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Farmers market opening soon

Produce from the Bartlett Station Farmers Market is shown in this 2012 season photo. The market opens its 2013 season on May 18.

Produce from the Bartlett Station Farmers Market is shown in this 2012 season photo. The market opens its 2013 season on May 18.

In its third year, the Bartlett Station Farmers Market is looking for ways to give back to the land.

“We’re trying to bring in a recyclable impact this year,” said market manager Kim Dyer, who is in her first year as manager but second with the market.

The outdoor air market at WJ Freeman Park is set to open May 18. It’s doubled in size since its inception, and Dyer said she expects 16 vendors this year.

The market is a joint effort between the Bartlett Station Commission, the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce and the City of Bartlett and is designed to help bring fresh foods from local farmers into town. It’s also there to draw people to Freeman Park on Saturdays.

“It all comes back to building Bartlett,” Dyer said. “We’re reaching out to different areas of the community.

Dyer, who started as a customer during the market’s first year and then volunteered last, said she wanted to find a way to bring recycling into the market’s fold.

“That’s not something that was decided on by my bosses, just something I’m tossing in there, which is why it’s my idea of improving my planet,” she said.

An exciting part of that, she said, is the market’s partnership with the Society of Saint Andrew’s Gleaning Program. At the end of each market, members of the program will pick up produce that would otherwise have gone to waste and then deliver it to nonprofit food programs and at-risk people in the community.

Other initiatives include selling and collecting recycled water bottles and using recycled cardboard boxes for trash bins.

And the market isn’t all about fresh foods and recycling. Although produce makes up the majority of the event, Dyer said there are entertainers, live music, art and activities planned for each Saturday the market is open.

It’s part of the market’s mission to help people make healthy lifestyle choices, Dyer said.

“It’s a community service opportunity,” she said. “And people will have to pass the food to get to the activities. So, we say, come out and explore Freeman Park.”

IF YOU GO:

  • May 18: Opening day/Armed Forces day
  • May 25: Art in the Park local artist sale; music by bluegrass and variety artists Barry and Bob
  • June 1: Cancer survivors day with Pink Heals Memphis’s Ida Mildred pink truck and treats for survivors
  • June 8: Bartlett Fire Department displays
  • June 15: Flag Day with flag giveaways from the Woodmen of the World Insurance agency; Pet adoptions with the Bartlett Animal Shelter
  • June 22: Recipe exchange day, for people to share their recipes with others
  • June 29: Art in the Park, Bartlett Arts Council sale; Kidz Korner chalk art contest
  • July 6: Kidz Korner treasure hunt
  • July 13: High Tailin’ It to the Park cutest pet contest via Facebook
  • July 20: Bartlett Police Department displays
  • July 27: Art in the Park local artists sale

Activities from August through the end of October are being planned. Throughout the season, market attendees will have the chance to participate in giveaways and contests onsite, on Facebook and on Twitter.

DETAILS:

The Bartlett Station Farmers Market runs from 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays, beginning May 18 and running through Oct. 26. For information about upcoming events and to keep in touch with the market, contact:

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