Thursday, April 24, 2014
Fresh produce and locally made goods are coming to St. George this week with the launch of the town’s first farmers’ market.
The market will be held on Thursdays from 2 - 6 p.m. starting April 24, and will conclude on Oct. 2. It will be located at the Klauber Building, 225 N. Parler Ave. in St. George.
According to Market Manager Jennifer Quattlebaum, the town has been working toward establishing a larger community event for some time. The market is the brainchild of Team St. George, a taskforce of community leaders established by St. George Mayor Anne Johnston last year.
“We decided on the market because it benefits the community and because of the strong agricultural base in St. George and the upper county. It’s a win-win,” Quattlebaum said.
Dorchester County announced the market in a press release last week. It describes the market as a partnership between the Town of St. George and the county, but Quattlebaum said no county money is being used to fund it. Rather, the county has been supporting the market through leadership; last year Alison Simmons, the community development manager for the county Economic Development Department, was assigned to lead Team St. George and has been “spearheading” the group ever since, Quattlebaum said.
Although they’re not partners, she said they also have a working relationship with Clemson Extension Service that will benefit the market. In addition to traditional market fare, there will also be weekly entertainment and the Clemson Extension Service will give live cooking demonstrations using the produce sold at the market. The first demo will feature locally grown kale.
Overall there are 16 spaces for market vendors, with the potential to expand inside the Klauber Building. So far, 11 are registered. Vendor spaces cost $5 per week, but if they sign a longterm agreement with the market — committing to four weeks or more — vendors may use the space for free, Quattlebaum said.
“We’re trying to encourage people to commit longterm,” she said.
The hope is for vendor ratio to be 70 percent farmers and 30 percent artisans and craftspeople.
“The vendors are really excited and we think it’s going to be a great market,” Quattlebaum said. “We’re really hoping that St. George and the larger county come out to support it.”