If you know me then you know I am not a true fan of warmer weather, but I am a fan of gardening and seeing the Earth come back to life with green foliage and the beautiful colors and smells of the flowers. The fresh fruits, vegetables, and ‘mater sandwiches are all things I love so naturally when I heard that the Salisbury Farmer’s Market was going to have a permanent home, I wanted to write a blog on them and their new location. Who better to talk to than David Correll of Correll Farm in Cleveland, N.C.?
Correll Family Business
David’s family has a long history in farming starting back in the late 1800’s. E. Talton Correll, David’s grandfather, grew produce in the 1920’s and 1930’s and started a Grade A Dairy Farm in 1938. David’s dad, Sam Correll and his brother Eubert, wanted to earn some extra money as teens in the late 1950’s do, so their dad told them to grow tomatoes. That was the beginning of something beautiful and delicious.
David grew up on the farm as well and went to college at N.C. State University. In 1996, he came back to the farm where they were a top dairy farm. However, in 2005 the decision was made to sell the dairy cows and primarily farm vegetables.
Now I was thinking okay you grow tomatoes, but I was shocked that there was so much more! You name it and they probably grow it! Tomatoes… check, corn… check, potatoes…. check, onions… check, asparagus… check, beets… check, a variety of lettuces…check, herbs… check, I’m sure you get the idea!
On top of all the varieties of vegetables, they also have about 70 acres of soybeans that are sold as cattle feed. Being that I’m from the Eastern part of the state I asked if David grew “cabbage collards” and he said yes! Luckily David’s wife, Cheryl, is from the Eastern part of the state too so he found out early how incredible those tender greens can be, and years ago he was gifted some seed for this tasty veggie. He’s grown them ever since and personally I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those to cook.
The New Farmer’s Market Location
So, after we talked farming we got down to the nitty gritty of my visit and that was to discuss the new location for the Salisbury Farmer’s Market. The plan, for now, is to open the Market in late April or early May and it will run through the Fall. The new structure is located at 228 East Kerr Street, Salisbury across from the Lee Street Theatre. By having this location, there will be ample parking for everyone utilizing the Lee Street Theatre parking lot and the parking lot of Morgan Ridge. The pavilion will also provide cover for the vendors and customers during the operating hours of 8 a.m.-12 p.m. each Saturday when they start, and then in the fall the hours will change to 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Over the years, beginning in 2004, the Farmer’s Market has moved to several locations. They were at Bank Street and Main Street, Fisher Street across from the Rowan Public Library, and last year back to Main Street in the parking lot of the old Salvation Army. Vendors are excited to have a permanent site where customers will know where to find them and all the wonderful things they sell to the citizens.
The vendors that participate are mostly members of the Farmers’ Market’s Association. There is a $100 joiners fee. There is a $10 a day fee for members at the market or a non-member can participate for $25 a day. All vendors must be pre-approved, and the growers must have a “Growers Certificate” showing that they grow their own produce. If there is a baker there at the market, they must have had their kitchens inspected in order to be able to sell their baked goods. The meat vendors also must have a “meat handlers” license. It’s peace of mind to know you can shop with confidence!
I was fortunate to get a tour around the Correll Farm on my visit. The greenhouses were a wave of green plants waiting to arrive at the market. David even pulled a spring onion in the field to see if they were ready and guess what… they were! Along with all the produce you can imagine on the farm David’s son, Talon, has a huge interest in chickens and that has allowed them to have fresh eggs along with the vegetables.
Correll Farms also has a 15-week home delivery service where you can receive vegetables harvested that day right at your door. Along with a different variety delivered to your home, Correll Farms will include a recipe for one of your vegetables. For example, they may give you a recipe for, let’s say, broccoli rabe! There are also plans to deliver to a central downtown location where you can come to pick your items up! Visit www.correllfarm.com ,or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just give David a call at 704-202-9678.
As I was leaving David and I discussed the Farmer’s Market again. He stated “we will have 15-20 vendors and there will be something for everyone. There will be produce, baked goods, soap, jams and jellies, pickles, flowers and plants, eggs, different meats including lamb, and pimento cheese. We plan to have music and activities for kids along with monthly cooking demos with the Cooperative Extension with Toi Degree”. David also said “I’m really excited about the location! It’s covered for the vendors and the customers! We have found a home! This is our 4th location in 10 years and now we have plenty of parking.” Find their Facebook page Red Barn/Correll Farms and give them a “Like” so you can find out more information on the opening day for the market!
The Cooperative Extension Plays a Role
While I was in the Farmer’s Market mode, I decided to chat with Michael Fine who is an Agricultural Extension Agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension here in Rowan. I had met Michael during Rowan Creek Week last year and was glad to be able to chat with him again. His interest is in “strengthening local food markets” and “putting local foods back into the local markets”. Michael’s role with the Farmer’s Market is as an educator by traveling to other markets and bringing back information to Salisbury that might work here.
Michael feels that the market “shouldn’t regulate” but more allow “free and open competition” with vendors and let the consumer choose which product they like.
He also enjoys consulting with farmers that are new and he helps advise them which products may be best to start with.
Michael’s background is also in farming and his wife, Janice, manages “The 7 Sisters Farm” in Davidson County which previously had been “Fine Farming”. They participate in the Davidson County Farmer’s Market in Lexington.
When talking with Michael it is very clear that his goal is to be sure we have the best Farmer’s Market around in Rowan County. “You have open air, food handled by less people and most is field to truck to the consumer”. I asked Michael about the vision for the market and he said “the vision has been to create an environment the customers and the vendors can enjoy. We feel like the location, as well as our partnership with the City is a positive step towards that goal.”
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to fill my basket with some of the delicious offerings that will be at our new Farmer’s Market in Rowan. A few things to note: no pets allowed, no smoking allowed, and come hungry because you’ll probably be leaving with an array of items that will satiate that feeling!
An estimated 1.5-mile Barn Quilt Walking Trail is coming soon for everyone to enjoy! “It’s important to be healthy, and Cleveland is a safe place without a lot of traffic” Elise told me. But readers… this isn’t an ordinary walking trail. The proposal is to have ten, six-sided barn quilt cubes which means a lot of barn quilt painting for a total of 60 unique signs. The barn quilt cubes will be the markers along the trail. Per Elsie, “take a walk… it doesn’t cost anything”!
Thought it would be a fun subject to do a blog on the pets in shops in Rowan County. I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t think I’d have a lot to write about… boy was I wrong!!! Let me take you on a tour of some of the shops around the county that have pets to brag about! We will start in Downtown Salisbury!