Fresh From the Field

Story and Photos by Virginia H. Harris

Nothing says fresh like the seasonal produce you can find at a local farmers market, and thanks to a recent push to “buy local,” farmers markets are enjoying a revival. If you’re craving farm fresh produce for your table, check out these markets in the Birmingham area.

 

 

Sign welcoming patrons to the Alabama Farmers Market.
Sign welcoming patrons to the Alabama Farmers Market.

Alabama Farmers Market

Undoubtedly the largest market in the state, The Alabama Farmers Market attracts 207 member growers from throughout Alabama along with 14 retail vendors and private flea market sellers. The market is open year-round but spring, summer and fall are the prime seasons to find locally-grown goods. Get lost among the vendors and you just might leave with more than a basket of tomatoes.

Where: 344 Finley Ave. W
Why: Enjoy the huge variety any day of the year.
www.alabamafarmersmarket.org

Mt. Laurel Farms

If you’re looking to go for a drive on one of Birmingham’s beautiful spring Saturdays, located 30 minutes down Highway 280 East is Mt. Laurel, a town akin to Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. The organic farm stand is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, year-round providing seasonal vegetables straight from the field. If you’re craving a day-trip, the Farmers Market and Craft Fair offers organically grown produce, freshly baked pies and cakes as well as crafts and artwork. The fair is open from 8 a.m.to noon each Saturday from May to October.

A Mt. Laurel sidewalk boasts fresh flowers for your spring beds.
A Mt. Laurel sidewalk boasts fresh flowers for your spring beds.

Where: 5 Mt. Laurel Ave.
Why: Get outside of the city and enjoy the small town atmosphere of this neighborhood.
www.mtlaurel.com

Pepper Place Market

Located in the Lakeview district of downtown Birmingham is an oasis of rural goodness.  While perusing the freshest produce available in downtown, enjoy live music, a cooking demonstration or just chat with the locals. The market opens on April 16, 2011 and runs every Saturday until Dec. 17, rain or shine. For the 2011 season, the market partnered with the Alabama Department of Tourism to promote and celebrate Alabama’s musical heritage with The Year of Alabama Music. Pepper Place promotes various local musicians and artists throughout the year as part of this statewide celebration.

Fresh peppers at Pepper Place Market (Photo by Lauren Womack)
Fresh peppers at Pepper Place Market

Where: 2829 Second Ave. S
Why: Jump start your day by arriving early and supporting local farmers.
www.pepperplacemarket.com