Locals came out to support farmers and other vendors during the Arlington Farmers Market's opening day on May 8.
The market had about 35 vendors for its opening day.
It will be open every Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Legion Park in downtown Arlington.
“I’m excited that it has come back,” said Diane Krieg, Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce marketing and events coordinator and one of the organizers of the market. “It’s going really good, except for a little rain, but this is spring in Arlington."
The market features a variety of vendors selling items from candles to woodworking crafts.
“We have honey, we have soap and we have lots of handcrafted local products. That’s one focus we really tried to keep this year,” said Krieg, who added the market hopes to support small local businesses.
They also have a number of fruit and vegetable vendors.
“We’ll have more of those as produce is ready to harvest,” said Krieg. “Unless a farmer has a greenhouse at this point, they don’t have a lot."
Dwight Fisk came to the market’s opening day as a vendor for Macomber Farms and Dwight’s Garden.
“We have a store on the farm that is well used but I think this is a better way to get this out to the public,” he said.
Small farms don’t typically have the quantity of items to get into local stores, he said, so farmers markets allow him to get out into the community.
Fisk said he enjoyed the Arlington market so far.
“It’s good, it’s better than the other ones I’ve ever been,” he said.
Visitors, such as Zach Lindblad, also said they enjoyed the number of unique items available.
“We like the variety of handmade stuff that's for sell,” he said.
Krieg said people enjoy the market because it allows them to connect with local farmers.
“I think most people really want to support a local economy and those small businesses,” she said. “It’s really fun to see the farmers and everyone come out."
The market was successful in 2020 and Krieg hopes that can continue this year.
“The farmers market really grew last year. When we started out it was like 8 booths and now it is over 30,” she said.
A number of individuals have started small local businesses during the pandemic and Krieg hopes the local farmers market can help them.
“In February I had 10 phone calls from people who had started small bakeries,” she said. “It’s really cool to see how people have taken the problems they’ve had and created small businesses."
New this year for the market is the ability to use EBT funds for specific products.
SNAP funds can be spent for tokens at the market which can purchase fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy, baked goods, jams, honey, meat, fish, nuts or mushrooms.
Those who spend EBT funds at the market will also have their first $40 matched by the state and those funds can be spent on fruit, vegetables or mushrooms.
“It’s a program the state has to support farmers,” said Krieg.
“We were really lucky to be able to have that this year,” said Tari Dexter, one of the organizers of the farmers market, who added they worked to bring the program to the Arlington Farmers Market this year.
The market will continue through the summer until Sept 25. Organizers are also planning another Harvest Festival event around November for this year as well.