Forest City, N.C. (April 16th, 2021):
Coming off unprecedented challenges and exciting growth in 2020, Rutherford BARN launches into the upcoming Summer Farmers Market focused on building upon the groundwork laid by outgoing Board leadership and key partnerships.
Over the next few months, the Rutherford County Farmers Market will continue to expand access and grow market product offerings, helping local farmers and the economy succeed while providing residents with healthy, fresh, local foods and products. Assisting with leading these new initiatives is Rutherford BARN’s newly announced Board officers: Darla Henderson – President, Stephanie Rzonca – Vice President, and Marie Rapisarda – Secretary/Treasurer.
The Rutherford County Farmers Market took the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity head-on in 2020 by providing local residents with uninterrupted access to fresh, local produce, meats, and self-care products. In addition to being one of the first drive-through markets in North Carolina, SNAP, EBT & Pandemic-EBT customers were able to double their cash for purchases with the help of community partners MountainWise and Facebook Forest City Data Center. Other key local and state partners integral to Rutherford BARN’s successful 2020 include the RHI Legacy Foundation, the Community Health Council of Rutherford County, Rutherford County government, Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority, NC Department of Agriculture, NC State University, and the Town of Forest City.
New incoming Rutherford BARN Board President, Darla Henderson, says, “In 2021, we want to continue to expand access, to grow our offerings, helping the local farmers and economy succeed while providing residents with healthy, fresh foods. The Saturday morning market will expand with more vendors offering a larger variety of products, but we are looking at other ideas to improve access throughout Rutherford County’s city centers and those areas with limited access to grocery stores. Farmers Market pop-ups on weekdays are in development now.”
Access to the market will immediately increase as of April 24th when the Rutherford Farmers Market kicks-off the summer season just in time for customers to shop the bounty of produce coming to harvest at this time of year. Summer market means that customers can shop every Saturday from 8 a.m. to Noon until October 30th at our downtown Forest City shelter.
“We are accepting new market vendors and have seen an increase in those signing up for vendor spots, especially from local veggie and fruit farmers. We would, however, like to have more variety of offerings, especially artisans who make items from local products,” said Henderson, “ We want the Farmers Market to be a part of your weekly shopping list.”
Toward this goal, the Farmers Market is seeking your input on what products you are looking for at your local market. Each Saturday the Market has a Customer Request pad located at the Market Managers Table where you can write down items you would like to see at the market. You can also email the Market Manager, David Hislop, at firstname.lastname@example.org any items you would like to see.
Also new, Farmers Market customers can pick up an “All Local Meals” recipe each week at the Market Managers Table that features a market-based recipe, plus a market shopping list for that recipe, making it easy to shop and make a fresh, locally-sourced meal at home. Currently, farm vendors at the market are providing recipes but would like to feature market customer recipes too. You can submit your favorite market recipe by emailing your farm-to-table recipe to email@example.com.
Stay up-to-date on new market vendors, products, recipes, gardening information, and news by signing up for the e-newsletter online at www.RCFarmersMarket.com and by following the Rutherford County Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram @RCNCFarmersMarket.
About The Rutherford County Farmers Market
The Rutherford County Farmers Market is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. April through the end of October and is located at 172 Park Square in Forest City, NC. For more information and vendor sign up, visit www.RCFarmersMarket.com.