Like many others in Yancey County, Jeff and Rhonda Fox grew tobacco on their West Yancey farm for many years.
However, they took advantage of the buyout a few years ago to transition to more traditional crops. With the help of a grant from ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project), they constructed a greenhouse on their property. Since 2004 they have been members of the Yancey County Farmers’ Market, and Rhonda has served for many years as the market’s Vice President.
Initially they raised and sold primarily produce from their large garden. The greenhouse helped them get plants started and get a jump on the planting season. Some veggies actually preferred the greenhouse environment. “We try to grow everything in a sustainable manner,” says Rhonda. “We use natural products and growing methods as much as possible.”
As they experimented with marketing their products they found that the greenhouse was excellent for growing hanging baskets and other decorative plants. They also have taken advantage of their heritage and their land to grow and market native ornamentals, such as Flame Azaleas.
As their children grew, they too got into the action. Today daughter Kelsie, a student at Western Carolina University, helps during the summer with her handmade fiber products. Son Seth has become adept at making trout flies, which he proudly displays and sells at the market. Of course, the whole family helps with the produce and plants.
So, come to the market this Saturday and check out the wide variety of products and visit with Rhonda, Jeff, Kelsie, and Seth.
This week at the market: Fresh local produce continues to grow in variety. This week look for brocoli, broccolini, chives, collards, fresh dill, garlic scapes, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mint, mushrooms, mustard, onions, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, and turnips. Other farm products available will be chicken and quail eggs, goat cheese, seeds, flower arrangements, beef, and pork. Homemade jams and jellies, as well as 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.