Taste of the season: Farmers market fruits, veggies near peak

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Randy Bailey reached across the table to hand Tom Jones a bag of fresh tomatoes in exchange for a few dollar bills.

Bailey works the booth with Old Needmore Farms in Sims, one of the long-term vendors who participate in the Wilson Farmers and Artisans Market every Saturday and Wednesday under the pavilion at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in downtown Wilson.

Jones said the market is “a good thing.”

“It will be a little better in the next two to three weeks,” Jones said. “July is when everything starts popping.”

The majority of the summer crops will be coming in within the next month.

“I love the farmers market,” said Deb Rogers of Wilson. “It is awesome to see this stuff downtown. Mostly it’s nice supporting our local farmers and to say thanks for all they do.”

Willis Teen Lamm of Old Needmore Farms said it’s been an improvement letting cars park alongside the market on South Street.

Before, Lamm said older customers had started to shy away from coming because they had to walk so far to get to the pavilion.

“It’s better now, but I was upset at first,” Lamm said.

The farm sells sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, collards, yellow squash, cucumbers, zucchini and peaches and other items.

“Most of the time we sell out,” Lamm said.

Lois Johnson of Kenly pulled a cantaloupe up to her face and gave the melon a sniff at the Lee Produce stand.

“I have been wanting to come,” Johnson said. “I work downtown, and a lot of times I don’t get to come on Wednesdays. This is the first time I have been able to come on a Saturday.”

Brittani Johnson, owner of Engrained Farmhouse, a producer of custom wood signs, is among the growing group of artisans who come to the market to sell their products.

“I like that they moved it to the Whirligig Park from where it used to be,” Johnson said. “I like being able to meet the locals and other artisans.”

Charlotte Atkinson of Wilson, owner of All Things Quilted and More, makes handcrafted quilts, pillows and other sewn merchandise.

“A lot of what I do is custom orders,”Atkins said.

She has become a regular at the Wilson Farmers and Artisans Market.

“I like it. You get to talk and mingle and sell things on top of that,” Atkinson said.

Juanita Lester of Wilson wishes there were more vendors but still shops.

“I love it. I can get fresh vegetables and fruit,” Lester said. “I got green beans. I got potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn. I loaded up today.”

The market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays on South Street in downtown Wilson.