Farmers market on Peerless one of 3 drawing customers
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Jul 31, 2014 | 1397 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Farmers market
BRADLEY COUNTY FARMERS MARKET vendor Ron Crawford, left, describes his heirloom tomatoes to Nancy Eskew and Judy Dillon. Banner photo, JOYANNA LOVE
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Green, yellow and red of all shapes and sizes line about a dozen tables at the Bradley County Farmers Market on Peerless Road.

Many of the vendors have been coming here for years to sell fresh produce.

“The reason I started being involved was [my] mother had died and my cousin had been bringing vegetables here and she said that’s … one thing you are good at is growing produce,” Sharon McCormick, who has been selling for nearly seven years, said.

Tomatoes and green beans are popular items at the market. A variety of peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, cucumbers, carrots and sweet potatoes are also for sale from various vendors. Homemade jams are also available.

McCormick said she also sells farm-fresh eggs.

For customer Doug Lance, it’s the only place he buys his produce. He comes to the market three times a week on average.

“Everything is home-grown and you know it’s fresh,” Lance said.

Judy Dillon comes to the farmers market looking for specific items.

“I love fresh veggies,” she said.

On Tuesday, she was in search of Mr. Stripey tomatoes (tomatoes with yellow stripes).

“They have less acid,” Dillon said.

While looking, she stopped to consider buying large heirloom tomatoes instead, which she did.

Dillon was also in search of peaches and cream sweet corn. She said she comes to the market at least once a month.

Over the years, McCormick has enjoyed getting to know those who come to the farmers market. This year she is selling for a friend, but many years it has been from her own garden in Etowah.

Louis Dunn, who has been selling at the farmer’s market for six years, also said he enjoys interacting with potential customers

“I enjoy meeting people,” Dunn said. ”Mostly what I grow each year is what I sell more of like okra, beans, watermelons, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, potatoes and bell peppers.”

He said sometimes he meets people from out of state who come to the market while visiting family in the area.

Fred Harrison and Don Jenkins Sr. have recently come to the Bradley County Farmers Market from McMinn County to expand their market for selling cantaloupe.

Harrison said he had been growing cantaloupe for about 20 years.

The farmers market is located at the Peerless Road Recycling Center and the Bradley County UT Extension, and is open until 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until Oct. 31.

In addition to the farmers market on Peerless Road, Bradley County also boasts two other farmers markets. Bradley County Farmers Market North and the Five Points Farmers Market.

Bradley County Farmers Market North is open Monday through Saturday until Nov. 29.

Five Points Farmers Market is open each Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. at First Street Square.