Sure signs of spring in Gastonia: Dogwood trees in bloom. Kids playing soccer, baseball and softball. And the reopening of the Dougie Henry Farmers Market on Long Avenue. The Farmers Market opened last Saturday, April 7, and will be open at least one day each week until mid-December.
The Farmers Market offers locally grown fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, flowers and honey, and locally produced crafts and baked goods. During the summertime peak season, the Farmers Market will have about 40 vendors from Gaston, Lincoln, Cleveland and York counties.
Because the number of vendors and customers keeps increasing, the Farmers Market has added an overflow shed. Each year, the market attracts thousands of customers. New vendors are welcome but must have appropriate certifications and state-issued permits.
According to Stanley Beam, president of the Farmers Market Association, only “100 percent local-vendor grown and produced commodities” are allowed, and the association conducts onsite inspections to make sure vendors meet all requirements.
The Farmers Market began informally in the 1970s, expanding over time. The City of Gastonia provided the land along Long Avenue, working with the local Farmers Market Association. The current building was built in 1995, paid for with a combination of public and private money. It is named for Dougie Henry, a lifelong Gaston County resident and enthusiastic supporter of the Farmers Market.
April: Saturdays 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
May: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
June-October: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
November: Saturdays 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
December: Christmas Craft Fair first two weekends, Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A “Summer Kickoff” is planned for Memorial Day weekend.
The Farmers Market is at 410 E. Long Ave. More information for Farmers Market customers and vendors.