As the summertime makes way for lazy Saturdays and backyard barbecues, it’s the perfect time of year to head to one of the many incredible farmers markets in our city. This month, we have found some of Birmingham’s best when it comes to farmers market FINDS. We encourage you to get out there — discover some local flavor and flair, stock up on the freshest meats and produce for grilling out with friends, fresh flowers for your bestie’s bridal shower or local artisan candles or coasters to decorate the patio for entertaining. These talented Alabama farmers, chefs and artists travel from market to market, offer CSA packages and have online stores, so make sure to keep up with your favorites! Now, check out our colorful FINDS for July!
With beautifully funny animals on colorful backgrounds, these quirky coasters by Pencilpress are a guaranteed ice breaker and perfect for entertaining. You won’t forget which drink is yours when you’ve got these bad boys. Local artist and owner of Pencilpress, Susan Shoemaker, is passionate about drawing and capturing the humor of her favorite animals on canvas as well as in objects that can be enjoyed every day. Find these coasters for $12 each at her Pencilpress tent at The Market at Pepper Place.
Wooden with inlaid brass pendant necklaces
DIGS Design offers these hip, geometric pendant necklaces made with wood and inlaid brass. These timeless pieces can be dressed up or down and emulate the cool vibe of DIGS Design, a thoughtfully curated warehouse in Birmingham filled with vintage, industrial, mid-century and primitive furniture, and hardware, available to buy or rent! Get this Zebrawood inlaid with solid brass pendant (left) for $62 and this Black Walnut inlaid with solid brass pendant (right) for $48 at the DIGS Design tent at the Market at Pepper Place.
What’s better than a hand-crafted candle? A hand-crafted candle that melts into body lotion! Buttnaked Candles are created so that as the candle begins to melt, you can use the wax to moisturize dry skin — and make it smell incredible too. Stop by the Summit Farmers Market and treat your skin to a sample of their signature scent, a combination of strawberries, coconut, bananas and vanilla. Find Buttnaked Candles for $10 per candle at the Summit Farmers Market.
Feather Wild’s tent at The Market at Pepper Place sells one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn and hand-dyed bandanas, triangle scarves and unisex “ties,” which can be worn loosely like a necklace or scarf. These hip, free-spirited designs are perfect for those looking to stay cool and stylish this summer. Owner Sarah Conklin appropriately finds inspiration for her designs from Alabama’s river rocks, and prints them on up-cycled fabrics in Huntsville. Get Sloss Fest-ready with one of these fun printed bandanas, scarves or ties. Find the bandanas for $30 each, the triangle scarves for $45 each and the ties for $70 each at the Feather Wild tent at the Market at Pepper Place.
Elderberry and lemongrass kombucha
Harvest Roots is a Mentone-based company known for their fermented produce but they also make a mean fermented tea called kombucha. Kombucha has become trendy in the food world due to its tart, effervescent flavor and its healthy probiotics. Stop by The Market at Pepper Place and try one of Harvest Roots’ unique kombucha creations for $4 a bottle.
If you are looking for something sweet and salty, head over to Summit Farmers Market for some classic pralines. The Birmingham Candy Company carries all kinds of tasty treats, but their pralines are a crowd favorite — offered in traditional, chocolate and peanut butter varieties. Try one for $3, or indulge in four for $10, at the Birmingham Candy Company tent at the Summit Farmers Market.
Snow’s Bend Farm may be famous for their tasty produce, but they happen to grow flowers that are just as buzz-worthy. Check out their dreamy, colorful bouquets — perfect for summertime decorating and especially perfect if you lack a green thumb of your own. Find Snow’s Bend flower bouquets, starting at $5, at The Market at Pepper Place.
Summit Farmers Market is home to a household name when it comes to savory cheese straws: May Tuck. May Tuck’s cheese straws are homemade in Alabaster and have been filling the appetizer dishes of tailgate parties and Christmas cocktail parties for more than 50 years. Find May Tuck’s 8-ounce bag for $9 or 12-ounce bag for $13 at the Summit Farmers Market.
