Crenshaw County Farmers Market opens 2024 season 

Published 3:16 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Crenshaw County Farmers Market kicked off its 2024 season on Monday, June 3, featuring a variety of fresh produce and other food items from both local vendors and vendors from neighboring counties. The market will be held each Monday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. under the Emmett C. Strickland Pavilion at the Tom Harbin Ag Center on Airport Road in Luverne, running until mid-August.

Alex Morgan, a Luverne resident and longtime supporter of the market, attended the opening day and purchased fresh cut flowers from Evan’s Farm as well as squash and cucumbers from Countryside Gardens. Morgan praised the superior quality of the produce compared to what is often found in grocery stores.

Email newsletter signup

“I have been going to the Crenshaw County Extension Farmers Market since it began,” Morgan said. “I love the fresh produce and I’m glad I can support local farmers. The quality of their items is always much better than at the grocery stores. I plan to go back every Monday to see what is available. It seems like every week there is something new offered and the market itself gets better year after year.”

Before the market’s opening day, a vendor meeting was held inside the ag center. During the May 28 meeting, vendors learned about changes implemented by the Alabama Farmers Market Association and reviewed market rules and guidelines. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions as different topics were discussed.

Dusty Bagents, who owns Countryside Gardens with her husband Chris, attended the 5:30 p.m. vendors meeting. Throughout the season, Countryside Gardens will offer various items including Zephyr squash, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, blueberries, cut flowers, tomatoes and more. 

As with many vendors, as the growing season progresses, Countryside Garden’s selection of available goods will change.

Bagents and her husband, who hold bachelors degrees in horticulture, have a deep love for agriculture and the growing process, especially when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. They aim to establish a strong connection between farmers and consumers in the community.

“Each growing season has its own challenges and it’s nice to compare notes with other growers,” Bagents said. “Having a remote location has definitely been a challenge for us. Which is why additional exposure at local farmers markets has been great to help new customers find us. We also truly enjoy working with our local Extension team. They are a phenomenal group of ladies.”

Crenshaw County Extension Coordinator Amanda West Evans encourages everyone to visit this hidden gem of Crenshaw County and support local farmers.

“Please come out and support these local farmers,” Evans said. “The produce they offer is freshly picked and they put a lot of effort into supplying our community with high quality fruits and vegetables. Not only will these growers greatly appreciate your support, but you will also find top quality produce, food items and baked goods.”

Although the window to apply for the program has closed, the Crenshaw County Farmers Market supports the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). SFMNP provides low-income seniors aged 60 and older with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs. Qualified seniors receive a one-time $50 benefit to spend at certified Alabama farmers markets or at registered roadside stands.

Applications for the benefit card are available through the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Farmers Market Authority (FMA) website starting in January each year. Eligible seniors will be able to apply for the program online at the FMA website and assistance with this is  offered by the Luverne Public Library.

Vendor applications are still being accepted. Prospective vendors must obtain a Grower’s Permit and sign a vendor agreement. For additional details, contact the Crenshaw County Extension office at 334-335-6312. More information on the SFMNP can be found on the Farmers Market Authority website or by emailing