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William Burks of Burks Farms in Cullman with a customer at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market on Monday.
Daily photo by Sheryl Marsh
William Burks of Burks Farms in Cullman with a customer at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market on Monday.

Pumpkins, gourds in demand

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

While vegetables are plentiful at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market, pumpkins and gourds are in demand.

It's harvest time.

"I'm shopping for pumpkins and gourds for a harvest arrangement," said Megan Hoksbergen of Decatur. "It's nice that we have the market here. It has quite a variety."

Hoksbergen found what she wanted at William Burks' table.

The vendor said irrigation at his family business, Burks Farms in Cullman, yielded abundant crops of tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes and other vegetables in addition to pumpkins, gourds and mums.

Andrew and Ruth McCay of Moulton were looking for variety.

"We're looking at tomatoes, and those mums look good, too, " said Ruth. "We're looking for any kind of good vegetables."

A lingering drought did not adversely affect all area producers.

"We irrigated and didn't have a problem with our crops at all," said Burks.

Ardelia McDonald of Limestone County had healthy turnip, collard and mustard greens as well as okra and squash.

She irrigated, but gave special care to the greens.

"I hand-watered certain things, such as my greens in the garden," McDonald said. "I actually pampered them because the hose does a better job."

Closing date

The farmers have only a few weeks to market their produce. The tentative closing date is Nov. 10, but Carolyn Slaten, who helps her husband, Burl, manage the market said that could change.

"There's a meeting of the board Thursday night and at that time they could decide whether to close Nov. 10 or at the end of October," Slaten said.

There are some senior citizens who still have coupons to shop at the market they received from the Morgan County Commission on Aging.

"They can use them as long as the market is open," Slaten said.

Farmers they pay with the coupons must redeem them by Nov. 15.

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