Farmers Markets: What you need to know for the summer


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Farmers markets are popular summer spots, especially in the Magic City.

Farmers from all across the state drive to Birmingham just for the market.

The demand for local produce increases in the summer. Even on a brief stroll through the market, you’ll see all kinds of produce like watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, tomatoes, and much more.

So what can you expect from the farmers markets this summer?

According to Geneva farmer Harvey Glover, you can expect freshness.

“That is one thing about the farmer’s market, the farmers bring it fresh,” Glover said. “It is not two-month-old stuff that’s been in a cooler. It is fresh.”

Steve Mathis, a farmer from South Alabama, says knowing where produce comes from can help you determine its freshness.

“The weather affects the quality,” Mathis said. “So common sense, if it rains a lot on somebody, you know they are bringing produce that is not exactly up to par.”

Mathis also gives helpful tips on identifying ripe fruits.

“On watermelons, white bellies usually means riper fruit. And cantaloupe, the firmer the melon, the riper it will last.”

The Market at Pepper Place features more than 100 vendors and is open every Saturday from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. The farmers market on Finley Boulevard is open 24 hours during the summer.

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