took part in a sunflower potting project and got free farm “tattoos” courtesy of the Agriplex. 

Campbell Sandlin, an intern from Sweet Grown Alabama, talked about how this special event got started and about the Berlin Farmers’ Market hosting its inaugural  Sweet Grown Alabama event. 

“It was first started with a conjunction with Alfa. The (Alabama) Department of Ag(riculture and Industries) and the commissioner came together to create a state branding program for Alabama to support local farmers and to help get the word out to consumers to buy and to support local produce,” said Sandlin. “We’ve got over 300 members now and we have a database online that they can find all of our members by product or by zip code. We connect the consumer to the farmer.”  

She added, “This is the first time doing this event here. We connected with the Berlin Farmers’ Market and today is ‘Sweet Grown Alabama Day’ at the farmers’ market. We’re encouraging people to get out and buy local and visit their farmers’ market.” 

Sandlin said she was happy to see so many people turn out at the Berlin event.  

“It is extremely special to get out and see and meet people, talk to all of the farmers and talk to the consumers. We’re really stressing how important it is to buy local produce and keep that in our local economy because for about every dollar, 60 cents remains in the local community, so we try to stress the importance of how to find local produce,” she said. “It’s amazing. I’m so glad and happy that people came out and supported this event. I had a great time out here, seeing all of the kids and all of the families having a great time. They have a great program over there in the Power of Produce and they’ve been really pushing that. That’s a great program that they have for the kids.” 

Sandlin is from Cullman, so she said she was happy to come back home and help support the Berlin Farmers’ Market.  

“I’m from Cullman, so it’s great to get out here and support local within our county,” she said. “It’s great to come back home and see familiar faces and support an economy that is local and support all of these people out here. We will host this event next year and we’re happy to help out in any way possible.” 

Saturday was officially declared Sweet Grown Alabama Day at The Farmers Market by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.  

Learn more about Sweet Grown Alabama at www.sweetgrownalabama.org.  

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