Mill Spring Ag Center holds Christmas Farmers Market

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A PolkFresh Christmas Farmers Market will be held this Saturday, December 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center in Mill Spring.

Popular vendors from Polk Countys regular farmers markets are gathering one last time for the year to offer a Christmas Bazaar-themed indoor/outdoor market. Winter vegetables, crafts and food will be for sale to help you create those special holiday gift packages that support local agriculture and cultural crafts. North Carolina-grown Christmas trees will also be for sale.

A good percentage of local farmers market vendors have their product available year-round, and the market will offer an opportunity to sign up for their mailing lists to receive regular communications about when local items such as produce, eggs, cheeses, and meats are available for your over-winter meals.

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The Columbus Farmers Market ended its season in November with 38 vendors, live music, and lots of appreciation from the community for the largest farmers market season to date. Polk Countys markets tripled in three years both in vendors and attendance.

The farmland-preservation programming that oversees the markets management recently received a $500 grant through the Polk Department of Social Services to add mobile EBT debit machines for next years market customer services. The Mill Spring Ag Center has applied for grant contributions to support the build-out and start-up of a year-round retail farm store set to open at the Mill Spring Ag Center mid-year 2011. The store will feature PolkFresh and Appalachian Grown Certified local foods and value-added products as well as promote agri-tourism in Polk County and nearby areas. This is in part funded by a matching-funds from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project or ASAP.

The Mill Spring Ag Center is always open to the public. This Saturday, during the Christmas Farmers Market, ask for a tour to see the progress the 2010 year has made, since the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District received the former Mill Spring School as a donation in December 2009.

The ag centers current programs operate with county budget allocation for vital initiatives like farmland preservation, farmers markets, workshops and courses, grant support and trainings, community gardens, and Friends of Agriculture monthly breakfast meetings. However, the building itself is a stand-alone facility and not separately any part of county budget. Grants and private donations are heartily accepted.

For more information on this Saturdays Christmas Farmers Market, visit

Mill Spring Ag Center, located in the former Mill Spring School, is located on School Road, in Mill Spring, near the crossroads of Hwy. 108 and Hwy. 9. Call 828-894-2281 for more information.