YORK -- With an economy in crisis and a rash of safety scares over foreign made goods and mass produced food, York's Farmer's Market, starting Saturday, April 25, offers a perfect opportunity to support local business and avoid some potential health risks.
Now entering its second year, the York Farmer's Market provides the community with fresh, seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs, flowers, honey, bake sale items, and eggs. As well as handmade crafts, candles, soap, leather goods and pottery, according to Signa Curry who organizes the market each week for the Downtown Business Association.
Each week anywhere from seven to 20 vendors set up booths at the corner of N. Congress Street and Victory Lane, next to Shear Paw-fection, Curry said. The city-owned market can accommodate as many as 32 vendors in 10-foot by 10-foot booths.
"It's been tried in years past, but it didn't take off," she said. "This time it is going well."
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Curry runs the market as a volunteer with the Downtown Business Association. She wanted to get involved because she has fond childhood memories of attending farmer's markets in her hometown with her dad.
"Sometimes I'll sell some specialty syrups, but mostly I just try to keep things running smoothly," she said.
While Curry helps to oversee the market each week, vendor Colleen Hewlett has made it into a family affair.
"My son (Asa) raises chickens for eggs, we have a flock of 70 laying hens, and he sells fresh eggs each week," Hewlett said. "No matter how many eggs we bring he always sells out."
Hewlett's daughter, 11-year-old Ruth, sells cookies at the market as well.
"Who's not going to buy a cookie from a cute little girl?" she jokes.
All kidding aside, Hewlett uses the market experience to teach her children how to keep track of expenses and run a business. Asa, 13, has to keep track of his feed costs, transportation costs and other expenses while trying to turn a profit with his chickens.
He also built a blacksmith's forge on the Hewlett's land and sells wrought iron items like fire pokers during the market days too, she said. He picked up the trade at a folk arts summer camp.
Hewlett, who also raises sheep and spins her own wool yarn, raises bees for honey and sells produce and sunflowers from her garden, has been attending the market since it opened last spring.
"Some of those early mornings were really cold," she said.
The family makes the trip from Blacksburg, just over the York/Cherokee County line, every weekend. The family also takes part in the historical reenactments at Historic Brattonsville each weekend and schedule both outings around each other.
For information or to reserve a vendor booth, call 704-299-2322 or 684-4225.