HAMLET — Fresh produce, handmade jewelry and wooden signs, among other items, were offered up for sale for the third evening of the Hamlet Farmers’ Market.
Nancy Rivers was set up at the back selling strawberries, squash and greenhouse tomatoes from Triple L Farms in Derby.
She also had a few items from her won shop, Main Street Central, in Hamlet.
“They’re really working hard to try to push for farmers to get their local wares and their produce out in the communities so people will support them,” she said of the organizers.
“It’s really a nice addition for Hamlet,” she said. “I am from here, and I’ve seen this town, from when I was a little girl, it used to be booming…and we would love to see that again…and this is just a really positive thing for Hamlet — since Hamlet was the hub of everything at one time.”
Topping the neighboring tables were fresh-baked bread, various handmade jewelry items, potted plants and signs made from reclaimed wood from an old barn.
There was also a food truck from Moore County selling sandwiches.
“It’s really a plus for us,” Rivers said. “We at least get to eat something.”
Stephanie Thornsbury, museum manager and downtown coordinator, said she’s planning to book musical acts at least once a month to play at the farmers’ market. On opening night, Chuck Smith and Nikki Fletcher from the local band Safety Committee performed.
“It’s been busier — I imagine because it’s the first really, really hot day, people just don’t want to come out yet,” she said.
Earlier in the evening, there was also a visit from Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The market is one of three hosted by the Richmond County Farmers Market Association.
Susan Kelly, director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension office for Richmond County, said the idea for the Hamlet market came about after a discussion with Councilman David Lindsey and former city manager Marcus Abernethy.
“Stephanie worked out a way it could be part of the Richmond County organization and not be a competing market and I thought that was a great idea,” Kelly said. “I appreciate that they didn’t want to have a Saturday morning market to compete with the one in Rockingham.”
Kelly said the association is handling the EBT, SNAP and bank card transactions for the city.
“So it’s really a great partnership,” she added.
More produce vendors are likely to join once field crops are ready, she said.
To become a vendor, contact Kelly at 910-997-8255,
The farmers’ market will be held every Thursday, rain or shine, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.