Fresh Produce

Charity Brown and her son, Kaleb, buy fresh produce from local farmer Harold Whitfield at the Jackson County Farmers Market.

Every Tuesday through Saturday, the Jackson County Farmer’s Market comes alive with local vendors, happy customers and plenty of farm fresh produce to go around.

Vendors begin the day at 6 a.m. and stay until 2 p.m. filling bags with peaches, big red tomatoes and just about anything else in the fruit and vegetable genre.

For the past eight years, Bann Bellomy has been right among them.

“I have a couple of acres that I farm,” he said. “I grow watermelons, cantaloupes and just about every kind of vegetable there is.

“I’m proudest of my tomatoes though,” he continued. “I’ve got a lot of customers who come here just to buy those.”

According to Bann, business is usually very good at the market, but sometimes the weather causes it to be slow.

“If the weather is bad,” he said, “we can’t get out and pick the vegetables out of the garden. And the customers don’t get out as much.

“We usually see the majority of our customers on Saturdays,” he said.

“Business here is great. It’s great for me and for everybody. I enjoy coming here and seeing all of the people.”

Charity Brown, of Flat Rock, and her son, Kaleb, are loyal customers at the market.

“We come here a couple of times every summer,” she said. “I have two chest freezers at home and we fill them up and use the produce all year.

“My son loves fried squash, corn on the cob and sweet peas,” she said. “He also loves to cook.”

At that, Kaleb, a second grader in homeschool, gave a big smile.

“I cook sweet peas, corn and chicken fingers,” he said. “My favorite corn is peaches and cream and my mom gets it here for me.”

His mom loves the fact that her son is learning to buy locally grown food that is good for him.

“I buy butterbeans, peas, fresh tomatoes and just about anything we can find,” she said. “The market here is a great place and everything is so fresh.”

Chuck Edson, of LaPorte, Indiana, is the son-in-law of Robert Deutscher, who owns Crowe Mountain Orchards, a favorite vendor among loyal customers.

“My wife, Barbara, and I come here every year from July to November,” Edson said. “We are retired, so we help my father-in-law out at the orchards and really enjoy spending time here.”

When Edson is at the orchard, he repairs machines while Barbara and her friend, Michelle Thompson, run the store.

“I bring produce to the market and sell,” he said. “I enjoy seeing all the people and it’s a good business.”

One of the things most people come to Edson for are the Crowe Mountain peaches.

“We sell them for $7 a basket,” he said, “and there are seven pounds in each one. The peaches are terrific and customers just love them.”

Repeat customer, Al Klimaitis, agreed.

“I tried the peaches here and I keep coming back for more,” he said. “They are juicy, sweet, and really fresh. There’s just nothing like them.”

Originally from Wisconsin, Klimaitis and his wife, Mary, moved to Scottsboro from their home in Marietta, Georgia, five years ago.

“We looked everywhere for a nice place to retire,” he said, “and we had never heard of Scottsboro, Alabama. When we did, I told my wife that it was the most beautiful place and I wanted to build our home here, so we did.

“My kids come to visit from Wisconsin and they can’t believe how much recreation and beauty are in this town,” he said. “I think the mayor should be proud and everyone should be proud of this city. Northeast Alabama is gorgeous and people don’t realize that. When I found this farmer’s market, it just made it even better for me. It’s friendly, the produce is delicious and I’m very satisfied.”

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