Bendy’s ice cream sandwich
Bendy’s Cookies & Cream is one of Birmingham’s newest food trucks and is causing quite a sugar buzz around town. If you have yet to try one of their delicious desserts, come by the West Homewood Farmers Market for a customized ice cream sandwich. Bendy’s has you covered for whatever you are craving, from toffee pretzel cookies to banana pudding ice cream or this delicious ice cream cookie sandwich. Find the ice cream cookie sandwich, starting at $4, at Bendy’s Cookies & Cream at the West Homewood Farmers Market.
Piper & Leaf, a family-run band of tea growers from Huntsville, are always brewing up something new at the Summit Farmers Market. Come and try all sorts of unique tea flavors — from Old Fashioned Birthday Cake, to Sassyfras Strawberry to traditional green tea. The family also sells jars of tea and homemade brewing kits if you want to take these tasty Southern flavors home with you. Find Piper & Leaf artisan teas, ranging in price from $3.99 to $19.99, at the Summit Farmers Market.
FROM THE FARM
If you’re looking for all-natural, pasture-raised meats that are free of pesticides and hormones, head to The Market at Pepper Place where Marble Creek Farmstead sells these beautiful, free-range organic eggs straight from their Sylacauga farms. They also offer eight types of meats that are as fresh as can be — from chicken to elk. Be sure to pick up some bacon while you’re at it for a hearty Saturday morning breakfast. Find Marble Creek Farmstead organic eggs, $6 for a dozen, at The Market at Pepper Place.
Would summer really be summer without strawberry shortcake? We don’t think so. Check out these red and robust berries from James Tucker Produce. Now you can be the hit of the party by whipping up everyone’s favorite Independence Day dessert! Find them for $4.50 per cup at the James Tucker Produce stand at the Alabama Farmers Market.
Whether you like this veggie mixed in some spicy jambalaya or fried on its own, okra is a must-buy the next time you stop by Alabama Farmers Market. Get plenty of this Southern staple to make a Cajun feast or a humble side of fresh veggies. Don’t miss out on these green goodies that are at their best in the summertime! Find them for $4 a basket at the Alabama Farmers Market.
Hepzibah Farms in Talladega is famous around Downtown Birmingham for making organic and sustainable produce easy to find. If you can’t catch them during the week, stop by Pepper Place on a Saturday morning to behold their beautiful produce. This radish medley — consisting of black Spanish, watermelon and purple daikon radishes — will brighten up a summer salad or create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for a rustic tablescape. Find Hepzibah Farms radishes for $3 a bunch at the Market at Pepper Place.
Sweet Honeybell tangerines may not have been on your shopping list but they should be! These are the perfect sweet treat for making a refreshing cocktail or just getting your daily dose of vitamin C. Find these tasty tangerines, $3 for five, at the James Tucker Produce stand at the Alabama Farmers Market.
Whoever established Georgia as the peach capital has clearly never been to Chilton County, Alabama! These ripe and juicy peaches sold at the West Homewood Farmers Market are the perfect main ingredient to a cobbler — or simply sliced atop a bowl of ice cream. These come by the half-dozen but you’d better get more because these babies will be gobbled up fast! Find them for $5 a half-dozen at the West Homewood Farmers Market.
Now, if it’s starchy goodness you are looking for, head over the the Alabama Farmers Market off Finley Boulevard for some Mississippi-grown sweet potatoes. You can purchase a full basket from Farm House Produce, ready to be topped with marshmallows or roasted with rosemary. Find these Farm House Produce sweet potatoes for $6.50 a basket at the Alabama Farmers Market.
Jones Valley Teaching Farm provides hands-on food and nutrition education regarding our city’s biggest food deserts but it also provides a wealth of fresh food to the community. Come visit Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s produce tent at Pepper Place on a Saturday to support this incredible organization and stock up on fresh groceries, such as these shallots grown by local students! Find Jones Valley Teaching Farm shallots for $3 per pound at the Market at Pepper Place.
Farm House Produce’s big head cabbage may seem intimidating but it gives you all you could ever want for making some summer slaw for a picnic in the park or a fresh side dish for the family. It is a cheap and healthy way to get those leafy greens! Find them for $3 a head, at the Farm House Produce stand at the Alabama Farmers Market.
So, get out in the Magic City sun and head to your favorite farmers market for delicious produce, tasty bites and fun and funky artisan goods! Happy hunting!