Farmers market coming to Hyde County in May

Published 6:24 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2016



SWAN QUARTER — Hyde County will soon see the rebirth of a county-wide farmers market, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the health department, Cooperative Extension and county Department of Economic Development and Planning.

Anna Motteler, a health educator at Hyde County Health Department, said opening day is scheduled for May 28, and the market will continue for the last Saturday of every month as long as the season permits, likely until November.

She said the idea for a farmers market began after Albemarle Regional Health Services received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control to support local products and increase access to food in “food desert” areas.

A food desert is described as an area in which it is hard to find fresh food, such as fruits and vegetables, due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers markets or providers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Hyde County is definitely one of those areas. … That’s kind of where that push came from,” Motteler said. “They’re trying to kind of support, like, roadside stands and things like that.”

With the grant money, organizers have hired a market manager and are now in the process of purchasing tables and canopies for setup. Motteler said the grant gave them a little spending cushion to cover some of those start-up expenses.

She said organizers also felt the last Saturday of the month is a good time to have the farmers market because it coincides with the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department fundraisers. The market will be located across the street from the fire department.

Motteler said she hopes the market will encourage people to spend a little bit of time in Swan Quarter, whether they head over to the fire department or to the MATTIE Arts Center in the old courthouse.

“It’s kind of a big collaborative,” she said. “I feel like I’ve gotten more interest from folks who would like to come and purchase things — less interest for selling.”

Organizers are now pushing to book vendors to participate to give patrons a good selection of local products, according to Motteler.

Vendors selling products such as produce, seafood, baked goods or crafts are welcome to sign up, a press release stated. There is a $10 annual fee to sell at the market, as well as a $5 fee for each Saturday.

Motteler said she thinks having a market will provide residents with something to do, while also making a difference with access to healthy, fresh foods.

“It’ll be, you know, a place for folks to come and have a good time,” she said.

To register as a vendor, visit Opening day will be May 28, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.