Tristain Trull has been coming to the Piedmont Farmer's Market since he was a little boy.
Now 10, he still comes, buying tomato and other plants from Market Manager Lisa Wacheldorf.
On March 26 Tristain bought a couple of the 25-cent tomato plants and was on his way in a quick minute.
Wacheldorf stayed at the farmer's market on Winecoff School Road, along with a handful of other vendors, until after noon, helping customers find exactly what they needed.
The Piedmont Farmer's Market calls this its Winter Tailgate Market. Offered every other Saturday in the winter, it's a way for farmers and other vendors to continue helping their customers with seeds and plants, fish, eggs, baked goods and beef.
Once the planting season is well under way, so will be the Farmer's Market. Not a lot of people realize the market opens five days a week, in one location or another, Wacheldorf said.
Scott Poor of Concord has been a vendor at the Winecoff School Road market for two years now. He buys his fruits, vegetables and plants from other farmers who can't attend the market and sells them.
While the markets don't make him a lot of money - "It's a struggle," he admitted - he gets by.
"Even if I hit the lottery, I'll be Poor all my life," Poor joked. He attended to a steady stream of customers that morning, selling tomatoes, onions and plants.
Credit, EBT taken
Becoming a vendor at the Piedmont Farmer's Markets is easy. Each vendor joins the market association at a cost of $100 per year. Members rent tables at each of the markets they would like space at for between $5 and $15 per day, depending on the market and day.
Some markets, Wacheldorf said - such as the Tuesday market at Winecoff School Road - are not as busy and cost only $5 per table. Busier markets, such as in Harrisburg, are "worth every penny of $25" but cost only $15 per table.
One thing that is different this year from previous years is that market vendors will now be able to take debit, credit and even EBT (electronic benefit transfer), thanks to a grant to the Farmer's Market.
Wacheldorf has a credit scanner in her booth. Customers will go to Wacheldorf first and buy wooden tokens worth $5 and $1, each specific either to EBT (food stamps) or to buying on credit. Then the customer purchases foods from vendors with the coins.
At the end of the market, the vendors turn their coins in to Wacheldorf and receive payment.