By Morgan Bryce

With the return of summer is the promise of fresh, local produce which will be available every Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. during the summer at the O Grows Farmer Market, which begins May 14.
Held in the grassy lot across the street from the Southside Center for the Performing Arts at 1103 Glenn St., local farmers and growers will have produce ranging from late-season winter greens and the youngest fruits of the tomato season ready for purchasing.
“We have 10 vendors confirmed in the first few weeks, with more probably coming as we fully enter the summer months. There will be tomatoes, typical summertime crops, baked goods, jams, jellies and the plants that our kids help us raise at the community garden,” said O Grows Executive Director Dr. Sean Forbes.
Most of the produce is locally sourced, though some farmers from surrounding counties participate, according to Forbes.
Entering their fourth year operating the market, Forbes said they believe the market meets a critical community need and provides the public with access to top-notch produce in a more direct way than larger food suppliers can.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that the market provides more accessibility for people to purchase fresh produce, particularly in that neighborhood. It’s within walking distance for a lot of folks in that immediate area,” Forbes said. “I dare any place to match the freshness of what’s offered here. This also makes a huge impact on our local economy and is one of the few places that is a direct-to-consumer system.”
By state guidelines, 70% or more of vendors are required to sell food items, but Forbes said that artisans and makers are welcome to participate. Those interested in participating can call Forbes’ wife Susan at 334-744-1191. The season will run through the end of August.
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