I’ve been in love with Agriculture since day one. I grew up in Highlands, North Carolina, where small-scale farming, local markets and pick-your-own is the regular. My favorite days were when tomatoes were in full season. I would eat them like apples on the way home while my mother laughed(ish) at the juice rolling down my face onto the clothes she’d just bought me. As we continued life there, I would learn how to grow gardens with my father, raise chickens at my best friend’s farm and best of all, have my own horse.
God graced me by moving us to an agriculture-focused town when I was 15 and I fell right in love with Auburn’s Alabama-grown food. It all started at The Market and continued through my entire college career at Auburn University (I loved going to a “cow college”) where I received a bachelor’s of science in Agricultural Communication. I devoted all my extracurricular time to educating others about the importance of purchasing locally-grown food, and it worked.
- I became a Realtor in February of 2016 after four amazing years as an agricultural marketing specialist. My actual time IN agriculture has decreased since then, but my passion hasn’t. God knows my heart’s desires and He’s providing different ways for me to get my hands dirty now, even though my career has shifted.
We’ve been regulars for 10 years and I’m thrilled every May when school is out and The Market returns to Ag Heritage Park. Something special happens to my soul when I get to see the face and shake the hand of who grew my food. Today was the second week and you know I got there right when the gates open at 3 p.m.
Gates are open until 6 p.m. and you can find new vendors as well as familiar faces all season. The food and atmosphere is phenomenal, Southern Hospitality is the norm, as it always is in Auburn. The Market is located off Donahue Drive at the Edward L. Lowder Red Barn and provides free parking. Bring your own bags, bring your dogs, bring your kids! Everyone is welcome.
Something special happens to my soul when I get to see the face and shake the hand of who grew my food.
Today I filled my bags with sugar-cube strawberries from Dempsey Farms; kale, cucumbers and snap peas from Leo’s Farm in Tallasee, Alabama; Chilton County Peaches from Hale Farms; dill pickles from Hornsby Farms (who grows 100 different types of fruits and vegetables and has a commercial kitchen on site to pickle and jam!); Al’s Produce, one of my all-time favorite growers, had some beautiful onions and english peas for me.
You’ll also find Nellie’s Southern Fried Pies, Auburn University Fisheries shrimp (students raise them in the gulf!), Bulgar Creek Goat Cheese, fresh pork from George Family Farms, certified organic produce from Sneaky Crow, local honey from Beehive Farms and tasty granola from Pecan Point. See a full list of vendors here.
- I’m going to write a series of each farmer’s market in Auburn-Opelika this season and in a separate one, I’ll fill you in on more details about my agriculture journey. Stay tuned!