The upcoming farmer’s market at the Community Center will be much more than an outdoor grocery store.
During the market, which will have a grand opening May 2, music groups, visiting chefs, dancers and produce drawings will be among the activities planned for opening day.
With 18 vendors committed, each with their own tent, the market will run from May through October in the parking lot of the Community Center. With exception of holiday weekends, the market will be open for business each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Maurine Brown, who is heading up the market, said the project has passed its goal of 12 vendors.
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“About a dozen others have expressed interest,” she said.
The market has already received a license to use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and Brown is pursuing Women, Infants and Children (WIC) cards or checks also.
Brown has said in the past that providing the two is essential for the town to access fresh produce. Much of Zebulon has been identified as a food desert by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“Unfortunately, some people don’t have access to it,” Brown said, who also mentioned during a previous informational meeting that 16 percent of Zebulon’s population is below the poverty line, the highest percentage among Wake County municipalities.
The market was made possible initially by a grant from the John Rex Endowment, which will fund the market for its first three years, with the market and Zebulon Parks and Recreation shooting for self-sustainability by the end of that time.
Local flowers, produce, meat and dairy products will be available from vendors including Stone Ridge Farm Market, the Fat Radish Farm, Liberty Poultry, J&H Farm, Simple Soap and Balm, Brantley’s Nursery, Wrenn’s Farm and others.
Events at the market will accompany nationally recognized themes. Police officers may come out with a police car for National Police Week in May. Orgullo and Alma Latina dancers will perform in September for Hispanic Heritage Month. The Zebulon Fire Department will make a showing in October for Fire Prevention Week.
And just for fun – there might even be a watermelon seed spitting contest and days with face painting, recipe contests and largest watermelon or pumpkin of the season.
Brown plans to host a vendor information meeting March 26, a committed vendor meeting April 30 and is still seeking more sponsors.