Fresh lettuce, carrots, locally-raised beef and strawberries are just some of the delicious goods offered at the Piedmont Farmers Market on Winecoff School Road.
The Winecoff Winter Tailgate Market is held the second and fourth Saturdays in March and April. Shoppers can peruse the many options of fresh produce, which is grown by small, local businesses.
Business owner, Paul Brewington has been coming to this farmers market for two years. Brewington owns and operates Brewington Farms, in Mount Pleasant. Brewington Farms offers hundreds of varieties of produce, from collard greens to peanuts. An electrical engineer by profession, farming is a passion for Brewington.
"I've been a farmer all my life," he says.
The unusually cold winter this year has been a challenge for Brewington's farm.
"The weather has put a pretty good hurtin' on them, but it hasn't been too big of a problem," he said.
Tommy Barbee, another farmer who is a familiar face at the market, has been attending farmers markets his whole life. He is a fifth-generation family farmer and owner of Barbee Farms; his son, Brent, also works on the farm.
Barbee Farms participates in five farmers markets a week and takes pride in the fact they specialize in everything.
"Diversity is our specialty," Brent said.
Every season the Barbee family farm offers something new and fresh, strawberries, potatoes, popcorn, apples and the list goes on.
Not only is the market a great opportunity to sell produce, but it also is "a great way for farmers to teach consumers about eating seasonally," Tommy said.
Shoppers who stop by Barbee Farms' booth will get fresh produce and advice from the farmers on buying and cooking with seasonal produce. Tommy said this winter has made greenhouse production harder with the increasing cost of energy and loss of sunlight. He said he is looking forward to the spring.
"Farmers want to get their hands dirty so bad, they can't hardly stand it," he said. "We can't wait for spring."
Despite the long wait for the change of season, the farmers market still has a lot to offer. Locally-raised beef is on sale at the Winecoff Winter Tailgate Market. Todd and Danielle Mauldin are the owners of T&D Charolais Beef. This is their fourth year at the farmer's market. Their 3,800 acres in China Grove is where the Mauldin's raise their beef. Their cows are born on the farm, where they are grass fed until they are processed.