The Harvest Haven: Stoney Creek’s Farmers Market
Published 5:18 pm Monday, October 2, 2023
BY C.Y. Peters
Stoney Creek has added a new farmers market and it has sprung to life. The scent of freshly baked bread and the vibrant colors of locally grown produce fill the air every Saturday morning. This market is a testament to the hard work and dreams of the people of Stoney Creek and surrounding area, and it has quickly become the talk of the town. The market is located across from the Elizabethton Airport in the old Great Lakes parking lot.
Mike Odom, a retired school teacher from Little Milligan, had returned from his travels with beautiful handmade baskets from Honduras. He’d spent years teaching, but his heart yearned for the simplicity of life in a distant land. Mike played with the idea of soon moving there, but for now, his Honduran baskets grace the market, adding an exotic touch to the local wares.
John and Marsha Grindstaff, a charming Alabama fan couple, are known for their homemade bread and cinnamon rolls. Their secret recipes have been passed down through generations, and their stall is a hub of warm, comforting aromas that draw visitors in like a magnet.
But it isn’t just Mike’s baskets or the Grindstaffs’ baked goods that draw people to the Stoney Creek Farmers Market. There are stalls brimming with apples, tomatoes, and vibrant leafy greens. Homemade apple butter, a local specialty, had folks lining up for jars.
Nikki Ferguson, the visionary behind this market, was beaming with pride. She’d seen the potential for a thriving farmers market in Stoney Creek, a place where everybody could have a chance to showcase their goods. “There was no farmers market here,” she exclaimed, “and there is so much farmland in this area.” Nikki’s passion for her community led her to bring this dream to fruition. “I did it to bring the community together on the weekends and to help our local economy.”
The market quickly gained popularity, and some vendors found themselves selling out early. They have to prepare for the bustling crowds that gather from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Saturday. Approximately 25 vendors are present, offering a diverse array of goods, from honey to wooden furniture and everything in between.
The Stoney Creek Farmers Market has become a weekly gathering spot for locals and a destination for visitors from neighboring towns. As the first season is set to close in a couple of weeks, Nikki has big plans for the future. She announced that next year, the market would start every Saturday in April and continue through October, providing even more opportunities for the community to come together. Nikki also hinted at a holiday show and the possibility of live music in the future.