STORY BY BRANDY TEMPLETON
PHOTOS BY KAHLEAH S. GAITHER
The Statesville Family YMCA held its first Cultivation Farmers Market on Monday.
The event featured 20 vendors, live music, inflatables for the kids, fresh-made pizzas, and garden tours. Vendors sold fresh vegetables, honey, flowers, tea, tie-dyed clothes, eggs, wood crafts, baked goods, and meats.
“It’s a six-year-old program dedicated just to our summer campers,” explained Melinda Spencer, who started the Cultivation initiative. “We’re teaching them to garden and cook food.”
For the past two years, COVID-19 shut the program down.
“We decided to do something really spectacular to welcome it back,” Spencer said. “Our goal is to make fresh food and local business shopping accessible to the entire community.”
The inaugural market featured the opening of “Growing a Positive Voice,” a garden art exhibit in partnership with the Iredell Arts Council and Mitchell Community College.
The YMCA was awarded a grant from the USDA to fund the effort. If it is successful, it will continue.
The Cultivation Farmers Market market will run each Monday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for seven more weeks.
Contact Melinda Spencer at 704-680-7939 for more information.