The Hinesville Downtown Farmers Market will return for a second season starting Thursday. The market will be in Bradwell Park and Commerce Street from 4-8 p.m. each Thursday, from May 5-Oct. 27.
“We pretty much averaged eight to 10 vendors last year and this year we are starting out with 11 for our first market,” Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Vicki Davis said. “We had three full-time (seasonal) produce vendors last year. This year, we have five full-time produce vendors to start the season with several new weekly vendors to add to the six weekly produce vendors we had last year. Some of the growers only have limited items to sell, so they come around when their product is in season.
“Recent producer reports show that the strawberries have had a difficult growing season and have been in short supply,” she continued. “Two of the vendors will have strawberries this week. Also, the honey growers reported a slow year; however, our local honey producer will have honey available for the first market as long as supplies last.”
According to Davis, Farmers Market shoppers can expect to see the Liberty County High School Future Farmers of America selling plants and florals, the Victory Assembly Church of God Women’s Ministry selling crafts and baked goods and Hinesville downtown merchant Enchanted Creations offering paint-your-own pottery and home décor. Davis said some prepared foods also will be sold.
The Hinesville Farmers Market is different than other markets in the surrounding area because it is held on a weekday evening, event organizers said.
“The Thursday evening market allows growers who attend weekend markets to participate in the Hinesville Farmers Market, and it is also convenient to downtown workers and people who commute to Hinesville to visit the market after work,” HDDA program assistant Zach Claxton said. “An added bonus for customers to the Hinesville market is that they are getting the freshest produce available as farmers typically pick their produce Thursday mornings to prepare for the weekend markets.”
In-season produce that will be available the first few weeks of the Farmers Market includes bell peppers, squash, English peas, Vidalia onions and collard greens, according to Claxton.
“In addition to fresh, local produce, customers can expect to find grass-fed beef, eggs and local dairy products, soy candles, jams and jellies, customized woodwork as well as products from weekly vendors and downtown businesses such as jewelry,” he added.
Davis credited area sponsors, such as Liberty County Farm Bureau, for helping to make the event possible.
“The Liberty County Farm Bureau has been a tremendous support and resource for all the area’s farmers for a number of years, and their involvement in our Hinesville Farmer’s Market is just another example of their commitment to local growers,” she said.
Along with the Farmers Market, residents can expect free, live entertainment the second Thursday of the month beginning May 12, Davis and Claxton said.
“The David Turner Band will kick off the second Thursday in the Park season from 6-8 p.m. May 12,” Claxton said. “People are encouraged to bring chairs and a picnic (basket) or they can eat at downtown eateries or buy from on-site food vendors.”
Residents may park at five public parking areas within walking distance of the market, he added.
Weekly in-season Farmers Market produce lists and updates can be found at www.hinesvilledowntown.com or on the market’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hinesvillefarmersmarket.
Vendor applications will be accepted throughout the season with an option for vendors to participate weekly or seasonally. For more information, call the HDDA office at 877-4332 or email email@example.com.