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Something very big coming to Farmers Market

The “Big Cart” is coming to the Lincoln County Farmers Market at Denver this Saturday. This is no ordinary cart! It’s 13 feet tall, 15 feet long and has a Chevrolet 396 V-8 engine.
The cart is used by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to promote its “Got to Be NC” program.
The cart will be at the Denver market from 10 a.m. until about 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Remember that most vendors will be sold out by noon, so I would recommend you come before then to see the cart. Just think if you could drive that baby down the aisle of your favorite supermarket!
We hope to have the “Big Cart” at the Lincoln County Apple Festival sometime in the future, but it’s not available this year.
Thanks go to Master Gardener Gaile Broom for suggesting we check into the cart and to Leigh Guth of our staff for arranging the cart’s visit.
For those who haven’t been, the Denver market is located in front of Rock Springs Elementary School on N.C. 16.
Vendors set up along the drive in front of the school and customers park in the large lot which is to the right of the school (if you are looking at the building from the highway).
The market opens at 8 a.m. and vendors will stay until about noon unless they sell out earlier.
Something else is happening at the Denver market, and that’s growth in size and diversity. There were four vendors the first rainy Saturday and eight the last two weeks.
Items for sale this past Saturday included strawberries, beef, pork, early vegetables, herbs, cut flowers and ornamental plants.
The Lincolnton market is also gaining steam. This past Saturday there were five vendors.
Jerry Peeler brought greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers for the first time this season. I had my first tomato sandwich of the season at lunch.
Other offerings included asparagus, strawberries, sweet potatoes, peanuts, pecans and plenty of flowering plants.
I can’t wait until abundant supplies of vegetables hit the market in a few weeks!
Local food production and farmers markets are expanding throughout the country.
I recently read an article by author Bill McKibben who talked about how he spent an entire winter consuming only food produced in his area.
I don’t think I’m ready to give up my bananas just yet. But people are looking more at local food because it’s fresher, they can talk to the farmer and find out how it’s grown, and they feel good about the fact that less resources were used in getting it to market than a crop that’s produced 2,000 miles away.
You can find out more about local food producers in Lincoln, Catawba, Cleveland and Gaston counties by going to our “Foothills Fresh” Web site at lincoln.ces.ncsu.edu.
You can look for farms based on location, type and the items they produce.
Come support our local farms and farmers markets. It’s fun, it’s good for your health and it contributes to the local economy. Best of all, local food tastes good!
For more information, contact Cooperative Extension at (704) 736-8452.
by Special to the LTN

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