Get your plants NOW! The old timers say this year the last of the nasty cold weather will be the 18th of May. That means it’ll be safe to get those tender flower and veggie plants in the ground next week.
And the Yancey County Farmers’ Market features a wide variety of plants – flowers, veggies, perennial flowering shrubs, evergreens, and more. By far, the widest selection of bedding plants is offered by the Smith family – from Bee Log Farm and Nursery.
Bee Log Farm is a small 2-acre family farm run by the Smith family – Robin and Wayne Smith, along with Wayne’s parents Betty and Jim. They started the farm eight years ago and, as Robin says, “We’ve learned a lot over that time period!” They farm using organic methods and their products are “Certified Naturally Grown. Somewhere along the plant journey their customers started calling Robin the “tomato lady” since they have focused on tomato plants, but now they have expanded to growing culinary and medicinal herb plants as well.
“We started out several years ago raising and planting our veggies, then bringing the produce to the market,” says Robin. “Then we decided to let folks do their own growing and harvesting, so we are now marketing the plants.”
Robin adds, ”We believe in stewardship of the earth and preserving genetic diversity by saving and growing heritage/heirloom seeds. On our farm, we define heirloom plants by their taste! We believe it is important to preserve these genetically diverse seeds so future generations will have access to non-genetically modified food.”
Robin has recently taken classes in herbalism which has led to a passion for medicinal herbal plants.
Wayne is a beekeeper, so many of the plants also serve as pollinator, or “bee food” as well.
Jim grew up on a farm in Ohio and has always loved farming.
In addition to their efforts on their farm, Robin is also working with farmers throughout the county as director of TRACTOR Food and Farms, an aggregation center in Burnsville that currently has some thirty local farmers participating in providing produce to regional grocery stores and restaurants.
So come to the market and visit with the Smiths.
Mothers’ Day Basket: The winner of the Mothers’ Day basket drawing last Saturday was Brownie Faucette of the Busick community of Yancey County. Congratulations!
This week at the market: In addition to all the plants, early produce will be available, including arugula, asparagus, carrots, fresh garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, pea shoots, radishes, ramps, and spinach. Other farm products available will be chicken and quail eggs, goat cheese, seeds, flower arrangements, beef, and pork. Fresh baked goods abound, and a wide variety of plants –both annuals and perennials – are also available. You’ll also find a variety of local crafts. Of course, there are always hot and cold drinks, plus market souvenirs to round out your visit.
The market is open each Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. It is located behind the Burnsville Town Center – Hwy 19E at South Main Street.
Article by David Fleckenstein, courtesy of Yancey Times Journal.