There were two types of honey on Melody Badger’s table Thursday – and visitors liked both.
“The darkest is our local,” she said as eager visitors tasted samples. “It’s from a sorghum field and has nuances of sorghum flower.”
The Blythe apiarist joined about 30 other vendors who lured crowds to the new Evans Towne Farmers Market.
“I’m amazed how many people showed up,” said Jonathan Tescher, who raises shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms at his farm in Sparta, Ga. “I felt there were 1,000 people here last week, and it looks the same today.”
At $5 a basket, his mushrooms disappeared at a steady pace. Tescher plans to return each week.
The market, envisioned as a direct farm-to-customer venue, made its debut March 7 and will be held each Thursday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. behind the Columbia County Library in Evans. Its aim is to feature products grown or made within 100 miles of Augusta.
“This is just Week 2 of 17,” said Kim Hines, whose Augusta Locally Grown food cooperative coordinates the event with Leslie Carson, who makes Luna Bug soap and body products, and Kristina Williams, the director of the annual Benderdinker canoe and kayak event on the Savannah River.
Hines and her partners were pleased with the inaugural turnout. The crowd is expected to grow as the weather warms and more farmers and producers are able to offer their goods.
Thursday’s booths included everything from locally made doggie jerky treats to soy candles to carrots, collards and kale.
There were also plenty of crafters and growers offering vegetable and herb seedlings for spring garden planting.
Next week’s market will include a Grow Your Own Fair with instructional speakers and more plant vendors, Hines said.
“We’re going to have people with berry bushes, fruit trees, vegetable seedlings – lots more stuff,” she said.
There will even be a vermiculture expert who will offer earthworm management tips to organic-minded growers.