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Column: When Will it Open?

Column: When Will it Open?
August 22
00:00 2014
Mercedes Miller,  Guest Columnist

Mercedes Miller,
Guest Columnist

As I finished up three days of working with business owners and leaders in Ohio, I called my family to touch base.  The first thing my dad said was, “The folks in the barbershop want to know when is the market opening?”  I am not surprised.  I received a call just last week from a mentor’s wife saying, “Mercedes, the ladies at the beauty parlor were saying that place been sitting there for a long time. When you going to open it?”

Vendors and customers, young and old, in the community and on the other side of town have the same question: When Will the Liberty Street Vendors Market Open?

It’s a great question.  It is also a question posed by the Triad Farm to Table Cooperative.  They are a group of local farmers who work together to promote and support fresh, locally grown produce.  They have signed up to sell at the Liberty Street Vendors Market and are looking forward to serving even more residents in our community.

When I pulled up at Hidden Creek Farm a few months ago, Pat Watson yelled to me from across the lawn, “Girl, I been looking for you.”

“Well, here I am,” I said, as I made a beeline to the fresh almonds and hoop cheese.

Pat and her husband Herb sell fresh produce and other locally-made edibles from the spring through the late summer.  Signs right on the edge of Davidson and Forsyth counties let you know when and where their place is open.  Pat was reaching out to secure a space because their location isn’t operational after September.

“We’re looking forward to being at the market on Liberty, along with a few of the farmers who bring their fresh fruits and vegetables to our location to sell.  It gives us the chance to continue to provide good food even through the fall and winter,” Pat said.

Local Farmer Vern Switzer

Local Farmer Vern Switzer

Mr. Vern Switzer, one of the most well-known black farmers in this state, has been instrumental in shaping the conversation about the Liberty Street Vendors Market.  His space is secured, and he, along with many others, is ready to get started.  Triad Farm to Table Co-op, Pat and Herb from Hidden Creek Farm, Mr. Vern and many other farmers, including those who run local community farms, are poised to provide their products.

So what will  they be selling? It might be easier to identify what they won’t be selling. But just to whet your appetite a bit – there will be peaches, plums, tomatoes, cabbage, watermelon, greens, corn, cucumbers, squash, potatoes, okra, beans, cantaloupe and peppers.

Now for the question at hand: when will the Liberty Street Vendors Market open?

The City of Winston-Salem is working to ensure that the market is both aesthetically appealing and user-friendly for the vendors and customers. They are erecting a fence that is slated to be completed mid-September. As soon as it is done, the market will open.

See you there.

Spaces are available for fresh produce, art, crafts, baked goods, jewelry, apparel and other items.  For guidelines, applications and additional information, please contact Terrance McNeil at 336-793-3441 or lsvm@nullearthlink.net.  Internships and volunteer opportunities are also available.

Mercedes L. Miller is owner of Mercedes-Empowers, Inc., which has won the City of Winston-Salem contract to operate the Liberty Street Vendor’s Market.  

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