Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Organizational Meeting for Clayton Farmer’s Market Scheduled Thursday, April 24 at 6:30 pm

An organizational meeting will be held for Clayton residents interested in creating and promoting a Farmer’s Market in downtown Clayton. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, April 24 at the Clayton Center, located at 111 E Second Street in Room GS-223.

“The DDA is responding to numerous requests to have a farmers market in downtown Clayton,” said Joyce Blackley, Chair of the Clayton Downtown Development Association. “We are hoping to bring a group of citizens together who are interested in organizing and managing a farmers market once or twice a week in downtown.”

Last year, 80 residents, business and property owners from throughout Clayton developed “Downtown Clayton: Vision 2012” a vision statement for downtown Clayton. An open-air or farmers market is in that vision and was near the top of the list of things the public would like to have available in downtown Clayton.

“A farmer’s market will provide an opportunity for individuals to sell what they’ve produced locally. Things that may be available could range from organic produce and homemade baked goods to pottery or other crafts,” according to Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen. He added that “the market would also benefit downtown businesses by giving people yet another reason to visit the downtown area.”

An existing downtown business, Lee’s Produce & Garden Center at 401 W Main Street already provides some of what a farmer’s market might offer, according to Leslie Hubbard, the vice chair of the DDA’s Economic Restructuring Committee. “Lee’s Produce is a true gem for Clayton residents who've discovered it. They carry a great variety of fresh produce as well as other North Carolina and Johnston County products, many that you just can’t find in the grocery stores.” She added that they offer fresh made butter and candies; home canned jams, jellies, relishes, tomatoes and pickles; frozen cooked collards and greens; pecans and peanuts; as well as an excellent choice of healthy flowers, shrubs, trees and hanging plants.

The meeting is being hosted by the Downtown Development Association. For more information please contact Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or via email at bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org.

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