by JOHNNY WEEKSjweeks.firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Manning Farmers Market kicked off its opening day on Saturday, June 15. The original opening day was originally scheduled for June 8, but due to inclement weather conditions was postponed. The market will be open every Saturday from June until October on the corner of Church Street and Boyce Street one block from the courthouse. The hours of operation are from 8am to 12pm and is open to the public. Many local vendors will have various items available for sale. Many vegetables, such as peas, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, squash, and onions are ready for purchase. Also available will be watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches and others. Studies have shown that prices at these types of markets are usually lower than what is expected at retail grocery stores. A total of five vendors were on-hand at the first opening Saturday of the season. Some of the vendors, such as Lula Richardson of Summerton, provided baked goods along with her display of vegetables. “I brought some of the produce that I grow. With all of the recent rain, I haven’t been able to get to everything,” said Richardson. “But by next week, I’ll bring a lot more of a variety.”
“I love the environment of coming to this market,” added Richardson. “I enjoy gardening as a hobby, and then being able to bring those things to sell to the people is a fun time and a blessing.” The market has been in business for more than 10 years providing local farmers in Clarendon County the chance to showcase their harvest. David Richburg of Richburg Farms says that he has sold produce at the farmers market since inception at the previous location just a couple of blocks away, until it was moved to its current location.
“I really enjoy the market atmosphere and meeting lots of new people,” said Richburg. “I also get the chance to talk to old friends while selling our vegetables.” Johnny McNair of J-Mac Farms and Produce was also set up and fully stocked for the opening day of the market. McNair says that he has been farming for 21 years and looks forward to the harvesting season every year. McNair has been a vendor at the market since it opened years ago.
“I love the interaction with people,” said McNair. “I also have a lot of repeat customers over the last 10 years. Many customers in the ‘Beach Traffic’ love to stop by while traveling to their vacation. They will shop with us when headed to the beach, then stop back by on their ride back home and buy more. I consider these people to be friends that I look forward to seeing.” Carrie Trebil, Special Projects Coordinator for the city of Manning, oversees the operation of the market. She said that some tents are available on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. She does advise all vendors to bring everything they need, such as tents and tables, due to the provided tents being limited.
“The cost for a person to become a vendor is only $10 per season,” said Trebil. “We do have enough room still available for anyone interested in becoming a vendor here at the market.” For more information, please call 803-435-8477.