Sure the Denver Farmers Market is best known for providing plants and fresh produce, but Saturday morning it had something extra â€“ a giant shopping cart.
â€œThis is just complete and utterâ€¦ I canâ€™t even explain it,â€ said Jim Baney, a farmers market customer.
The big cart was 14 feet high and 15 and a half feet wide. A marketing tool for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, it travels the country.
The children at Saturdayâ€™s market were fascinated with the cart.
â€œDo you drive that? So thatâ€™s like your car? Itâ€™s huge,â€ said Parker Clay, who came to the farmers market with his father.
And while children enjoyed the site, Spurgeon Hyder, who brought the cart to the market from Raleigh, says older men are its biggest fans.
â€œOlder males are fascinated with the mechanics, the engineering,â€ he said.
Baney, who moved to the Denver area from Pittsburgh, had read about the cart in his native city.
â€œI love it. Itâ€™s unique, fully functional, and as a car enthusiast, this is just the wildest thing Iâ€™ve ever seen,â€ he said.
The cart, which Hyder drove around the Rock Springs Elementary School parking lot, has a fully functional engine and is rumored to go as fast as 60 mph.
Hyder prefers to putter along at 25 mph.
â€œThatâ€™s fast enough for me,â€ Hyder said.
The cart has logos of various North Carolina products â€“ both natural and processed.
â€œIf you wanted to buy all the things North Carolina provides, you would need a cart that big to hold it all,â€ said Leigh Guth, an extension agent.
The farmers market was packed Saturday morning, in part because of the giant cart. Guth was happy with results.
â€œWe hope it will stay this size, if not grow,â€ she said.
Both the farmers markets in Denver and in Lincolnton provide the community with a unique service.
â€œWe get the freshest produce,â€ Guth said. â€œItâ€™s picked when itâ€™s ripe. It doesnâ€™t travel 1,600 miles in a truck.â€
Instead of going from Denver, Colo. to Denver, N.C., the produce travels just a few miles. Guth says thatâ€™s good for the local economy, the environment and peopleâ€™s health.
The farmers market also offers a time for socialization.
â€œItâ€™s a chance to walk around, visit and buy things that are good for you,â€ she said.
The Lincoln County Farmers Market is open in Denver at Rock Springs Elementary School on N.C. 16 and on West Water Street in Lincolnton Saturday mornings beginning at 8 a.m.
by Sarah Grano