Spring is almost upon us, and that means farmers market season is ramping up. While some markets do operate year-round, the bounty increases once warm weather returns and fruits and veggies begin to peek through the soil. Bring your market basket and it fill it with fresh produce, local honey, baked goods, and other handmade items from around the state. Here are 10 Alabama farmers markets to check out.
Market at Pepper Place/Contributed
Pepper Place took the idea of a farmers market and made it trendy. This Saturday market is now the place to see and be seen on a Saturday morning (7 a.m.–12 p.m.). Friends gather, families push strollers around, and even dogs come out to join the fun. The vendors rotate weekly at this market, but you’ll also find a variety of goods ranging from Alabama-grown veggies and fresh-cut flowers to homemade salsa and artisan woodworking pieces.
On the banks of the Black Warrior River, this indoor-outdoor market sells items like grass-fed beef, locally grown produce, and unique crafts. The main market is held Saturdays from 7 a.m.–12 p.m. year-round. The organization also hosts popup markets seasonally (April–September), where local goods are brought to different accessible locations around the city each weekday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Like Pepper Place is to Birmingham, Greene Street is to Huntsville. Located in the heart of downtown, this producer-only, open-air market sells locally grown vegetables, fruits, meat, and flowers. Sample traditionally-made relishes, cheeses, and preserves or pick up breads, pastries and prepared meals for dinner. Don’t leave without a gourmet popsicle. The market is open every Thursday evening from May to October.
You can get your farmers market fix every day at this year-round farmers market open 7 days a week. Nearly all produce at this indoor-outdoor market is grown in Alabama. You’ll find huge cardboard boxes full of squash, greens, watermelons, and more. Homemade pepper jelly, pickles, sweet tea, and sweet potato pies also are among the goodness to be found.
This street mart highlights an up-and-coming neighborhood in the Birmingham area while showcasing vendors who also are new to the scene. You’ll find offerings here that have included African cuisine, Thai food, fresh-squeezed juices, screen-printed clothing, decadent bread pudding, and more. There are 5 street markets a year; the first will be April 10.
Of course this coastal market is going to highlight the bounty of seafood found along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. In addition to all the usual suspects — okra, tomatoes, corn, peaches — you’ll also find fresh-caught seafood. Pick up Gulf shrimp, crab legs/claws, snapper, and more each Saturday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
One of the oldest institutions still in business, this market began in the basement of the Madison County Courthouse as early as 1814. It moved many times before a permanent space was built for it in 1984. Corn, okra, tomatoes, and squash are the biggest crops at the market but you’ll also find fresh greens, beans, field peas, and fruits as available. The market is held Wednesdays–Saturdays during April–November.
Here’s a helpful tidbit: Want to know what’s in season before heading out to this popular farmers market? Check the chart on their website to see what veggies and fruits you might find. In addition, you’ll also find local honey, fresh-baked breads, and fruity jams. The market is open 7 a.m.–1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
It only makes sense that the College of Agriculture at Auburn University would put on a farmers market. The growers-only market was established in 2004 and is held every Thursday, May–August. Vendors showcase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants and cut flowers, as well as locally produced jams and jellies, baked goods, soaps, honey, goat cheese and more.
Located in a trendy warehouse-esque building, the Gadsden farmers market operates each Friday (June–October) from 7 a.m.–12 p.m. Find handpicked fruits and veggies, meats, cheese, eggs, honey, and other handmade goods. The market also hosts events throughout the year, like Strawberry Day on May 14 this year.