Six Mile’s first farmers market opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a welcome from the mayor and introduction of special guests congratulating the city Six Mile on their farmers market last week.
SC Rep. B.J. Skelton, Clemson Chamber of Commerce President David Lane and Six Mile Councilman James Atkinson were among those who spoke at the ceremony.
The market was held indoors at the former Six Mile Fire Department and 12 of the 18 available vendor booths were filled at the Grand Opening.
Atkinson said Six Mile started as a small agri-business community and this farmers market is one way Six Mile hopes to promote the rebirth of agri-business.
“People can come and look the person in the face who grew the product,” Atkinson said.
Vendors sold strawberries, flowers, jams, jellies, goat’s milk products, vegetables, plants and some crafts. “We want 90 percent of the market to be fresh products from the farm,” Atkinson said.
Some of the vendors included Renee and Jerry Lambert from Lambert farms from Central, Rosalie Callaham of Mockingbird Mountain from Salem, Ann Miller of Happy Berry Farm from Six Mile and Lois Ryan and Becky Howington of Crescent Moon Farm from Westminster.
Customers enjoyed the market. “We think it’s great. This is just what Six Mile needs,” said Heather Seymore of Six Mile.
“I just drove by and saw this. This is great,” said Michael Sullivian of Six Mile. He said that later in the season, he might come to the farmers market as a vendor to sell homemade quilts, eggs and honey.
To make the farmers market a reality, Mayor Roy Stoddard contacted the director of S.C. Association of Farmers Market, Fred Broughton. One of the main rules is that the produce must be locally grown. The marjority of the guidelines are provided by the S.C. Association Farmers Market. Atkinson also worked to make the market a reality.
Rita Martin, Six Mile town clerk and treasurer, does the secretarial work in regards to the Farmer’s Market such as taking care of the paperwork, making flyers, keeping track of the vendors and registration forms.
Martin said that keeping up with the weekly paperwork is about the only thing needed to operate the market each week because the vendors provide their own tables.
“It [the market] pretty much takes care of itself,” Martin said.
Martin explained that Atkinson had checked with other markets in the local area and chose a day that did not conflict with the other markets and chose Thursday as market day.
“I hope that this will be a place for people to come after school or work,” Atkinson said.
Stoddard said he hopes the market is a way to draw the community together, and act as a place for local farmers to sell their produce.
“There’s nothing like local produce on the dinner table,” Stoddard said.
It costs vendors $5 for one day and $25 for the whole season. The farmers market will be every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. from May through September. For more information contact Six Mile City Hall.
Other markets in the area include:
Easley Farmers Market: Easley’s farmer’s market occurs every Saturday from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. in front of Town Hall from April through October 5. The market features produce, plants and other varieties of foods. There are also craft vendors who exhibit the first Saturday of each month. Lisa Garrett, Easley Farmer’s Market manager, is expanding the market to include Tuesday nights to “provide a whole meal people can pick up at the market on their way home from work.” For more information contact Lisa Garrett or visit http://easleyfarmersmarket.com.
Clemson Farmer Market: The Clemson Farmer’s Market occurs every Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. from May 10 through Oct. 18. They are partnering with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to provide educational opportunities to the community in conjunction with the farmers market on the first Friday of every month. Until the growing season peaks, the market features mostly crafts along with flowers and early vegetables. Contact Kathi Dimmock, Clemson farmer’s market manager, for more information or visit http://www.cityofclemson.org/our-community/clemson-farmers-market.