At the Market photo by Melinda Stuart.

Taken by Melinda Young Stuart of Barnardsville.
“At the Market” at the Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market in Mars Hill.
Stuart took the photo in natural light May 28 using a handheld Olympus SP500UZ with an exposure of f4 at 1/160 sec and processed it using iPhoto on a Mac.

Photographer’s notebook

Blooms and “starts” of flowers at the Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market Saturday mornings on the Mars Hill College grounds. The chalkboard tells us that this vendor, Loaf Child, is collecting used plastic plant pots for re-use and to keep them out of the landfill.

My husband and I have been visitors, shoppers and customers at the Madison County Market on and off for at least 10 years, watching the vendors and their offerings evolve and change. It’s always a festive occasion with live music and some of the best food, plants, flowers, and crafts from our region’s farms that you’ll see anywhere, even including downtown Asheville!

This market is one of the many around our area encouraged and sponsored by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), bringing farmers and consumers together around gardens, growing, and good food.

— Melinda Young Stuart, Barnardsville

View more photos by Melinda Stuart.

Editor’s note

The Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market is held rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the corner of Highway 213 and Park Street, across from the tennis courts on the Mars Hill College campus. Vendors sell local flowers, fruits, vegetables, food products and crafts.

According to the market’s website, vendors include Angel Ridge Farm, Bee Tree Farm, Celia Biers, Corners Knob Farm, Doubletree Farm, Fork Mountain Farm, Good Measure Bakery/Appalachian Shadow Farm, Highgate Farm, Appleberry Cove Farm, Rogue Harbor Farm, Leaning Willow Farm, LoafChild Bakery, LoafChild Garden Center, Long Valley Farm, Mackey Farms, New Direction Farm, Natural Handcrafted Soaps, Sunset Valley Farm, Swann’s Woodworking, Sweet Betty Bee’s Honey and Hive and Three Graces Dairy.

Local markets like the Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market can be found throughout Western North Carolina. The Madison County market is a member of the Mountain Tailgate Market Association, which is a group of farmer-and vendor-only markets in Western North Carolina.

Operating hours and locations of markets around the region can be found on the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s website.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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